Remains of a
Hellenized indigenous center which developed probably
between the 8th and 4th c. B.C. on Monte Andranone, N
of Sciacca, between Agrigento and Selinus. The mountain,
which dominates the plane of the Carboi and the village
of Sambuca di Sicilia lying at its foot, is inaccessible on
three sides because of steep ravines, and slopes abruptly
on the S.
Recent excavation of the center has begun to clear the
massive fortification wall blocking access to the city along
the S side. The wall was built with large blocks without
mortar and was defended by square towers flanking a
large gate and a flight of steps that led into the city. On
the E terrace, within the walls, a large building with
rooms grouped around a central courtyard has been uncovered; almost certainly these are military barracks connected with the last phase of the city's existence. Remains of the 8th c. B.C. huts and incised sherds of the Polizzello culture have been found under the structure.
Outside the walls excavations have concentrated on a
rich necropolis containing numerous burials in pithoi,
sarcophagi, and chamber tombs. Among the last, the
so-called Tomb of the Queen, already known during the
19th c., is notable especially for its entrance with a false
pointed arch. The funerary gifts range from the 6th to
the 4th c. B.C. and include, besides a few painted local
vessels, numerous Attic black-figure and red-figure vases
of excellent quality as well as Italiote and Sicilian wares.
Bronze objects can be attributed to Greek workshops of
S Italy; among them a large “frying pan” (shallow bowl)
has a handle in the shape of a kouros. These finds are at
present exhibited in the National Museum of Agrigento.
In the 17th c. this site was believed to be Adranon, a city
of W Sicily quite distinct from the Aetnean city of the
same name and mentioned by Diodorus Siculus in connection with some events of the first Punic war. This identification has as yet found no confirmation in present archaeological finds. However, the possibility that the
Hellenistic-Roman quarters were moved farther S cannot
B. De Miro, Kokalos
13 (1967) 180ff.