Beautiful people, today I want to show you a really curious archaeological area located between Buccheri and Giarratana 🙂
The archaeological area in question is Casmene, a former Syracusan colony founded in 644 BC, to militarily control and defend the central eastern area of Sicily from a possible advance of Gela from the West to the East.
The same story was repeated 46 years later, with the foundation of Kamarina on the southeastern coast of the island, in order to protect the coastal area from a possible advance from the West.
The remains of the colony can be identified on Monte Casale, one of the highest reliefs in the province of Ragusa, at 820 meters above sea level, on the so-called Via Selinuntina, the road that connected Syracuse to Selinunte.
The inhabited area is characterized by 38 parallel streets that cut through the entire area of Monte Casale, which suggests that the colony was a collection of different neighborhoods connected to each other. To support this hypothesis of the plurality of districts we can relate to the name of the colony, Kasmenai, expressed in the plural instead of in the singular form.
On a historical level, very little is known about this colony, it is thought that Casmene was allied with Syracuse in 553 BC. in the battle against Kamarina and the Sicilians of Hybla Heraia, which ended with the victory of Syracuse.
With the progressive decadence of Syracuse, the colony – which is thought to have counted up to 5,000 people – slowly began to become depopulated around the 4th century BC. The depopulation of the area allowed the parallel development of the city of Terravecchia over the centuries, the former Giarratana, probably founded around the Arab period and destroyed by the devastating earthquake of 1693.
During the excavation operations, several fragments of spears, daggers and javelins were brought to light, stating the theory that this area was explicitly for military use.
An archaic temple was also found in the area of Monte Casale, most probably dedicated to a warrior god.
Walking around the area of Monte Casale is truly illuminating. You are literally immersed in the ibleo plateau, surrounded by archaeological ruins crossed here and there by herds of cows or wild horses.
The incredible union between nature in the wild and archeology make this a truly unique place, the only possibility of preserving this gem is – in my opinion – exclusion from any type of tourist excursion.
The fact that this site is left in a state of complete abandonment, if on the one hand it leaves a bitter pill to the thought that an area of historical interest cannot be exploited, on the other hand it allows the development of a habitat, having as a dwelling a former Greek colony dating back to the 7th century BC.
… To you
Link to the video, subtitled in English: