Archaeological Park of Cava d'Ispica
Cava Ispica is a narrow river valley that extends for 13 km on the Hyblean plateau, between the cities of Modica and Ispica. The valley, immersed in the typical vegetation of the Mediterranean scrub, holds prehistoric necropolises, Christian catacombs, rock oratories, monastic hermitages and settlements of various types that have followed one another uninterruptedly from the Ancient Bronze Age to the 14th century.
In the Archaeological Park it is possible to distinguish two areas: Cava d'Ispica Nord and the Park Forza.
In the Cava d'Ispica Nord there are: the Paleochristian Catacomb of Larderia , one of the most important and monumental burial complexes, made up of 464 burials and dated between the end of the third century AD. C. and the 5th century AD. C .; the Hellenistic Gymnasium which looks like a large assembly hall; the Rock Church of Santa Maria, a rupestrian oratory that holds in its bowels a prehistoric necropolis, dating back to the 11th century BC. C., paleochristian catacombs of the 4th century AD. C. and rock dwellings of the XII-XIII century AD. C .; the cave dwelling complex of the Fallen Caves, consisting of several floors carved into the rock; the Spezieria, a rupestrian church located on a rocky spur, also known as the "pharmacy" as the main room consists of a large circular room with grooves along the walls. This structure has suggested that this place was used as a pharmacy in the Middle Ages; the Finocchiara , an early Christian catacomb with Greek inscriptions on the walls, private hypogeum of the Gens Antonia.
The Parco Forza is located in the place of the ancient medieval citadel di Spaccaforno , ancient name of the city of Ispica. The archaeological site presents a continuous series of testimonies of the various cultures that have taken place in the area starting from the prehistoric one, passing through the archaic, Byzantine-medieval one, up to the Renaissance one. Inside the area there are: the remains of the Palazzo Marchionale consisting of numerous paved rooms and defense works; some residual elements of the Church of the Annunciation, near the building; the "Centoscale" that is a tunnel dug into the rock that goes down over 50 meters below the river level with 280 steps; the “Stable”, with a manger and a drainage system dug into the rock; a cave used as an Antiquarium which houses finds from the investigations carried out on the site.
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