|CIVILTA' di CASTELLUCCIO
Durante la prima età del bronzo, e cioè nel corso della prima
metà del secondo millennio a.C., fiorisce nella Sicilia sud-orientale la cultura di
tombe a finti pilastri (Castelluccio)
Essa prende il nome dall`insediamento
situato su uno degli speroni del margine meridionale dell`altipiano acrense, in territorio
Nella piccola valle a fianco del
villaggio, la Cava della Signora, si trova la più vasta necropoli di questa facies
culturale, costituita da 176 tombe a grotticella artificiale a forma di forno.
TOMBE A FORMA DI FORNO
Alcune tombe avevano l`apertura chiusa
con lastre di calcare scolpite con figurazioni
simboliche spiraliformi , una rara testimonianza di scultura preistorica in Sicilia.
una tomba con
FIGURAZIONI SIMBOLICHE SPIRALIFORMI
Una sola tomba è preceduta
all`esterno da un piccolo portico a quattro pilastri scolpiti nella viva roccia.
Sono stati scoperti in tutta la Sicilia orientale, meridionale e centrale numerosissimi
insediamenti riferibili a questa cultura: Calicantoni e Cava Lazzaro (Modica), Petraro
(Villasmundo), Branco Grande (S. Croce), Monte Casale, S. Basilio (Scordia). Interessante
è l`insediamento di Manfria (Gela) per il rinvenimento di un gruppo di capanne di forma
più o meno ovaleggiante, nelle quali fori perimetrali per l`inserzione di pali rivelano
una struttura lignea.
L`economia di questa età sembra basata essenzialmente sull`agricoltura e sulla
pastorizia, ma anche talvolta sullo sfruttamento di altre risorse locali: a Petraro si
producevano macine, a Monte Sallia (Comiso) strumenti di selce. Vi erano dunque artigiani
organizzati ed un commercio interno fra villaggio e villaggio. Ma la posizione di questi
insediamenti non sembra invece rivelare una forte rilevanza dei commerci marittimi, che
sembra fosse, in questo periodo, monopolio di Malta. Non sono state rinvenute ceramiche
dipinte protomicenee in insediamenti castellucciani, mentre sono abbondanti a Lipari.
La cultura di Castelluccio ha avuto una lunga durata, forse più di cinque secoli.
The Castelluccio Culture is a Bronze
Age (2000-1400 BC) culture of Sicily, and the name of the type site. Excavations indicate
a predominantly pastoral economy whose people are best known for their distinctive ceramic
vessels, composed of long graceful jars with complex linear patterns on black-painted,
red-slipped wares. The sites always include a terra cotta horn (corno fittile).
Humans were present in Sicily at the end
of the Pleistocene Epoch, about 70,000-50,000 years ago. Cave drawings confirm a presence
by 10000 BC, if not earlier, and there is no evidence to suggest anything but a continuous
presence since that period. In general terms, early Sicily may be represented by the
8000 BC - early settlements and
cave drawings in coastal areas such as Addaura (near Palermo).
3000 BC - use of copper tools in
certain localities, probably reflecting non-Sicilian influences.
2500 BC - use of bronze
throughout "Proto-Sicanian" Sicily; contact with foreign cultures.
1600 BC - presence of an
identifiable, distinct "Sicanian" culture across Sicily.
1200 BC - arrival of Sicels in
eastern coastal areas, encouraging Sican migration westward.
There is little evidence that the
Sicanians ever made wide use of any written language before the introduction of the
Phoenician alphabet (shown here with the Greek and Early Roman alphabets), which they
wrote from right to left. (Mycenean script has been found on some pieces of pottery.) On a
pre-historic level, it seems probable that they were descended, for the most part, from
Sicily's Bronze Age inhabitants. Indeed, the Sicans probably represented the main group
descended from these first indigenous Sicilians. The theory of the Sicanians' Iberian
origin is supported by a rather few linguistic factors thought to be shared with early
Iberian tongues, though the evidence is hardly conclusive. The name of Spain's ancient
Sicano River has been cited to suggest a common link, but it could be merely coincidental.
It was the Greek historian Thucydides who first suggested Iberian roots, yet his authority
for this is not known. That said, the best (and most recent) scholarly position is that
the Sicanians were indeed natives of Sicily, while the Sicels immigrated from mainland
Italy (possibly from Liguria, Latium or even Alpine regions) and the Elymians from the
Asian regions of the eastern Mediterranean, perhaps via northern Africa.
During the Early
Bronze Age, the Iblean region of Sicily was involved in a constant range
of overseas contacts, as is proved by the imported objects found in numerous Castellucian necropoleis in this
area. These contacts are attested from the beginning of the Early Bronze Age, as
Ognina materials, which have substantial links with the cultures of Southern Italy, the
Balkans and the Western Peloponnese, demonstrate. These contacts caused the growth
of social complexity and of intra-society competition, in an advanced phase of the period,
and led to the emergence of the Thapsos culture.
Though largely hypothetical, a logical
theory has been advanced that the Sicanians were not initially part of any Indo-European
population, though recent discoveries imply at least isolated contact with some Mycenean
and Minoan cultures --probably on the basis of trade. Living independently of other
societies, the earliest Sicani naturally would have developed as a unique population
lacking clearly-defined cultural links to the Indo-European cultures of Italy, Greece and
the eastern Mediterranean. (In this way they were similar to the earliest Iberians.) The
Sicanians' name probably derives from the chalcedony called "sica" found in some
of the areas they inhabited, and from which they styled tools in the Neolithic era. An
Iron Age presence is indicated at Gela, Sant' Angelo Muxaro and other sites in the
Agrigento area. The Minoan and Mycenean links explain possible similarities of the Thapsos
and Castellucio cultures to Aegean ones.
That the Sicans apparently assimilated
more rapidly and easily than the Sicels with the colonising Greeks suggests at least some
affinity, if not commonality, between Sicanian and Hellenistic culture. This peaceful
amalgamation took just a few centuries, from about 700 BC to 400 BC, and before long many
Sicanian cities were essentially Greek. Our knowledge of this gradual union of Sicanian
and Hellenistic culture is primarily archeological. Even today, the actual sites of
ancient Sicilian localities (including Sicanian settlements) mentioned in Greek and Roman
accounts are occasionally discovered and identified. A future find could yield greater
information about the Sicanians.
Despite literary references to the
contrary, there is little evidence to suggest a strong central government (or monarchy)
among the Sicanians. Like the cities of Phoenicia and Greece, the Sicanian settlements
were probably independent, or at least quasi-autonomous, forming a very loose
confederation. There appears to have been little, if any, open conflict with the Sicels to
the east and the Elymians to the northwest, though the arrival of each seems to have
encouraged the Sicanians to migrate toward other areas.
Before the arrival of the Sicels, the
Sicanians (or the prehistoric predecessor culture from which they emerged) probably
occupied most of Sicily, though they were hardly isolated. Localised distinctions and
"foreign" influences are often mentioned. For example, similarities of
southeastern Sicilian prehistoric cultures to Maltese, Mycenean, Minoan or north African
ones, or similarities between the cultures of northeastern Sicily and the Lipari Island
cultures having links to mainland Italic ones. Much has been discovered of Sicily's Bronze
Age (2500-1250 BC) societies, with the southeast Sicilian Thapsos and Castellucian
cultures the object of much study in the last few decades.