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  • The salts-pans area in Nubia, Trapani
    The salt pan area in Nubia, Trapani
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    Citrons and tangerins at the market in Catania
  • A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A corner of the 18th century village of Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
    The stunning Scala dei Turchi near Realmonte, Agrigento
  • A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
    A colorful wall again in Marzamemi, Syracuse
  • Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area
    Local folklore in the Medieval town of Gangi, Madonie area

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The prehistorical age


At the end of the Paleolithic age, Sicily was showed to have traces of human beings.
A great number of caves which are to be found along the northwest coasts of Sicily in their rock paintings reveal the presence of hunters and gatherers from as early on as the upper Paleolithic period.
The most important one was discovered on the Levanzo island, in the Cala del Genovese cave, dating back to 9230 B.C.. In it there are a lot of graffiti on the rock representing hunting scenes and an elegant ritual which involve human figures.

The finest and most intesting discovery, however, was made in the Addaura cave, opening into sheer space on Monte Pellegrino, near Palermo. Here, there are nine figures dashed on the wall, may be an acrobatic dance or a human sacrifice.

In the middle of the 13th c. A.C. landed the Sicans and an example is the beautiful rocky necropolis of Caltabellotta, and the graves-room over the Platani river valley.

To repel the Sicans out of the island were the new arrivals: those of Elymians, Sicels and Phoenicians.

Erice was the sacred town of the Elymians, named to their God of love. Nothing now remains of the ancient city, unfortunately, except for the circle of walls built to protect the western access. This construction probably dates to the early days of Carthaginian occupation.
But one of the most fascinating places of Sicily that this population has made is Segesta. It was built on an upland and was often in conflict with Selinunte. The most important monument is the theatre which is regarded as the classical example of the transition from the Greek formula to the Roman. At Segesta stands the majestic and truly magnificent Doric Temple whose outstanding artistic quality and stylistic features suggest that it dates from the last 30 years of the 5th century.

In the course of their maritime and commercial expansion throughout the Mediterranean between the 12th and 13th centuries, the Phoenicians must have founded a certain number of coastal bases in Sicily. Only then did they start to fortify certain sites, establishing Mozia, Solunto and Palermo.
The features of Mozia archeological area are the houses of Mosaics and Amphoras. The first one is provided of a big peristyle and of a black and grey mosaic floor representing, a unique example in Sicily, a fight scene among animals .The second one is composed of a single room, where an incredible number of Punic silurus amphoras were discovered. In the archeological museum of Marsala we can find one of the most rare founds of the Sicilian past: a Punic wreck dating to the 3rd c. A.C. and recovered in 1979 in the entrance of the Stagnone gulf.
It is one of the 125 Carthaginian ships sank of the Roman floats during the big battle of Egadi.

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