previous next

MONTE SARACENO (“Kakyron”) Sicily.

A fortified center ca. 20 km N of Licata on the right shore of the Salso river (fl. Himera). It seems to have been in existence from the end of the 7th to the end of the 4th c. B.C. Excavations have brought to light a stretch of the E wall, with small towers added at the time of Agathokles. Within these towers were built reused architectural elements in stone with painted decoration, a few altars with similar decoration, and blocks with late archaic inscriptions. These items probably belonged originally to a sanctuary on a hill outside the walls, which still preserves the foundations of a rectangular shrine (8 x 14 m). This small temple, originally decorated with archaic terracotta revetments, was probably rebuilt during the second half of the 4th c. B.C. with the architectural elements which, a few decades later, were re-employed in the fortification towers. The votive deposit of the sanctuary has yielded pottery, terracotta figurines, and bronzes dating from the beginning of the 6th to the end of the 4th c. B.C. The foundations of three more sacred buildings of the archaic period have been recently identified on the mountain top plateau.

The total absence of local wares and the typical Geloan-Agrigentine form of the architectural terracottas, of some of the pottery, and of figurines and inscriptions, show that this center was a Greek sub-colony, founded as a consequence of the penetration of Geloan and Agrigentine colonists into the Salso valley from the second half of the 7th c. B.C. This center was destroyed by the Carthaginians in 311 B.C. after they had defeated Agathokles' army in the battle of the Eknomos at the mouth of the river Salso (Diod. 19.110).

This site should perhaps be identified with ancient Kakyron, the city which Ptolemy (3.4.6) locates to the NW of Phintias (modern Licata) and, between 463 and 461 B.C., the refuge of the Syracusan mercenaries who fled to Geloan-Agrigentine territory after the fall of the Deinomenids (Oxyrh. Pap. 4.665, lines 1-7). The archaeological material from the site is in museums in Palermo, Gela, and Agrigento.


P. Marconi, NSc (1928) 499ff; (1930) 411ff; P. Mingazzini, MonAnt 36 (1938) cols. 621ff; D. Adamesteanu, ArchCl 8 (1956) 121ff; P. Orlandini, Kokalos 8 (1962) 96ff.


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: