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INESSA later AITNA, Catania, Sicily.

A Sikel settlement between Catania and Centuripe (Thuc. 6:94.3); it was later occupied by Aitneans who changed its name into Aitna (Strab. Geog. 6.2). The identification with the district Civitli, between Paternò and S. Maria di Licodia, has been suggested by some scholars, but has been disproved by recent excavations in that district. As a result, it has been proposed that Inessa was in the Poira district, on the right bank of the river Simeto, halfway between Paternò and Centuripe; this location would be in agreement with the sources as well as with the Antonine Itinerary and the Peutinger Table, which place the site 19 km from Catania.

In the area one can see remains of ancient walls from houses and fortifications. Recently some rock-cut chainber tombs have been discovered; they are rather irregular in shape and contain material of the 6th and 5th c. B.C., soon to be published.


G. Rizza, “Scavi e ricerche nel territorio di Paternò,” BdA (1954); id., “Paternò, Città siculogreca in contrada Civita. Scoperte fortuite nella necropoh meridionale,” NSc (1954); id., “Scoperta di una città antica sulle rive del Simeto: Etna-Inessa?” La Parola del Passato 69 (1959).


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