Archaeological itineraries: Akrai
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Archaeological itineraries: Akrai

 The Santoni

Rock sculptures. A few meters beyond the current inhabited area of ​​Palazzolo Acreide, taking the old provincial road for Noto on the left we find via dei Santoni. left us "(Bernabò Brea, Akrai)

Summer 

Within the archaeological area of ​​Akrai there is the presence of at least three large quarries: born as stone quarries to extract the material necessary for the construction of the houses and monuments of the city. Once the extraction function ceased, they were used between the XNUMXth and XNUMXst centuries. BC, as places of worship and later, in the Christian-Byzantine era as burial places or places of residence. L'Intagliata: Elliptical in shape and with high walls, it is the largest of the quarries, it was accessed through a door, still clearly visible, placed under the theater. Within this area there are numerous hypogea and arcosolium burials of the Christian age. L'Intagliatella: It has a typical L shape and is also the oldest of the Akrai stone quarries. This latomia is characterized by the succession not always easily legible, at various heights, of votive niches containing "pinakes" (votive tables or paintings), of tombs from various eras, but also of houses from the Byzantine period. The Ferali temples: They are located near the Santoni, just outside the city, along the initial part of the old provincial road that leads to Noto. The walls of the quarry are woven from numerous small hollows or niches that contained votive tables ("pinakes") and at the foot of said hollows votive offerings were allocated for the dead, assumed in the veneration of the living, to the rank of heroes

Temple of Aphrodite

Inside the Akarai archaeological site. An ancient inscription (Kaibel 217) reports the existence in Akrai of three temples: the Aphrodision, the Artemision and the Koreion. The most important of these religious buildings, built around the second half of the sixth century. BC, it was certainly the Aphrodision, as evidenced not only by the position, at the center of the sacral acrense acropolis, but also by the inscriptions found according to which the priest of the temple was also the eponymous magistrate, that is, the one who gave his name to the year. According to the sure reconstruction offered by prof. Bernabò Brea the monument, placed above the theater, was made up of six Doric columns on the front and thirteen on the sides; it had a double colonnade on the front, a back wall in the cell, enriched with elegant decorations: strings of pearls adorned the epistyle, palmettes the triglyphs and spirals the upper strip. It was therefore a medium-sized temple that did not reach the widths of the major Syracusan temples.

Bouleuterion

Inside the Akarai archaeological site. It was found thanks to the passionate work of Judica around 1820 and systematically studied by Bernabò Brea around 1944 The bouleuterion was composed of a koilon, equipped with a small perfectly semicircular orchestra, with western exposure, certainly compressed in a covered quadrangular compartment, with six rows of seats, divided into three wedges thanks to two ladders for a capacity not exceeding one hundred seats. The building must have been at the confluence of public structures functionally connected to it, as the existing remains testify, in any case it is certain that the agora rose near it.

Greek Theatre

Inside the Akarai archaeological site. The age of construction of the theater is uncertain, however, a dating back to the age of Hieron II, around the second half of the III BC, appears plausible. The koilon, brought to light by Judica around 1824, resting on a natural slope and positioned towards the north, is composed of eight ladders, nine wedges and twelve rows of seats, for a total of approximately 6-700 seats.

 

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