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13 October 2008
Bronze Age settlement discovered in Sicily

During a new series of digs at Ustica (a small island situated 52 km north of Sicily, Italy) led by Francesca Spatafora, Director of the Archaeoogical Service of the local Superintendence, a large settlement dating from the Mid Bronze Age (1400-1200 BCE) has been found. The site was built within huge fortifications and semi-circular counterforts and towers, and many of the houses have enclosures made of igneous rocks. The houses are round or rectangular and they are built along various streets about 1 meter wide. This geometric layout of the settlement was very unusual for that time. Also worth noting is the discovery of plenty of pottery, almost intact, inside the houses: several hundreds of vases were left on the floors, probably because of a sudden giant wave that hit the island.
     Among the most interesting finds, a series of earthenware plates with four slices, used as herths, a few andirons, big cups on tall bases with the shape of a trumpet, bowls, buckets, jars used to keep liquids and food, wide baking pans, earthenware pots and also many smaller items - probably toys for kids. Archaeologists also found a small space that could have been used as a metal workshop - evidence comes from many moulds for bronze tools.

Source: Asca (1 October 2008)

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