The Cave Necropolis of Pantalica

Detail

Not far from Syracuse (together with which it comprises a UNESCO World Heritage Site), this archaeological site stands on a cliff overlooking the gorges of the River Anapo. As well as being an area rich in history, this is also a remarkable natural oasis: the cool waters of this river are ideal for canyoning enthusiasts! (Discover the itinerary dedicated to Pantalica).

Even before Greek colonisation, south-eastern Sicily was inhabited by various indigenous peoples, from the coastal areas to the rugged mountains. The impressive archaeological remains still visible today and the vast necropolis of artificial caves at Pantalica bear witness to this.

But the first human traces may date back 70,000 years, when a number of Homo Sapiens or even Neanderthal Homo settlements were established.

At this time, the cities of classical Greece were still far from being born, when iron was still unknown and bronze was the great technological innovation.

The origin of Pantalica is rooted in the time of the heroes Homer tells us about in the Iliad and the Odyssey, when it was the Mycenaean people of the legendary Agamemnon who sailed the seas in search of new trading posts.

As we visit the site, we are captivated by the spectacular necropolis, consisting of some 5,000 cave tombs carved into the natural rock, and the Anaktoron (Prince’s Palace), located on top of the hill, which recalls the grandeur of Mycenaean palaces.

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