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Field Survey at Heraclea Minoa (Agrigento), Sicily

R. J. A. Wilson and A. Leonard, Jr.
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 7, No. 2 (Summer, 1980), pp. 219-239
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/529760
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/529760
Page Count: 21
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Field Survey at Heraclea Minoa (Agrigento), Sicily
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Abstract

Heraclea Minoa was founded in the mid-6th century B.C. by Selinunte in order to check the growing expansion of neighboring Agrigento. Excavations carried out at Heraclea Minoa by Professor E. De Miro have revealed the remains of an important city that eventually ceased to exist sometime towards the end of the 1st century B.C. In spite of our knowledge of the history of the city itself, the relationship between Heraclea Minoa and its fertile hinterland has never been studied. In order to clarify this situation a joint program of surface exploration was initiated in August, 1977, by investigators from Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland), and the University of Missouri-Columbia (U.S.A.). Results of this preliminary season were most encouraging. Several prehistoric sites were located, as well as a hitherto unrecorded Greek necropolis, probably of late Archaic or early Classical date. It appears that it was only in the Hellenistic period that farms were settled in the countryside and suburban sites grew up below the city defenses. A large late Roman villa and attendant burial ground were also studied as well as medieval and post-medieval material. The survey work has thus begun to clarify both the relationship of the Greek city with its hinterland and the changes in settlement pattern that took place after Heraclea Minoa was abandoned.

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