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27 March 2004
Students to search for lost Sicilian city

College students in Professor Michael Kolb's archeology course this summer face a single assignment - digging through a hilltop for a lost city. In May, the Northern Illinois University professor will lead students to western Sicily (Italy) to search of artifacts of indigenous people.
     Kolb has led student expeditions to Sicily for six years, digging up artifacts from neolithic to medieval times. The past few years he has focused on the city of Salemi, which he believes may have been the site of the lost city of Alicia more than 2,300 years ago. While circumstantial evidence supports Kolb's belief that Salemi was built atop Alicia, he's still looking for a keystone to hold up his theory.
     Alicia was a wealthy and prominent city and it was inhabited by a Sicilian tribe known for its resistance to colonization. Finding Alicia would give archeologists better insight into the native culture of Sicily, Kolb said.
     Students last year helped uncover remnants of two houses dating to the 5th and 6th centuries BCE. The area included a full set of loom weights, which held threads in place on a loom for weaving. This summer the group will return to the site of a sanctuary where previous digs uncovered a rare vessel. Artifacts found during the excavations remain in a local museum, Kolb said.

Source: Daily Herald (25 March 2004)

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