Earth in ancient Sicilian architecture / La terra cruda nelle costruzioni della Sicilia antica

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Sicily’s archaeological heritage is recognised as among the richest in the whole of Italy, and does, in fact, provide important evidence of the employment of earth in the distant past, whereas the employment of earth in more recent architecture is rather unremarkable and, on the whole, of lesser significance when compared to other Italian Regions. Sicily provides a privileged field of observation, especially as it possesses numerous finds, dating back to periods ranging from pre-history to Roman times, and representing various building typologies, ranging from residential constructions and craftwork areas with accompanying fortified outbuildings to religious buildings and burial grounds. When looking at the building structures as a whole, one is struck by the fact that, both in the earliest examples and subsequent development, earth, along with other building materials, plays its part in a mixed technique, ranging from stone to vegetal, the employment of either depending on the extent of their availability on site.The earthen architectural heritage that Sicily has inherited from its rich past has still to be fully explored; there are a vast number of case-studies to be examined that are difficult to identify and scarcely heterogeneous as regards epoch and typology. The knowledge-base is rather fragmentary and scattered among various disciplines, with opportunities for comparison and shared commitment usually quite rare. The main aim of this investigation should be the consolidation of the aspect that is most lacking: knowledge that still to the present day remains fragmentary and un-structured.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth / Lands. Eathern Architecture of Southern Italy / Architetture in terra nell'Italia dellSud
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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