AREA ARCHEOLOGICA DI SOFIANA

 
Resti dell'abitato romano

The village of Sofiana is in the territory of the Municipality of Mazzarino (CL); it has been included in the Park in order to facilitate both scientific research and fruition, in relation to the nearby Villa del Casale of Piazza Armerina. Archaeological excavations were conducted between 1954 and 1961 and from 1986 onwards. Initially, it was thought to be a rural settlement serving the nearby large villa at Piazza Armerina; investigations in recent years have led to the realisation that it is a newly founded urban centre that arose following the reorganisation of Sicily in the Augustan age. The Catania-Agrigento road is the only one that does not follow the previous route; it connects Catania, one of the newly founded colonies, with Agrigento, which retained its importance in the imperial age: it is clear that the new artery affected the layout of the territory; Sofiana is exactly halfway along the new road route.

 

From the late 1st century B.C., several rural settlements arose, especially in the area to the south of the site; interestingly, the flat area to the south-east seems to show a modular division of plots, consistent with the orientation of the urban street grid, a possible sign of land allocations at the time of the foundation. The town, from its very beginning, shows signs of wealth; but no signs of administrative and political activity, public buildings have been identified: it is likely that such activity was concentrated mainly in the coloniae. The continuous occupation until the 13th century provides important data.

 

A peristyle domus aristocratic dates, in the original layout, between the end of the first century BC, and the 1st century AD. The thermal baths date back to 320-330 and overlap a previous thermal building, with different orientation. The late antique basilica, with an adjoining necropolis, has different phases.

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