Necropoli, veduta aerea

Contrada Tranchina is located about 11 km east of Sciacca. The necropolis was discovered by chance by the landowner in 1957 and in 1959 a systematic excavation was carried out by Santo Tinè.


The sector of the necropolis currently uncovered covers an area of approximately 5,000 square metres; the tombs are generally of the small hypogeic chamber type, accessed by a circular shaft open on a rocky surface. The tombs, all from the Eneolithic period (Copper Age, second half of the 4th-3rd millennium BC), were predominantly single-shelved, i.e. they contained only one deceased person, with the exception of three, in which there was evidence of collective depositions. One tomb documented the ritual of colouring the deceased with red ochre, a substance that was probably attributed a magical-sacral value, according to a custom also found in the contemporary necropolis of Piano Vento, near Palma di Montechiaro.


The funerary ritual involved the burial of the deceased in a supine or crouched position, the laying of the grave goods and the closing of the tomb with a stone door, sometimes sealed with clay. The grave goods consisted mainly of earthenware vessels, cups, bowls and glasses decorated with engraved motifs, broken lines, circles and dots, in a style typical of the Ancient Eneolithic culture of Sicily (San Cono-Piano Notaro facies).

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