A mountain on the
right side of the valley of the river Salso, a few km S
of Caltanissetta. The name is a corruption of the Arabic
name Gebel Habib (Mountain of the Dead), referring
to numerous prehistoric and Greek graves dug into the
rock. An indigenous settlement on the S slope of the
mountain dates to the Chalcolithic period. During the
7th c. B.C. this center came into contact with the Greek
colonists of Gela, who utilized the valley of the Salso
(fl. Himera) as the main route for their commercial and
political penetration toward the interior of Sicily. The
vases, painted with lines and concentric circles, are undoubtedly of Geloan inspiration, but imitation of Corinthian pottery is also present. As in other centers in the
Salso Valley, Greek influence was fully established in
Gibil Gabib during the second half of the 6th c. B.C.
when Attic pottery is predominant, together with terracottas from Gela and Akragas. At the end of the 6th c.
the S slope of the mountain was barred by a fortification
wall, probably indicating that Greek colonists were in
complete possession of the center. The few houses so far
excavated have a simple rectangular plan with two rooms.
The center, abandoned at the end of the 5th c. B.C., was
repopulated in the second half of the 4th c., as part of
the general reconstruction of Sicily sponsored by Timoleon. It was finally abandoned ca. 310 B.C., perhaps after
the war which Agathokles, tyrant of Syracuse, waged
against cities and fortresses of the interior (Diod. Sic.
). The finds from Gibil Gabib are in the museums
of Gela and Caltanissetta.
D. Adamesteanu, NSc
(with previous bibliography); P. Orlandini, Kokalos
(1962) 99ff; id., RendLinc