AREA ARCHEOLOGICA DI SOLUNTO

 
Area archeologica vista dall'alto

This first appropriation is located at the Solanto promontory and the San Cristoforo plateau behind it. The area of occupation follows the Phoenician settlement model, which, according to the tucididea description, favored the promontories and the small islands in front of the coast. The presence, moreover, in the plain of small streams that facilitated the ascent towards the hinterland and contacts with the indigenous centers of the valle dell'Eleuterio, fully met the commercial vocation of the Phoenician centers. In the center we know the double denomination, Greek and Punic: Solunto - "k f r" (village).

 

The Archaeological Park of Solunto includes, however, only the inhabited area of the Hellenistic-Roman age, which was re-founded on the nearby Monte Catalfano after the destruction of the coastal center of the archaic-classical age operated by Dionisio of Syracuse at the beginning of the 4th century B.C. The city lies on the south-eastern slope of the Mount on sloping terraces; presents a regular urban layout, borrowed from Greek culture, c.d. ippodameo, with a road system consisting of three NS road axes, intersected perpendicularly by eight EO ways; the intersection of the roads determines rectangular blocks, longitudinally divided by the rainwater collection channels that supplied the public and private tanks. The shops open along the main street, while the houses have the entrancand from the side streets. The houses are organized around a courtyard, often peristyle, with two-story colonnades. The rooms are distinguished by the refinement of the architectural elements and the decorative flooring and walls.

 

Smtor and more articulated around a courtyard without colonnades are the homes of the artisan and productive classes, located in the peripheral areas of the city.
The water supply system was probably based only on the collection of rainwater in cisterns, of which all homes were equipped. Furthermore, two large public cisterns are located near the agora and the artisan district.

 

The public area extends in an eccentric position, preceded by a sacred building with an altar with three betiles. The monumental square of the agora-forum is closed on three sides by a portico, while on the north side there is a large covered cistern and a thermal building; upstream are located the theater, the bouleuterion and the gymnasium and, on a terracing above, a vast sacred area divided into several sanctuaries.

 

The dedication of the Res Publica Soluntinorum to Fulvia Plautilla, wife of Caracalla, dated between 202 and 205 AD, constitutes the traditional chronological limit of the city, which was probably abandoned gradually when the changed socio-economic conditions of late imperial Sicily they caused a widespread and progressive decline of many urban centers.

 

The necropolis of Soluntina extends in the district of Campofranco, to the north-west of the archaic settlement. A portion, located on the edge of the inhabited center of Santa Flavia, is a state-owned area and constitutes an aggregate site to the Park. It includes 220 burials brought to light at the end of the 1800s, mostly with an hypogeum chamber dug out of the calcarenite bank and with a stepped access corridor.

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