Akrai, Sicily

Archaeological site Akrai (Latin Acrae) is localised to the west of the modern town of Palazzolo Acreide, in south-eastern region of Sicily. The site was an excellent lookout point over the entire surrounding region. Such a strategic location suggests that the town played an important role, both political and commercial, and guarded the access to Syracuse to which it was subordinated.
According to Thucydides the town was founded by Syracuse around 663/664 BC. After the Roman conquest, it became a civitas stipendiaria, and was still prospering till the end of the Antiquity.

The results of all of fieldworks was the discovery of a theatre and bouleuterion, open towards the remains of an agora and thesmophorion. At the highest situated area of the city a discovery was made of a Doric peripteral temple, dedicated, most probably, to Aphrodite, built during the 6th century BC and in use for an unknown period.
Worthy of special interest are quarries, known as Intagliata and Intagliatella, source of stone for construction, which during the late antique period were used for a necropolis.

Since 2009 the University of Warsaw, in cooperation with Polo Regionale di Siracusa per i siti e i musei archeologici in Syracuse, began first step of research in Palazzolo Acreide. Non invasive investigations: geodetic measurements, geophysics, aerial photography were the first stage of studies. During the survey in the vicinity of town, using the GPS, on the satellite map have been marked a discovered new archaeological sites.

Since  2011 till now the regular archaeological excavations are carried out. Archaeologists discovered the remains of Greco-Roman houses and Late Antique area with domestic craft activities.

Currently, international team of archaeologists is elaborating the findings that include: coins, different types of pottery, glass, metal and stone objects. Multidisciplinary researches engage archaeometric, lipid, petrographic, and isotopic analyses. All the results are published regularly in international journals and in the form of monographs.

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