A Hellenized settlement in the Heraian hills W of Syracuse; the ancient name is unknown. The site had strategic importance, for it controlled the pass between the plain of Gela to the S and the valleys of the Caltagirone and Symaithos to the NE. The earliest settlement belongs to the neolithic Stentinello culture and was located on the hill of S. Ippolito, to the NE of the modern city. During the Late Bronze Age Caltagirone was of major importance; a large necropolis of as many as 1500 chamber tombs occupied the slopes of the hill known as La Montagna to the N of town. It belongs to the Pantalica culture (ca. 1250-1000 B.C.); some of the burials are in the form of tholos tombs, suggesting Mycenaean influence, also seen in ceramic shapes. Less is known about the Early Iron Age. Greeks arrived in the early 6th c. and settled on the hill of S. Luigi, under the modern town. Only a few graves have been excavated, mostly of the 5th c. and later; the burial types are Geloan, perhaps indicating Geloan control of the site in the early 5th c. Excellent red-figure pottery of the 4th c. is also known. An archaic stele and most of the pottery from the site are in the fine local museum.
M. Bell, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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