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Piazza Armerina
L'area nord dell'insediamento medievale presso la Villa del Casale edited by Carmela Bonanno. Paperback; 203x276mm; 172 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 107 2020. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789694604. Epublication ISBN 9781789694611.
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Archaeological explorations in the area north of the Roman Villa of Casale in Piazza Armerina (Sicily) were carried out in 2013-2014. Investigations on the slopes of Monte Mangone overlooking the villa, and a survey carried out in the immediate surroundings of the hill in the Colla district, provided valuable new evidence regarding the extension of the medieval town. This exansion also impacted the areas east of the villa, and on the still existing road network that connected it to the river Gela-Nociara, in whose immediate vicinity it is now supposed there was a craft district.

The exhaustive archaeological investigations in the area demonstrate that to the north there are no structures relevant to the late antique villa, dating instead to the mid-tenth century; it is therefore an inhabited area of ​​the late Islamic era which is then abandoned and leveled. After a phase of abandonment, during which the area is sporadically used as a burial place, a Norman settlement is built, datable to the mid 11th and mid 12th century.

Sui resti della Villa tardoantica del Casale di Piazza Armerina, tra il X secolo d.C. e gli inizi dell’XI si era impiantato un vasto insediamento islamico che occupava una vasta area anche a sud e a nord della Villa, di cui è stato esplorato un ampio settore con una strada glareata su cui si aprivano le unità residenziali, alcune delle quali presentavano un cortile interno basolato in cui si trovavano anche un focolare e un forno, intorno a cui si dislocavano i vari ambienti e spesso anche una scala per l’accesso al piano superiore o al tetto. Improvvisamente l’abitato venne abbandonato e i suoi resti furono livellati ; mentre a partire dalla metà dell’XI secolo viene costruito un nuovo abitato normanno, in cui si trova un ambiente rettangolare con portico laterale, una torre difensiva sul lato corto e un silos all’esterno per la conservazione delle derrate. Era un quartiere artigianale ceramico sorto sulla riva del vicino torrente Nocciara.

Nei primi decenni del XII secolo forse per un violento terremoto che colpì la Sicilia centro orientale o in seguito alla repressione della rivolta della popolazione islamica da parte di Guglielmo I, l’abitato venne abbandonato, ma la vita in esso continuò fino all’età federiciana.

L’abitato bizantino e medievale si estendeva anche alle colline retrostanti la Villa (Monte Mangone e Colla); in particolare sulla collina di C.da Colla, durante un survay effettuato su una vasta estensione di terreno, sono state raccolte terra sigillata africana e lastrine di rivestimento in marmo pregiato, che hanno fatto ipotizzare la presenza di un esteso insediamento tardo antico sulla collina retrostante a sud della Villa del Casale.


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