The territory of Mussomeli, in the middle valley of the Platani, the ancient
Halykos, is rich in watercourses, such as the Salito and the Gallo d'Oro,
tributaries of the Platani, and the Belici and Fiumicello streams, which nave
represented important natural communication routes between the inland areas of
These fluvial routes, as well as the presence of some springs, in antiquity
already created favourable conditions for human settlement, which evolved
without any break from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages.
The first traces of life in the Mussomeli territory, dating from the Neolithic
(6th-5th millennium BC) are made up of ceramic materials and wooden instruments
picked up on the surface in the Caccione, Girafi, Grotte, Corvo, Bragamè,
Centosalme-Chiapperia, Frà Gaetano and Polizzello areas.
Also fairly well represented is the period of the Bronze Age (4th-3th millennium
The most likely places of settlement at that lime would seem to have been the
rocky crags of the Bragamè, Corvo, Dammuso, Tre Fontane-Carlina, Grotte Cangioli,
Edera, Girafi and Polizzello heights, already occupied by more ancient human
The territory appears to have been more populated during the Ancient Bronze Age
(2200-1450 BC), when farmers and shepherds settled there who lived by exploiting
the potential of the soil and occupied the heights near the rivers with their
Remains of settlements with rock necropolises and artificial grotto graves hewn
out in the sides of the rock walls have been identified at Corvo, Bragamè,
Cangioli, Polizzello and Cicuta.
If so far only scattered traces of settlements from the Later and Final Bronze
Ages (13th-9th centuries BC) have been found, the archaeological documentation
becomes clearer in the subsequent Iron Age, when in the territory, which lies in
the heart of the ancient Sikania, small villages arose on more easily defensible
peaks controlling the penetration routes.
The Mount Raffe, Caccione and Dammuso became the seats of the new dwellings
gravitating on the hegemonic centre of the Polizzello mountain.
Situated on a stubby and massive calcareous relief, it emerges in an isolated
position at the centre of a big flat area.
The Piano di Città terrace on the height, which in its name alludes to its
original destination, at that time gave hospitality to the settlement areas
which developed at the foot of a higher plateau, occupied by the fortified
acropolis, accessible from the south-east, while the rock necropolises, with the
chamber tombs, often preceded by a dromos or by an outdoor area for ritual
ceremonies, were placed on the rock walls.
The Polizzello site, also on account of its ceramic and bronze productions, is
suggested as a pole of Sican-Aegean culture, with a social strutture of an urban
type, a culture greatly enlivened by the contribution from overseas and one in
which the craft of the bronze artist went side by side with sheep raising and
other agricultural activity.
Life was to go on even in the heart of the Greek age at Girafi, Bragamè,
Caccione and the Monte Raffe.
The latter, for example, with the remains of a terrace settlement built inside a
fortification wall, used between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, is certainly one
of the indigenous sites that were involved in the phenomenon of Hellenisation.
The Mussomeli territory, which until the 4th century BC lay at the confine of
the area of Gela and Akragas influence, entered the Carthaginian orbit and was
also chosen for settlements which often arose where previous ones had been, in
places well suited to being strongholds. This is the case of Bragamè and Girafi,
in which life went on in the Republican and late ancient periods (1st-4th
Subsequently, the peopling of the territory shows no interruption until the
thirteenth century, when an imposing castle was built there.
SITE ARCHAEOLOGICAL OF CANGIOLI - TOMBS
OF CANGIOLI - COVES IN THE STONE
POLIZZELLO - NECROPOLISES
VASE FROM MOUNT
cove of Chelli, one mysterious
with view and panoramic window
Raffe, with the rests of living to terraces inside
constructed of a wall of fortification, used between the VI° and the IV° century.
to C. it is sure one of the situated aborigines who it was interested from the
phenomenon of the Greek.