Hellenistic and Roman area

Valley of the Temples – Agrigento

The so-called Hellenistic and Roman quarter is a large urban area located in the vicinity of Poggio San Nicola and it estends over 15 thousand square meters. Its grid layout follows the urban pattern of the classical city.

The area is characterized by four cardines (secondary streets) south / north, about five metres wide and 35 m apart from each other, intersecting at right angles with three decumani (main roads), east/ west, 7 m wide. Within this orthogonal road system there are 20 dwelling houses separated, according to Greek tradition, by narrow alleys or ambitus meant to serve as a rapid passage from one block to another for pedestrians.

The houses are of various kinds: some have rooms set around a peristyle, in Hellenistic form, others have an atrium in Italic form, surrounded by by a peristyle or simply by rooms. According to the classical Greek custom, the houses were made of sandstone and not of conglomerate and bricks as you would expect in a Roman building. Many buildings show great care in their construction with traces of stucco and paintings on the walls and, especially, for the presence of mosaic floors, the implementation of which varies from simple pieces in opus signinum or tessellatum of late Republican age to pictorial representations of various types of the first centuries of the empire with an iconography typical of the African tradition.

The Greco-Roman quarter also presents an accurate water system with cisterns, tanks and drainage pipes. In addition to dwellings houses, archaeologists also unearthed tabernae with counters facing the streets: you can even see the place for inserting jars and amphorae.