Roksana Chowaniec (University of Warsaw) - Rosa Lanteri and Maria Musumeci (Polo Regionale di Siracusa per i siti e musei archaeologici), The exploitation of landscape and raw materials in the ancient Akrai, in south-eastern Sicily, since its foundation
The presentation will bring the studies to the ancient Akrai, a Greek colony, founded in the interior of Sicily in 664/663 BC, in the part of the Hyblaean Mountains. The town developed while centuries, with an intense architectural boom in the second half of 3rd c. BC. After the fall of Syracuse in 212 BC, town was incorporated into the Roman province and functioned till Late Antiquity. The excavations brought to the light the remains of various phases (also households), showing stages of redevelopment and usage. Particularly Late Antique phases showed changed the previous urban design and function of the residential area, and were solely connected with zone of craft activities rather than habitation. The intensive manufacture and using raw materials is confirmed by a huge amount of different products (sulphur, bone and antler artifacts, iron) and semi–finished products, numbers of tools, small furnaces and lime kiln. But the exploitation of landscape and raw materials begun here much earlier. Already the Syracusan exploration since 1 half of 7th c. BC brought building activity and created a demand for stone, what resulted in two quarries created in the town, later were used for Christian necropoleis. Land was also wrested from the island nature for farming, planting, but also manufacturing (bone-carving, clay-production (?). Thanks to the interdisciplinary studies we are closer to understanding the processes of deforestation or exploitation of raw materials.