Conferencia de Angelo Castrorao, miembro del LAAC (EEA, CSIC), en Estambul

El miércoles 11 de diciembre de 2019 el Dr. Angelo Castrorao Barba (Escuela de Estudios Árabes, CSIC) pronunciará una conferencia en la Universidad Politécnica de Estambul que lleva por título Late Antique, Byzantine and Islamic Rural Settlement Patterns in Sicily (4th-11th c. AD) – general overview and new data from the site of Contrada Castro (Corleone, Palermo).




The so-called «late antique agrarian system» characterized Sicily in an exemplary way that is readable in material evidence of the wealth of senatorial elite and its luxury villas but also in the development of large secondary agglomerations / villages along the main roads.

This «golden age» of the possessores began to suffer profound changes already from the fifth century, a significant moment in which many villas ruined and started to be reused and reoccupied in different ways. Another important phase of Sicilian countryside dynamics is the Byzantine period, and in particular the thematic age from the late 7th century, which was characterized by more consistent phenomena of public power investments in the construction of castra in rural areas and the emergence of new types of sites (especially in Eastern Sicily). The archeology of the Islamic presence in Sicily has had noticeable progress in recent years allowing better delineation of settlement trends between the end of the 9th and the full of the 11th century, despite this the data on possible pre-Norman fortified sites they still remain rather uncertain, awaiting further research in the field.

As case study of as early medieval settlement in the inland will be presented the ongoing project “Harvesting Memories” (University of Palermo) and excavation («Soprintendenza BBCCAA of Palermo»), supported and funded by Bona Furtuna LLC, in Contrada Castro (Corleone, Palermo) in the Monti Sicani area in Central Western Sicily. The site, otherwise unknown from the written sources, has revealed an interesting sequence related to the re-occupation of a 6th 5th century BC building complex during the Early Middle Ages. At the current state of the research – the most telling evidence for a new occupation of the site between the 7th -early 8th century is connected with the burial of two peri-natal individuals. From the second half of the 8th-9th century new buildings testify for a further development of this settlement. Lastly, between the 10th-11th century the complex undergoes a drastic reshaping and the entire settlement’s topography changes significantly and all the rebuilt structures feature a new orientation. The archaeological evidence yielded so far illustrates well the informative potential of the site in order to understand and reconstruct the economic trends and human- environment interactions of an early medieval community in the countryside of Western Sicily.


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