Archaeotourism in Pantelleria
Putting away the costumes (although an out-of-season swim at these latitudes is not so unusual...), autumn in Pantelleria offers many experiences to live. Between history and nature, an archaeological itinerary not to be missed is the one set up this summer with the official establishment of the park, including the Acropolis of San Marco and Santa Teresa, the prehistoric site of Mursia and that of Sesi, the late ancient village of Scauri Scalo and the temple of Venus near the lake. An enchanting and suggestive tour, a testament to Pantelleria's thousand-year-old history, between myth and actual events. Let's see in detail the places, following the traces of a distant past yet to be discovered.
The village of Mursia and the necropolis of Sesi
Located in the northwestern area of Pantelleria, the village of Mursia dates back to the Bronze Age (a period when obsidian was of fundamental importance) and represents one of the best-preserved archaeological complexes in the Mediterranean. Of great impact is the impressive enclosing wall that surrounds the necropolis made up of the Sesi (in dialect "stone mounds"), cone-shaped funerary constructions similar to the nuraghi in Sardinia, some of which are still perfectly intact and accessible today.
The Acropolis of San Marco and Santa Teresa
The acropolis is composed of two hills hosting numerous remains from the 3rd century BC, and a flat saddle, where excavations have brought to light many elements that suggest the presence of a Roman forum. The most important find is represented by the so-called imperial heads: those of Julius Caesar, of Antonia Minor (mother of the Emperor Claudius) and that of the Emperor Titus. Today, these splendid marble specimens, practically intact, tour museums around the world, occasionally stopping in Pantelleria.
The village of Scauri
Scauri has always been one of the most important stops in Pantelleria and one of the nerve centres of the island's activities: testimony to this is the late Roman settlement dating back to the 5th century AD, including the remains of a large village and a necropolis. For those who also want to try their hand at underwater archaeology, in the bay in front of the port there is a wreck dating back to the same period, which presumably carried pottery and ceramics, as shown by the remains located around the vessel.
The Temple of Venus
On the shores of Lake Venus lie the remains of a sanctuary, probably from the late Punic or Roman period, with several layers: an Ionic temple built on the foundations of a previous Punic structure, of which it uses some architectural elements. A place steeped in legend, dedicated to the fertility of the waters and therefore to the Punic goddess Tanit, corresponding to the Roman Venus.
Other Archaeological Sites of Pantelleria
These sites are just some of the places in Pantelleria where history and archaeology enthusiasts will find materials to admire and study: in fact, on the island there are other testimonies of the many peoples who have inhabited or passed through the Pearl of the Mediterranean, a crossroads of travels and commerce. Examples include the Byzantine tombs in the Zighid district and in the Giubbiuna area, in the Piana Ghirlanda zone, or the underwater artifacts in front of Cala Gadir.