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SCORNAVACCHE Ragusa province, Sicily.

On a hill rising from the left bank of the Mazzaronello, NW of Chiaramonte Gulfi in the district of Scornavacche, a small Greek settlement, perhaps of Syracusan origin. Founded during the first half of the 6th c. B.C., it was destroyed in 406-405 by Carthaginians who had occupied Akragas. At the time of its reconstruction under Timoleon, the urban center was moved E to an area once occupied by the archaic necropolis, which was thus partly destroyed. The settlement was finally destroyed around 280 B.C., perhaps during the struggles between the Carthaginians and Sicilian Greeks.

No traces remain of the 6th c. urban plan. The 4th-3d c. plan presents a system of parallel streets onto which open rectangular blocks, each containing houses with few rooms arranged around a spacious inner courtyard. Narrow alleys run between blocks. The potters' quarter, comprising numerous kilns, clay deposits, and many molds, was active between the second half of the 4th and the beginning of the 3d c. B.C. The pottery and the numerous figurines made there were exported to neighboring indigenous centers. Among the terracottas is a statuette of Athena Ergane. The most varied influences can be detected in the production of these coroplasts, as attested by the different molds, and in the pottery in Gnathian and red-figure styles. These influences, stemming from Syracuse, Akragas, and South Italy, can be explained by the fact that the site was basically a trade station on the interior route from Syracuse to Selinus through Gela and Akragas. The finds are housed in the Hyblaean Archaeological Museum of Ragusa.


A. Di Vita, “Recenti scoperte archeologiche in Provincia di Ragusa,” ArchStSir 2 (1956) 36-41; id., “La penetrazione siracusana nella Sicilia sudorientale alla luce delle recenti scoperte archeologiche,” Kokalos 2 (1956) 203-4; 4 (1958) 91-99; id., BdA (1959) 347-63.


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