Kaukana: From Late Antique period until today

MircoMannino/ 2 Maggio, 2019/ Province of Ragusa, Santa Croce Camerina/ 0 comments

Beautiful friends, today I bring you to a very special archaeological site, unique in its kind and moreover very close to the coast 🙂
I am talking about Kaukana, a housing complex in the province of Ragusa, dated between the 4th and 5th century AD, belonging to the so-called Late Antique period.

housing structure near the sea

housing structure near the sea

– The Edict of Constantinople of 313 AD which opened the doors of the Roman Empire to Christianity, with the consequent flowering of early Christian art;
– The continuous increase of the barbarian invasions, which progressively put the Western Roman Empire in serious difficulty, with the final fall of 476 AD.

Detail of a housing structure near the sea

Kaukana developed in this period, exploiting the coastal area for commercial traffic with Malta and East Africa, or taking advantage of the viability of the Irminio river to trade with the residential communities of the hinterland.

internal settlement

Internal settlement

With its thirty buildings and the centrally located basilica, Kaukana is one of the few examples of the best preserved Late Antique settlement. This is explained by the fact that most of the buildings have been buried under the sand for years, keeping their walls intact up to the second floor.

Stairs conducing to the second floor


The structure of the village appears at first glance rather disordered, without an actual well-defined and precise housing scheme. The buildings are simply arranged around what could be the centerpiece of the housing community: the basilica, built in the Byzantine period.

Interior of the basilica

Discovered in the 1960s and dated around the 4th century, it is now well preserved, with a three-nave plan and floor mosaics representing animal motifs.



Probably the original idea was to represent the Garden of Eden through animal and floral motifs in a Mosaic key,but with the deterioration of the years and following numerous vandalism, we received some small testimonies regarding the totality of the mosaic floor.


Detail of the mosaic floor


Moreover, behind the apse, following recent excavations, some sarcophagis were found in a radial pattern around the apse.

Detail of a sarcophagus

Kaukana is a really interesting reality to investigate and not at all difficult to reach. The archaeological area is located in the Anticaglie district, between Punta Secca and Marina di Ragusa.
Ideal could therefore be a walk on this site, taking a look at the past and at the crystal clear sea that you have in front of you, leaving aside mass tourism and focusing on something more niche but at the same time perhaps more enriching.

Entire video, subtitled in English:

… To you

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