Sacred Landscapes and Changing Sea Levels: New Interdisciplinary Data from the Early Neolithic to the Present in South-Eastern Sicily

  • Giovanni ScicchitanoEmail author
  • Elena Flavia Castagnino BerlinghieriEmail author
  • Fabrizio Antonioli
  • Cecilia Rita Spampinato
  • Carmelo Monaco
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 20)


Through the analysis of geomorphological processes coupled to archaeological time markers in one selected site – Ognina in south-eastern Sicily – this paper investigates ritual practices and sacred places associated with sea-level change and shoreline locations. The interdisciplinary approach adopted in this research also provides new data on relative sea-level change during the late Holocene, while at the same time bringing together diverse approaches and methods for the analysis of submerged landscapes. It also aims to act as a blueprint for future directions in this specific field.


Sacred Landscapes Ognina Ritual Social Identity Middle Bronze Age Byzantine 



All authors contributed extensively to the work presented in this paper and are jointly responsible for the results and the evaluation of their wider implications. EFCB and GS jointly conceived the study, designed and implemented the simulation model, and prepared the manuscript; EFCB is responsible for the introduction and the archaeological sections, and GS performed and supervised all the geophysical survey operations, produced live imaging experiments, generated the Digital Terrain Models and palaeogeographical reconstructions, and wrote the sections on geology, coastal geomorphology and sea-level change, with input from the other authors. EFCB and GS are jointly responsible for the discussion and conclusions with input from the other authors. FA and CM also gave technical support and conceptual advice. This study was motivated by discussions at the workshops of MOPP-MEDFLOOD (INQUA projects 1203 and 1603P).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Scicchitano
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Elena Flavia Castagnino Berlinghieri
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Fabrizio Antonioli
    • 4
  • Cecilia Rita Spampinato
    • 1
    • 5
  • Carmelo Monaco
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e AmbientaliUniversità di CataniaCataniaItaly
  2. 2.Studio Geologi Associati T.S.T.MisterbiancoItaly
  3. 3.Soprintendenza per i Beni Culturali e Ambientali di SiracusaCataniaItaly
  4. 4.Italian National Agency for New TechnologiesEnergy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA)S. Maria di Galeria, RomeItaly
  5. 5.Portable Lab Geology and Engineering s.r.l – Academic Spinoff University of CataniaCataniaItaly

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