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Discover Piana degli Albanesi: the late Roman necropolis in the S. Agata district.


As you know, this site was created for the enhancement of the cultural heritage of the Piana degli Albanesi area, which represents an extraordinary unicum and deserves all our efforts.

Today we want to tell you about a site that is little known but which is of great archaeological and historical interest: the late Roman necropolis in the S. Agata district. This site together with Monte Jato represents a real treasure to be discovered.

We are waiting for you.


Salvatore Vasotti

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The archaeological excavations of 1988 carried out by the Superintendency of Palermo have revealed, in the district of S. Agata, a late Roman necropolis. The site is located about 35 km south of Palermo, between Piana degli Albanesi to the west and the Rocca di Marineo to the east, a central area for connections between the northern and southern coasts of Sicily.

The few historical information available allow us to formulate the hypothesis that the area can be identified with the statio of Pirama, a resting place along the internal road axis between Agrigentum-Panormus.

The excavation campaigns, directed by the archaeologist Caterina Greco, allowed the exploration of the extensive sub divo cemetery. Downstream from the necropolis, a settlement was also identified that documents how the area was inhabited, without interruption, from the Hellenistic age to the Middle Ages.

The tombs, with a rectangular or trapezoidal lithic case, are obtained in the tender marno-chalky fault, typical of the hill. On the short sides, the burials are covered with plates fixed with a knife, on the long sides by walls formed by slabs or small quadrangular blocks and closed by a monolithic slab, obtained from the crumbling rock, on which a "mound" press was raised. slightly rectangular, consisting of a ballast of large stones cemented with whitish mortar, up to 70 centimeters thick.

The funerary ritual is characterized by the presence of the grave goods always placed inside the tomb at the height of the head and shoulders of the inhumed person. This arrangement of the trousseau reflects a custom also practiced in Christianity and widely documented in numerous sub divo cemeteries found, among the centuries. IV and VI. in Sicily.

Normally the trousseau is made up of three or four objects: the glass cup, the jug in common ceramic or also in glass and finally the lamp. These elements are sometimes accompanied by others such as fibulae, earrings and bracelets.

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