The Upper Simeto Valley Project (Sicily): an Inside-out View of a Rediscovered Landscape
A research project of the Department of Archaeology.
Sicily is widely studied in terms of a series of successive invasions (Greek, Roman, Arab, etc), in other words from the ‘outside in’. Consequently, much archaeological fieldwork has concentrated on the coastal plains in the hinterlands of colonial settlements. This project, directed by Dr. Anna Leone and Dr. Rob Witcher, aims to approach the Sicilian landscape and its connectivity with the wider Mediterranean world from the ‘inside out’.
Fieldwork focuses on the three comuni of Bronte, Maletto and Maniace on the north-western (inland) flank of Mount Etna. The first season was completed in summer 2006. Here, the archaeological evidence for the prehistoric and Medieval periods is comparatively well-studied, but much less is known about the Greek, Roman, Late Antique and Early Medieval periods. The project is using field survey to establish the character of settlement and material culture of these periods. Some key themes we are exploring include the nature of relationships with coastal communities and colonial powers across time and the risks and opportunities of living alongside an active volcano.
- Leone,A., Witcher, R., Privitera, F. & Spigo, U. (2007). The Upper Simeto Valley Poject. An interim report of the first season. In Understanding Upland Landscapes: Interdisciplinary Investigations of Sicily. Fitzjohn, M. London: Accordia Research Institute.