Motya at the centre of the 'Middle Sea': new insights and new approaches

WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY 18.00–19.30

Lorenzo Nigro (Sapienza)

The island of Motya on the Western tip of Sicily was a central place on Mediterranean sea-routes during the second millennium BCE, as recent excavations by Sapienza University of Rome have demonstrated. Seventeen seasons (2002-2019) provided fresh data completely changing our view of the history of the site, expanding its lifetime back to the second millennium BCE and re-evaluating the role of the autochthonous village preceding the establishment of a Phoenician emporium, then transformed into a port-city and a typical colony of the Phoenicians in the West. The dynamics of entanglement between different cultural components, and the contemporary urban and cultural developments have been thoroughly illustrated by new discoveries, which allow us to re-calibrate our interpretations and questions about the ancient Mediterranean.