Necropolis of PANTALICA and


PREHISTORIC CIVILIZATION IN THE SOUTH-EASTERN SICILY, NEAR SYRACUSE


homepage..

 

punto.gif (167 byte)Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica was added to Unesco' s World Heritage List in 200 

 -the motivation-

--------------------------------------------

We are in an age in which the city of classic Greece they are still to be born, in which the iron still is disowned and the bronze is the great technological innovation. We are in the age of the heroes of which Omero in the Iliad and the Odissea speaks to us, in order to mean to us, when  the Miceneo people, of the leggendary Agamennone, furrowed the seas in tries of new landings place trades them. It is just in this age that  Pantalica in Sicily catches up its maximum power.


PANTALICA   and CIVILIZATION PREISTORIC In the SOUTH-EASTERN SICILY 

before the Greek colonization, Southeastern Sicily was inhabited - 

 not only on the coasts, but also on the rugged mountains -

by various populations , like  testify imposing  remains archaeological visible

 and the immense necropolis of  caves and tombs  of PANTALICA,

but the first human  takeovers could go back  ago to 70,000 years........... 


by  Michele  Veneziano    geologist


Sicilia3.gif (40308 byte)

          

One of the very special hidden places of Sicily - a spectacular limestone gorge carved out by the rivers Anapo and Calcinara on their path through the deceptively gentle-seeming Monti Iblei to the west of Syracuse. Here was once a centre of the kingdom of the Sikels, one of the original Sicilian peoples. A good track runs along the floor of the gorge - it was (until the 1950s) a railway, part of a line which ran from Syracuse right up to Vizzini. There's a station - now a museum - and the original toilet block has been superbly restored! There are a few houses along the gorge - presumably the station was once for their benefit. There are also still a number of tunnels - some quite long, and very dark: a torch is recommended for the scotophobic.

There are three possible approaches: one from the town of Sortino to the north west (they originally planned for the road to span the gorge and continue to Ferlà!) which entails a long and fairly gentle descent to the floor of the canyon (the river here is the Calcinara, which joins the Anapo a few hundred metres downstream) - there's a beautiful clear pool at the bottom [see below], in which it's possible (just) to swim. From there there is a long steady climb with fabulous views down to the Calcinara until you meet the Ferlà section of the road. An alternative is to take a steep path down from where the road out of Sortino comes to an end; this goes straight to the valley floor, where you can cross the Anapo by stepping stones, and join the old railway track. Or better, you can keep beside the river for the time being, and pass the confluence with the Calcinara - this is the wildest and most beautiful part of the gorge.

The old railway passes through lush vegetation (oak, ash, maple, poplar), orchards (citrus, almonds, the occasional persimmon: in late autumn with the leaves gone leaving just the fruit, the persimmons look like the golden apples of the Hesperides), and even a field with thoroughbred horses: this is the second way of getting access to Pantálica. It comes out on the Ferlà road, at the valley bottom, before the hairpins which lead up to the town. You can park here, and have an easy stroll along the track - or if you are really lazy, make use of the minibus service (free when I was there). The gorge teems with birdlife (eagles and ravens soar overhead), and even in November there are lizards and butterflies, and flowers - celandine and pale purple autumn crocus.

The most difficult, but most spectacular way to explore Pantálica is to continue uphill to Ferlà - a pleasant little town, with a once fine church; I bought some excellent fresh walnuts for next to nothing in the market there one November. A right turn takes you along a narrow winding road along the top of the gorge: after a few kilometres you'll reach a pleasant restaurant - the padrone has maps of the area - as well as excellent coffee. The road eventually ends at a precipice, from where you can see its hoped-for continuation on the far side to Sortino. Before you get there though, at roughly the highest point, there's a rough track leading to the so-called Anaktoron: possibly the sparse remains of the ancient capital of King Hyblon, the Sikel king who gave his name to Megara Hyblaea. You can park here, and follow various tracks which will lead you eventually to the railway track below. On your way you will pass numerous rock tombs: in prehistoric times (13th to 8th century BC) this was a vast Necroplis - over 5000 tombs perforate the limestone walls of the gorge. It was inhabited again in the Byzantine era, when refugees from Syracuse and elsewhere took shelter there - you will see signs to the Byzantine rock-church of S.Micidario, near which there are numerous cave-dwellings from the same period.


    S U M M A R Y:  punto.gif (167 byte)pages in  english language

  punto.gif (167 byte) MAP 

  punto.gif (167 byte)Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica World-wide patrimony of the Humanity (UNESCO)

  punto.gif (167 byte) human evolution   

  punto.gif (167 byte) Rift Valley,Eastern Africa

  punto.gif (167 byte) Paleo Sicily  by University of Washington

  punto.gif (167 byte) trip to Sicily  by University of Washington

   punto.gif (167 byte) 40 sites Italians  UNESCO' s patrimony   With Siracusa and Pantalica the sites  Italians in the list of  the Unesco Patrimony

  punto.gif (167 byte) cave dwellers

  punto.gif (167 byte) Acheulean hand axe link esterno

  punto.gif (167 byte) stone tools  da wikipedia

  punto.gif (167 byte) www.talkorigins.org/homs/species.html   hominid species link esterno

  punto.gif (167 byte) stone tools  photo 

           

  punto.gif (167 byte) Pantalica:views and findings (video

  punto.gif (167 byte) www.ourplacephotos.org/  your place to share photos of our world's heritage (PANTALICA)

  punto.gif (167 byte) uman history  video by program "ULISSE" 

  punto.gif (167 byte) PANGEA (video

  punto.gif (167 byte) TRILOBITI  (video) by David Attenborough's First Life




        S U M M A R Y:  pages in  italian language

Before... Pantalica the most ancient human traces they could go back  ago to 70.000 years with some takeovers

 of the Homo Sapiens and perhaps, before, of the Homo di Neanderthal.....

geologic ere      The coves/cave    and the history of the Man
Civilization of Castelluccio   and the tombe as coves to furnace shape

Civilization of Thapsos of forehead to the coast of Priolo near Augusta Syracuse

Civilization of Pantalica   in XIII the A.C. the coast villages were abandon ...

the Site of Pantalica (there are more than 5000 tombes) up a full of rocks   on the river Anapo

Pantalica North the ceramics, the bronzes, the fibules

Pantalica South  to leave from IX century A.C

Palace of the Prince  anaktoron

archaeological rest    in the museum "Paul Orsi"  of Syracuse
Civilization of Cassibile nearly a natural fortress  the use of the bronze is diffused...

the Bizantino period    in order to defend from the Arabs the populations were sheltered..

Photo of tombes / coves  Map of the necropolis  in order to orient

Ferla   and  Sortino  the countries of... Pantalica

Syracuse photo 

Landscapes of Sicily photo   
Ominides       

from the Homo Neanderthal       to    the Homo Sapiens       

the Paleolithic and the Neolithic

the Sicily from the preistoria...to the history     dialetto Sicialian    
  the Anapo river   natural park...  the caves  
the railroad   
E T N A   the Volcano


 fossil echinoide (miocene sup.) of area Pantalica

                       HOME