AREA ARCHEOLOGICA SAN MICELI

 
Area archeologica di San Miceli

The Basilica of San Miceli, located in the Vado district, in the territory of Salemi, is one of the most interesting early Christian evidence in western Sicily. The first attestations of the basilica date back to 1893, the year in which Antonino Salinas carried out an excavation intervention, bringing to light a small basilical building with a single apse, inside which three floor levels with mosaic decoration were identified. On the basis of architectural and epigraphic stylistic analysis, scholars agree in dating the building between the fourth and sixth centuries. A.D.

 

Recent research, conducted in the area surrounding the basilica, has specified the chronology of the settlement, its extension (about 5 hectares) and the relationship between the place of worship and the surrounding village. Archaeological exploration, conducted around the basilica, has also allowed us to define more precisely the first period of frequentation of the site that can be traced back to the Hellenistic age (III-II century BC).
In the fertile basin of San Miceli, since the early imperial age, a modest rural complex developed which, taking advantage of its favorable topographical position, acquired greater importance during the late empire, probably assuming the appearance of a rural village (vicus), with annex a cult building.
Recent investigations have revealed the remains of some tombs belonging to the basilica, already identified by A. Salinas, who recovered the rich funerary objects.

 

Very significant data came to light around the basilical building: these are structures pertaining to dwellings and a burial ground that would suggest the presence of a conspicuous rural complex, probably built on a previous nucleus, which would have reached its flourishing between IV and VI cent. A.D. and that can be included in the list of the most important early Christian settlements in Sicily.

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