It is well known that in the Greek period the town of Akrai fulfilled political and commercial functions, and protected the access to Syracuse and to the south-eastern part of the island as well. The archaeological evidence which confirms the functioning of Acrae during the time of the roman republic and the roman Empire is limited. To improve the information about the town in these periods, in October 2010 a field survey in the territory of the town of Acrae, between the Anapo, Tellaro and Cassibille rivers was done. This research was aimed at locating new archaeological sites in territorio acrense. The range of the survey became much wider than only the urban and rural territory of Akrai (so called Greek χώρα). A complete survey of this territory should help answer questions related to the chora of Akrai, as well to describe the relations of this ancient town with other settlements in the region. Using the GPS, on the satellite map have been marked a discovered archaeological sites. The pottery and small finds have been registered.
During the survey 48 new archaeological sites were located. New sites were marked on the satellite map of this region with the use of GPS. Preliminary dating of pottery finds allowed to date eleven of them to the 1st c. BC – the 1st c. AD, the next eight to the 1st – the 3rd c. AD and eight to the late roman period. other sites could be dated to the Hellenistic period or to medieval and modern times.
Also in the same survey a many new archaeological sites have been discovered, among them not far from Contrada Granieri-Contrada Olia (Alia)-Contrada Sbriulia, com. Noto, prov. Siracusa, south of Valle Ruglia. The site is located on the southern slope of a hill, descending towards the Tellaro River valley. The nature of the finds and the localisation indicate that the site was a settlement. It may have been a farm, which would hardly come as a surprise given the fertility of the neighbouring land. Also the female terracotta figurine is preserved from the thigh level upwards. The statue portrays a standing female figure. The attributes appear that the terracotta figurine found on this newly discovered site can be interpreted as a representation of the goddess Demeter/Ceres, whose cult was very common in Sicily.
Besides the terracotta figurine of the goddess, the same site yielded numerous fragments of vessels, including a few dozen fragments of amphoras, tableware and kitchenware. Among them the best chronological indicators permitting to determine dating of the context of the find were the toe of an Africana Grande IIB amphora and the rim of a red-gloss vessel ARSW type form 32/58 acc. to J. W. Hayes. The dating of Africana II Grande amphora types is limited to the period from the end of the 2nd century AD to the 4th/5th century AD. The bulk of the pottery from the site in question allows to provisionally set its chronology to the 3rd-4th century AD.
In 2010, the archaeological survey lasted from 01 to 30 of October. The survey was based on the permission of dr Rosa Lanteri, the head of Soprintendenza dei Beni Culturali e Ambientali di Siracusa, for the University of Warsaw. The survey was led by dr Roksana Chowaniec. The survey in 2010 has been possible thanks to the grant of the Rectors of the University of Warsaw, Prof. Katarzyna Chałasińska–Macukow and Prof. Włodzimierz Lengauer.
dr Roksana Chowaniec
Institute of Archaeology
University of Warsaw
Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28
PL 00-927 Warszawa
tel. +48 22 5522827
fax.+48 22 5522801