Necropolis of Piano della Fiera in Butera

The Necropolis of Piano della Fiera in Butera is a vast necropolis divided into four chronologically distinct layers.
Fifteen tombs belong to the first and oldest layer, dating from the 9th to the 6th century BC. These are small rooms with a rectangular plan and a flat vault dug into the rock. Some artifacts belonging to the funeral equipment were found in them, mainly fibulae and jugs decorated with feather or flabella motifs.
The second layer was used from 665 to 500 BC. Numerous tombs and various funerary rituals and typologies belong to this period: deposition of the deceased in a ceramic container, a rite reserved above all for children; cremation, or the burning of the body of the deceased, whose remains are then collected in an amphora or pithos; ingeneration with acephalia, or rather the cremation of the body of the deceased with the exception of the skull which was placed intact, together with the burnt remains and the grave goods, inside the urn. The containers, the pithoi, were simply placed in the ground.
The articulated funerary structure that characterized tomb 138, preserved in situ, belongs to this period. It is a megalithic chamber made up of five large roughly squared stone slabs, with the exception of the southern one where the entrance to the tomb opens, made from local shell-bearing sandstone. The dolmen is incorporated in a rectangular dry stone enclosure. Inside the dolmen various pithoi were found with the ashes, skulls and grave goods.
In the third layer referable to 300 BC, the burials at epitympia predominate , i.e. small funerary monuments with three steps in limestone blocks with a quadrangular plan.
In the fourth layer, chronologically between the 3rd and 2nd century BC, the ritual of enumeration is instead exclusive both within clay sarcophagi and within a rectangular pit dug into the ground and surrounded by stone walls.

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