VILLAGGIO DEI FARAGLIONI DI USTICA

 
Villaggio dei Faraglioni

The most significant archaeological context of the island of Ustica is the prehistoric village of the Faraglioni, which, thanks to its excellent state of preservation and the enormous amount of material returned, constitutes a significant and complete example of the Middle Bronze Age settlement (1400 -1200 BC), witnessing a moment of particular development and intense population of the island.

 

The village, located in Contrada Tramontana, extended over an area of over 7000 square meters on a large cusp overlooking the sea; it was naturally defended to the east by the high cliff, on the other three sides it was closed and protected by a mighty fortification with a curvilinear course, interspersed with semicircular buttresses. What most characterizes the village of huts is the articulated “proto-urban” system characterized by regular routes roads; this peculiarity makes it one of the most important prehistoric complexes of the entire Mediterranean basin. The huts, juxtaposed with each other and probably built with a high entirely made of local stone, were mostly circular, ovoid or rectangular with rounded corners and were adjacent to simply enclosed outdoor spaces. Inside they were mostly equipped with a quay and, in many cases, for milling: in particular, on the floors of the huts, large ovoid or sub-rectangular shaped grinding platforms were found, still in their original position. The interior furniture found to be particularly rich and well preserved, thus documenting, in addition to the sudden abandonment of the settlement, also a high standard of living of the resident population that probably had to base its subsistence economy both on the traditional activities related to pastoralism, agriculture and fishing, as well as trans-marine trade, of which, however, there are still few and sporadic testimonies. The style of the vases, although locally elaborated, recalls that of the coeval ceramics of the Village of the Milazzese of Panarea, in the Aeolian Islands, and that of the vases of the Style of Thapsos, so ctod from the well-known prehistoric station identified on the peninsula of Magnisi in the Syracuse area.

 

The abundance and variety of the household furnishings returned by archaeological excavations is extraordinary, partly exhibited in the local Museum inaugurated in 2010 in the complex of large rooms in Largo di Guardia, a building located on the ridge overlooking the Cala di Santa Maria used as a prison sincand from the Bourbon period and subsequently destined to those confined, even politicians, who transgressed the regulation.
The exhibition is developed in two pavilions through a wide selection of finds mainly related to the most relevant phases of the population of the island; Pavilion A is dedicated to the prehistory of the island, Pavilion B from the period between the Hellenistic age and late antiquity.

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