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H 290 x W 205 mm

272 pages

143 figures (colour throughout)

Published Jul 2023

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803275451

Digital: 9781803275468

DOI 10.32028/9781803275451

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Sicily; Medieval Archaeology; Settlement Patterns; Churches; Byzantine; Islamic; Norman; Excavations; Survey

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Limina/Limites: Archaeologies, histories, islands and borders in the Mediterranean (365-1556) 14

Suburbia and Rural Landscapes in Medieval Sicily

Edited by Angelo Castrorao Barba, Giuseppe Mandalà

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Presents the results of the main ongoing archaeological and historical research focusing on medieval suburbia and rural sites in Sicily. The volume is divided into thematic areas: Urbanscapes, suburbia, hinterlands; Inland and mountainous landscapes; Changes in rural settlement patterns; and Defence and control of the territory.



Introduction – Angelo Castrorao Barba, Giuseppe Mandalà


I - Urbanscapes, Suburbia, Hinterlands

Chapter 1: The Topographical Context of Palermo in the Islamic Age: New Archaeological Research – Stefano Vassallo


Chapter 2: The King’s Hospital in Norman Palermo: San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi in Context – Giuseppe Mandalà, María de los Ángeles Utrero Agudo


Chapter 3: The Process of the Creation and Decline of the Local Religious and Economic Centres of Medieval Sicily: a Case Study of the Santa Maria di Campogrosso Monastery – Sławomir Moździoch, Barbara Szubert, Ewa Moździoch


Chapter 4: A Pattern of Changes in Southern Sicily: Agrigento and its Hinterland between the Byzantine and Norman Periods – Maria Serena Rizzo


II - Inland and Mountainous Landscapes

Chapter 5: Contessa Entellina: Rural vs. Urban Medieval Landscapes in Inner Western Sicily – Alessandro Corretti, Claudio Filippo Mangiaracina


Chapter 6: The Settlement of Contrada Castro (Corleone, Palermo) between the Byzantine and Islamic Periods (7th-11th c. AD) – Angelo Castrorao Barba, Roberto Miccichè, Filippo Pisciotta, Claudia Speciale, Carla Aleo Nero, Pasquale Marino, Giuseppe Bazan


Chapter 7: The Madonie Mountains Area during the Norman Age: from al-Idrīsī to Archaeology – Rosa Maria Cucco


Chapter 8: Water Management, Territorial Organisation and Settlement in Calatafimi (Trapani, Western Sicily) – José María Martín Civantos, Rocco Corselli, Maria Teresa Bonet García


Chapter 9: Late Antique and Early Medieval Settlement Patterns in the Inland Landscape of the Erei Upland (Enna, Central Sicily) – Francesca Valbruzzi


III - Change in Rural Settlement Patterns

Chapter 10: Historical and Archaeological Data for the Ancient Road Network in Western Sicily from the Roman Period to the Norman Age – Aurelio Burgio, Alessandra Canale

Chapter 11: The End of Antiquity and the New Point of Departure in the Medieval Settlement System of Southern and Central Sicily – Johannes Bergemann


Chapter 12: After the Late Roman Villa of Piazza Armerina: the Islamic Settlement and its Pits – Patrizio Pensabene, Paolo Barresi

Chapter 13: Etna’s Northwestern Slopes between Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages – Andrea Maria Gennaro


IV – Defence and Control

Chapter 14: The Making of the Frontier in the 9th Century. Rocchicella di Mineo (CT) and Rural Landscapes in Eastern Sicily – Lucia Arcifa


Chapter 15: Byzantine and Islamic Villages, ‘Rupestrian Settlements’ and Fortifications in Southeastern Sicily: the LAMIS Project – Giuseppe Cacciaguerra

About the Author

Angelo Castrorao Barba is Postdoctoral Researcher (MSCA COFUND PASIFIC 2022-2024) at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology/Centre for Late Antique and Early Medieval Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He is a specialist in rural settlement patterns from the Roman period to Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages in the Mediterranean area, particularly in Sicily. He has directed survey and excavations in Sicily and Andalusia and he has published on several topics, including the archaeology of Late Antique, Byzantine and Islamic Sicily, the end of Roman villas and interdisciplinary approaches on landscape archaeology.


Giuseppe Mandalà is Associate Professor of the History of Islamic Countries at the Università degli studi di Milano ‘La Statale’, where he teaches the cultural history of the Mediterranean. He specializes in intellectual history and the cultural transmission of texts, as well as the study of their processes of production, diffusion, and reception. He has published extensively on medieval transcultural topics, particularly focusing on Sicily and the Mediterranean.