Caves of Caratabia in Mineo

Caves of Caratabia in Mineo

Davide Mauro - CC4.0


 SP31 - Mineo (CT)

The Caves of Caratabia in Mineo are two environments carved into the rock that present magnificent graffiti belonging to the indigenous culture of the island , that is to the population of Siculi.
The two environments, located on the southern side of the mountain Caratabia, of which the first is double, have a flat and rectangular roof, with a first major room and a second minor room in the first, while a single room in the second. The rooms can be dated to the protohistoric period with possible readjustments in the archaic period.
The graffiti decorations include wild boar and deer hunting scenes with representations of horses and riders , deer and other stylized animals.
In the western room 21 horses are recognizable, all facing right. Their representation is particularly accurate, with the presence even of the mane. The position of the legs highlights the sense of movement. Furthermore, both horses and riders have their heads covered by a helmet, this suggests that a military-type ceremony is represented. On the back wall stands the figure of an isolated horse, a dog chasing a wild boar, and a group of four horses, two mounted by riders and preceded by a small human figure on foot holding a shield. In an older phase, series of mysterious large concentric circles were represented on the walls of the two caves. A second chamber follows this cell.
In the eastern room, deer are depicted in great detail. They too are lined up and with their heads turned, as if something catches their attention.
The most supported hypothesis is that the two caves were initially used as tombs and that, given the presence of graffiti, they were subsequently used as rock sanctuaries. It has also been hypothesized that the rooms could only be tombs, in which case the horse would represent not only a means of transport but also a sign of wealth and power.
The site is currently unattended, the entrance has been torn up and there are engravings that have vandalized some walls.

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