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Dinamiche insediative nel comprensorio di Cignana. Continuità e discontinuità tra l'età imperiale e l'età bizantina


The aim of this paper is to illustrate the development of rural settlement of Roman age, in the hinterland of Cignana (close to Agrigento, Sicily). In this area were identified an Early Roman age villa and a Late Roman/Byzantine village, partially excavated by the Superintendence of Agrigento. Since 2007 the Dep. of Beni Culturali of University of Palermo has carried out an intensive and systematic archaeological survey around Cignana, where about 200 archaeological sites were identified. Many sites (farms, and perhaps also some villa) were inhabited from late Hellenistic to Late Roman/Byzantine ages, and some have become very large villages; also, many settlements are placed along the principal rivers (Naro and Palma) and streams (Grancifone, Montechiaro), and they could configure a network, even if the function of some of these sites is not clear. The archaeological findings (amphoras, ARS and coarse/cooking wares) document that North Africa (Byzacena, Zeugitana) and Pantelleria island were the principal areas of supply for the hinterland of Cignana, where we also found wares produced in the Eastern Mediterranean. Finally, some sites may be in relationship (diverticula and other secondary routes) with the main roads of South central Sicily.