Listed 2 sub titles with search on: Archaeological sites
for destination: "GELA
Archaeological sites (2)
Perseus Building Catalog
Gela, Temple of Athena
Summary: Temple; on the acropolis of the city
Date: ca. 480 B.C.
Some blocks for the underpinning of the cella and one of the columns of the opisthodomos
remain. Also, the foundations of an earlier, archaic temple are visible.
Carol A. Stein, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 5 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Perseus Site Catalog
Periods: Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic
Type: Fortified city
Summary: City of a Greek colony with well preserved city walls.
The site of Gela occupied the top of a low sandy ridge
running parallel and adjacent to the coast just W of the Gela river. The city's
acropolis was at the E end of the ridge and the public and private buildings extended
off to the W. In 338 B.C. the new city of Timoleon was built on a grid plan that
placed houses and public buildings on terraced terrain to the W and encroached
upon the older acropolis area to the E. The rebuilt city was enclosed by new fortification
walls (ca. 4 km in length) which encircled the entire ridge top. The fortification
walls at Gela were built in a standard 4th century B.C. manner. A stone wall of
ca. 3.5 m in height was capped by an additional 2 m high section of mud brick
walling. At Gela the drifting sands made it necessary to twice extend the height
of the mud brick upper section of walls until a total height of over 8 m was reached.
In the 3rd century B.C., when the city was abandoned, the sand drifts continued
to rise until sections of the wall were completely buried. In WW II, naval bombardment
exposed this rare example of ancient military architecture and the remains have
since been excavated and conserved.
Gela, named for the river that runs beside it, was founded
in 689 B.C. by colonists from Rhodes and Crete. Following a difficult struggle
with the native inhabitants, the Greeks began to expand their control into western
Sicily. By 582 B.C. the city was secure enough to establish a colony at Akragas
and to gain political control over much of the western and central portion of
the island. At the end of the 6th century the city had extended its control into
SE Sicily, and, under the rule of Hippocrates (498-491 B.C.) Gela had reached
the peak of its economical and political power. In 480 B.C., under the rule of
Gelon, the city defeated Carthage. Gelon, however, elected to move his seat of
power and many of the Geloans to Syracuse. During the rest of the 5th century
Gela declined in political importance, but it remained a prosperous cultural center.
In 405 B.C. Gela was defeated and the city razed by the Carthaginians. The city
was abandoned until the Corinthian Timoleon rebuilt and repopulated the site in
338 B.C. In 310 B.C. Gela was conquered by Syracuse and was reduced to a military
base occupying only the western part of the ridge top. At ca. 284 B.C. Phintias,
the tyrant of Akragas, destroyed Gela and removed its inhabitants to the new city
he had named after himself. Gela remained deserted until the medieval town of
Terranova was built on the site in the 13th century.
There were some excavations at Gela in 1900 and new excavations
were started in 1948 and continue to the present.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 20 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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