Celone Quarry in Ragusa


Celone Quarry in Ragusa

 SP10 - Ragusa (RG)

Cava Celone is an archaeological site made up of an archeologically very interesting hypogeum immersed in the typical landscape of the Hyblaean quarries.
Cava Celone is located north-west of Ragusa, it is about two kilometers long and is crossed entirely by a path, partly carved into the rock, which is an ancient communication route between the city and this part of the plateau.
From the clearing in front of Casa Celone, a a short path leads to the “scalazza”, the access road to the quarry. In the archaeological area there are oven and chamber tombs, catacombs from the early Christian period and the important rock church of Santu Liu, probably from the Byzantine period, dug into the rock and dedicated to Sant'Elia.
The largest catacomb of Cava Celone is an irregularly developed burial underground in which three main galleries are arranged parallel and facing the entrance. The three galleries branch off from a larger room next to the entrance which in the center housed a canopy that has now disappeared. It is believed that initially a single room for private use was planned, to which the galleries were later added that would denote a public conversion of the catacomb following an increase in the population. Following the excavations carried out, significant finds were found that were part of the various kits, in particular coins and ceramics that would date the use between the 4th and 5th centuries AD, a period prior to the arrival of the Byzantines. Of particular value is a clay oil lamp found in the area. This presents a bas-relief depicting a naked woman possibly referable to the goddess Venus and indicates how pagan worship was still widespread in the hinterland.
There is a comfortable walkway to visit the hypogeum.
Inside the quarry of particular interest are the terraces made with dry stone walls, to support the topsoil to be cultivated and the relative channels that wisely exploited the natural slopes to irrigate the terraces themselves and the "bottini" of captation convey the spring waters to the aqueduct.

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