Socio-political complexity in Sicilian Early Bronze Age: the case study of Castelluccio (3rd millennium BC)

Castelluccio (Noto, Siracusa, Sicily) is the eponymous site of the Sicilian Early Bronze Age culture. The cultural assemblage found during the excavations, carried out by Paolo Orsi on the necropolis in 1890, has become fundamental for the interpretation of this period of prehistory in Sicily. The exploration guided by Giuseppe Voza in 1992 brought to the discovery of the settlement itself.

The project aims to the publication of the artifacts in order to ascertain the emergence of a socio-political complexity in the native communities. In Castelluccio there certainly was a sort of hierarchical structure comparable to the emerging chiefdoms.

Hut 8 shows such a complex plan a uncommon dimensions to be considered as gathering place with either religious function or purposes related to craftsmanship. Furthermore, the group of the vessels found in Hut 2 suggest a well-structured economic systems based on communal practices. The occurrence of exotic items could indicate the presence of “aggrandizer individuals” who used them to display a superior rank.

MAT funding has been very important, allowing us to carry out the archaeometric analyses, to improve the chronology of the site through a series of radiocarbon datings, to study the bioarchaeological remains and to restore some of the most important artifacts brought to light during the excavations.

Castelluccio (Noto, SR): the pithos after the restoration work (After Crispino 2016)
hut 8
Castelluccio (Noto Siracusa, Sicily) Hut. N. 8 (After Voza 1999)

For further information, please contact Dr Anita Crispino at


Crispino A. (2016) – Castelluccio (Noto). Nuovi dati dall’abitato. Istituto Italiano di preistoria e protostoria notiziario di preistoria e protostoria -4.iii Neolitico ed età dei Metalli Sardegna e Sicilia, 84-86.

Voza G. (1999) – Nel segno dell’antico. Archeologia nel territorio di Siracusa. Palermo: Arnaldo Lombardi Editore.

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