In a previous article, we recounted how in 409 B.C., Carthaginian troops ravaged the Greek city of Selinunte in Sicily, killing or capturing over 20 thousand residents. A few thousand remained in the city as tributaries to Carthage. Years later, in 250 B.C., the entire population was relocated to Lilybaeum and would never return. Since then, the city’s ruins have remained intact underground, waiting for archaeologists to discover and examine them.

Over the years, the entire city has been unearthed and excavated, consisting of about 2,500 houses, streets, the harbor, and an industrial area producing ceramics. Archaeologists have compared Selinunte to Pompeii due to its high degree of preservation.

Only 15 percent of the city, including the spectacular acropolis and temples, remained visible. Two of the temples were even reconstructed in the mid-20th century after being damaged by an earthquake. Therefore, Selinunte is the only classical Greek city that has been completely preserved.

Photo by New York University

A few days ago, the results and discoveries of the 13th season of international archaeological excavation at the Selinunte Acropolis were presented, carried out by New York University and the University of Milan in collaboration with the Archaeological Park of Western Sicily, as reported by the Italian newspaper ANSA.

Particularly significant were the findings of a votive deposit of perfectly preserved red deer antlers (Cervus Elaphus) and two large horns from an adult bull (Bos Taurus). These remains are the first archaeological evidence of bull sacrifice in Selinunte (unfortunately, no official media has published images of the discovery).

This year’s Selinunte excavations focused on deepening two trenches opened last year along the south side of Temple R and between the west side of Temple R and the south side of Temple C.

Significant results were obtained in the earliest phases when the large urban sanctuary was inhabited and in activities associated with the construction of Temple R and Temple C.

Selinunte’s archaeology is unique in the world, mainly because the entire city ceased to exist as a population center in less than a day. Literally, overnight, it became a ghost town.

  • Share this article:

Discover more from LBV Magazine English Edition

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.