Neolithic settlement in Cozzo Gisira - Banco - P. Bonico
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Neolithic settlement in Cozzo Gisira - Banco - P. Bonico


Neolithic village and Neolithic burials; settlement and necropolis from the Early Bronze Age; tholos tomb of the Middle Bronze Age; quarries of the Greek age near the coast; area of ​​discovery of Greek pottery from the end of the 1th - beginning of the XNUMXth century. B.C; basin carved into the rock and two "altars" carved into the rock dated to the metal age. (AXNUMX).


A prehistoric settlement has been identified on the limestone plateau of Gisira, west of Punta Bonico. During an excavation campaign conducted by the Superintendency of Syracuse, remains of prehistoric rock excavations were brought to light and in particular of a system of holes that defines two large rectangular huts with rounded corners (m 5 × 2) . Udi esse presents three holes along the major axis which were to be used for the bearing posts of the roof. In the holes, together with the supporting stones of the poles, fragments of lithic tools (razor blades, cores and splinters of obsidian and flint processing) and clay fragments were found, which allowed to date the settlement to a transition phase between the late Neolithic and early Copper Age. On a plateau, on the slopes of Cozzo Gisira, Orsi had already reported the presence of holes for poles arranged according to an apparently circular layout of some elliptical pits that can be connected to an Ancient Bronze Age village, based on the ceramics and fragments of the castelluccian lithic industry collected on the surface in the area. Some artificial cave tombs, discovered in the rocky crag below, were linked to a small necropolis belonging to the village. Nearby were found the remains of a pithos and a basin bordered by stones, achromatic and black-painted ceramic fragments, and some fragments of a tile, dated to the end of the V-beginning of the IV century. BC It is probable that these materials suggest an occasional frequentation, perhaps linked to a reuse of the prehistoric caves in the Greek age. In subsequent surface surveys, two nearby tombs were located: one from the Ancient Bronze Age with a monumental elevation, the other, a tholos, datable to the Middle Bronze Age, but probably built by modifying a pre-existing Castelluccian tomb; on the southern spur of the plateau, on the edge of the Porcaria valley, two circular platforms saved in the rock have been reported, interpreted as altars 
datable to the metal age. As can be deduced from archive data, recent excavations conducted by the Superintendency of Syracuse, directed by Dr. Basile, at the beginning of the nineties of the last century, have brought to light, in the same area, an Ancient Bronze village and some tombs of the same period excavated in the surrounding rocky peaks. At the top of one of the rocky peaks that emerge from the plateau, an oval basin was identified into which a drainage channel assigned to the modern age converged. In the coastal area, east of the plateau, the Superintendency of Syracuse in the XNUMXs carried out a series of explorations on the rocky bank of Punta Bonico, highlighting discontinuous series of holes, mostly of natural origin, but in some cases enlarged and adapted by man. Their irregular position did not allow to define the perimeters of the huts,
which were supposed to have been moved and rebuilt several times. On the surface were found fragments of stone tools in flint and obsidian (blades, burins, scrapers), millstones and hatchets of basalt, ceramics with impressed and engraved decoration of Stentinellian facies. Not far from the village, al
margin of a recent quarry, were identified and excavated: two oval pit tombs lined with stones, a circular hearth bordered by stones and a pit with the remains of an inhumation, where a millstone was collected to grind the ocher. Near the coastline there are some quarries whose cuts take us back to the Greek age. On the southern edge of the former Arcile fiefdom, clay and lithic materials attributed to ancient bronze have been found. The materials consist of fragments of tools of flint, obsidian, basalt, and fragments of rough impasto pottery. It has been hypothesized that the village was located upstream of the esplanade, where today a citrus grove stands, and that it was in connection with the nearby Castelluccio settlement identified near Cozzo Gisira 

Bibliographic sources

Orsi, 1895a, Various news, “BPI”, XXI, p. 51; Bernabò Brea L., Neolithic settlement and Maltese settlement from the Bronze Age on the island of Ognuna (Syracuse) and the relations between Sicily and Malta from the 1966th to the 55th century. BC, “Kokalos”, XII, 57, pp. 1-1967; Mentesana M., La Gisira, "Historical News of Augusta", 41, 69, pp. 2-1984; Spigo U., Brucoli, Research in c.da Gisira, “Kokalos” XXX-XXXI, II, 85. 866- 68, p. 1992-206; Tusa S., Sicily in prehistory, 290, pp. 293, 15-1987; RussoGianino, The stone age in the territory of Augusta, "Historical news of Augusta", 17, 19, pp.1988-22; Basile B., The Syracusan coastal arch, in Lena G. - Basile B. - Di Stefano G., Landings, ports, coastal settlements and coastlines of south-eastern Sicily from Prehistory to Late Antiquity, "ArchStorSir", s . III, II, 23, pp. 1992-290; Tusa S., Sicily in prehistory. 293, pp. 1992-13; Russo-Gianino, Mediterranean reduced megalithism, New acquisitions on monumental funerary architecture of the early metal age in the south-eastern cusp of Sicily, “ArchStorSir”, s.III, VI, 1996, p.82; Russo I. - Gianino P.-Lanteri R., Augusta and neighboring territories, I, Prehistory, From the upper Paleolithic to pre-colonization, 91, pp. 97-99 and pp. 1997-21,23; Lanteri R., Augusta and its territory, elements for an archaeological map, 26. pp.1999-209; Guidelines 210, n. XNUMX-XNUMX.  

Area of ​​archaeological interest, art. 142 letter m) Legislative Decree 42/04

(Source text of survey form n.16 Landscape Plan of the Province of Syracuse - Archaeological Heritage)

PRESS: Well cataloged but partially geolocated. We invite you to provide your contribution by providing us with useful information that will allow us to geo-locate the listed asset. See also "Cultural Heritage to be Geolocated"

Archaeological Heritage Sheets Landscape Plan of Syracuse

Bibliography and further in-depth documents:

100) FIRST SICILY - AT THE ORIGINS OF SICILIAN SOCIETY - volume first edited by Sebastiano Tusa Palermo 1997.

Ignazio Caloggero: Sicily between History, Myths and Legends. Vol. 1: From Prehistory to the Phoenicians. First edition 2018 - Revised and updated edition of 2022

Ignazio Caloggero:

History of Sicily - 1.2. Paleolithic and Mesolithic:

History of Sicily - 1.2.1: Religious sentiments and burials in the Paleolithic and Mesolithic

History of Sicily - 1.2.2: Art in the Paleolithic and Mesolithic

History of Sicily - 1.2.3: Archaeological sites of the Sicilian Paleolithic and Mesolithic

History of Sicily - 1.3.1: Neolithic and the birth of agriculture in Sicily

History of Sicily - 1.3.2: Religiosity and Burials in the Neolithic Period

History of Sicily - 1.3.3: Art in the Neolithic

History of Sicily - 1.3.4: Neolithic Sites List

History of Sicily - 1.4.1: The development of metallurgy

History of Sicily - 1.4.2: Social and cultural development

History of Sicily - 1.4.3: Burials during the Metal Age

History of Sicily - 1.4.4:  Religious sentiments during the metal age

History of Sicily - 1.4.5:  Art during the metal age
History of Sicily - 1.4.6:  List of sites of the Eneolithic period
History of Sicily - 1.4.7:  List of Bronze Age sites

Card insertion: Ignazio Caloggero

Information contributions: Web, Region of Sicily 

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