Silver Scylla

The hill-top town of Aidone hosts a world-class archaeological museum containing treasures unearthed at Morgantina, an ancient Greek town down the road a stretch. Morgantina was founded in 850 BC, and over the next 400-600 years the settlement was destroyed and rebuilt until it was finally abandoned in 211 BC. Throughout the centuries, the citizens…

Hail Demeter, Hail Kore

Demeter and Kore-Persephone were fervently venerated in Sicily in ancient times. This exhibit from the Regional Archaeological Museum at Aidone features two acroliths (That is, sculptures that have been constructed of stone, such as marble, and other materials, such as, in this case, iron, and draped with fabric) most likely depicting the mother goddess and…

The Splendid

La Zisa, which is currently open to the public as a museum, had been a residence since the 12th century when it was first constructed. Parts of it still maintain its original Moorish splendor–a good word to use because its name “La Zisa” was derived from the Arab word “al-Aziz,” meaning splendid. Throughout its history,…

She’s Finally Home

At Aidone, finally, is one of the most magnificent statues of a goddess from the ancient Greek era. Dated to be from 410 BC, the figure’s torso was carved using limestone from a quarry near Ragusa and her head and arms from imported Parian marbel. It was produced using a pseudo-acrolithic technique, giving her chiton…

Triskeles

It’s believed that this object (a bowl?) was created by an artisan near Gela in the end of the 7th century BC. Its details recall those found on the Isle of Rhodes. The striking triskeles at the center of the design demonstrates the association of the ancient 3-legged symbol with Sicily. It was found in…

Beautiful Ancient Public Art

The draping robe around the “body” of this sculpture astounded me when I saw it. Its lines and detail are beautiful! From the Museo Archeologico Regionale “Paolo Orsi” in Siracusa, the outstanding nature of this piece exemplifies the splendor and political significance of Siracusa and its surroundings in the era of the 4th century BC….