Archaeological Area of Agrigento

Archaeological Area of Agrigento

Founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., Agrigento became one of the leading cities in the Mediterranean world. Its supremacy and pride are demonstrated by the remains of the magnificent Doric temples that dominate the ancient town, much of which still lies intact under today's fields and orchards. Selected excavated areas throw light on the later Hellenistic and Roman town and the burial practices of its early Christian inhabitants.

Zone archéologique d’Agrigente

Colonie grecque fondée au VIe siècle av. J.-C., Agrigente est devenue l'une des principales cités du monde méditerranéen. Les vestiges des magnifiques temples doriques qui dominaient la cité antique, dont une grande partie demeure intacte sous les champs et les vergers d'aujourd'hui, témoignent de sa suprématie et de sa fierté. Une sélection de zones de fouilles apporte des éclaircissements sur la cité hellénistique et romaine et sur les pratiques funéraires de ses habitants paléochrétiens.

منطقة أغريجنتو الأثرية

أغريجنتو هي مستعمرة إغريقية تأسست في القرن السادس ق.م. وأصبحت إحدى المدن الأساسية في العالم المتوسطي. فآثار المعابد الدوريّة التي كانت تشرف على المدينة القديمة والتي ما زال جزء كبير منها سليمًا تحت الحقول والبساتين اليوم، تشهد على تفوقها وفخرها. ويمكن استخلاص إيضاحات من نخبة من مناطق التنقيب حول المدينة الهِلّينية والرومانية وحول الممارسات الجنائزية التي اعتمدها سكانها من المسيحيين الأوائل.

source: UNESCO/ERI

阿克里真托考古区

自公元前6世纪被作为希腊的殖民地以来,阿克里真托便成为地中海地区的重要城市之一。阿克里真托的至高地位和无尚荣耀也体现在主宰这个古城的壮丽的陶立克式庙宇中。直到今天,古城的大部分还完好地躺在农田或果园的地下。对考古区域进行有选择的发掘,有助于了解后来的古希腊和古罗马城市,还有助于了解古基督教居民的殡葬仪式。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Археологические памятники в городе Агридженто

Основанный в VI в. до н.э. как греческая колония, Агридженто стал одним из крупнейших городов в Средиземноморье. О его величии и могуществе можно судить по руинам величественных дорических храмов, которые возвышаются над древним городом, однако многое все еще покоится под современными полями и садами. Выборочные раскопки проливают свет на позднейшие эллинистический и древнеримский периоды развития города, а также на обычаи захоронения в раннехристианский период.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Zona arqueológica de Agrigento

Colonia griega fundada en el siglo VI a.C., Agrigento llegó a ser una de las ciudades más importantes del mundo mediterráneo. Su altanera supremacía la patentizan los restos de los magníficos templos dóricos que dominan la ciudad antigua. Muchos vestigios de la ciudad permanecen aún intactos bajo los campos y huertos de nuestros días. Algunas de las zonas excavadas han arrojado luz sobre la última época de la ciudad helenística, así como sobre la ciudad romana y las prácticas funerarias de los agrigentinos de la época paleocristiana.

source: UNESCO/ERI

アグリジェントの遺跡地域

source: NFUAJ

Archeologisch gebied van Agrigento

Agrigento werd opgericht als Griekse kolonie in de 6e eeuw voor Christus en was een van de meest vooraanstaande steden van de oude mediterrane wereld. Het is in een uitzonderlijk onbeschadigde toestand bewaard gebleven. Haar superioriteit en trots komen tot uiting in de overblijfselen van de prachtige Dorische tempels die de oude stad domineren, waarvan een groot deel nog intact ligt onder huidige velden en boomgaarden. De uitgegraven gebieden werpen een licht op de latere Hellenistische en Romeinse stad en de begrafenisrituelen van haar vroegchristelijke inwoners. De grote rij Dorische zuilen van Agrigento is een van de meest opmerkelijke monumenten van de Griekse kunst en cultuur.

Source: unesco.nl

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Justification for Inscription

The Committee decided to inscribe this site on the basis of criteria (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv), considering that Agrigento was one of the greatest cities of the ancient Mediterranean world, and it has been preserved in an exceptionally intact condition. Its great row of Doric temples is one of the most outstanding monuments of Greek art and culture.

Long Description

Agrigento was one of the greatest cities of the ancient Mediterranean world, and it has been preserved in an exceptionally intact condition. Its great row of Doric temples is one of the most outstanding monuments of Greek art and culture.

According to tradition, the Greek town of Akragas was founded by colonists from Rhodes and Crete coming from the founder colony in Sicily, Gela, around 580 BC. However, excavations have indicated that there was an earlier classic Greek settlement here in the 7th century BC on the flanks of a hill on the coast, which allowed the city to expand and to prosper within a very short time after colonization. During the reign of the tyrant Phalaris (570-555 BC) defensive walls were built to reinforce the natural protection of the difficult topography. The political expansionism of Akragas begun under Phalaris reached its height during the rule of the tyrant Thero (488-473 BC). After defeating the in 480 BC he extended his rule to the northern and eastern coasts of Sicily. The wealth this brought to the city and the resulting cultural are illustrated by the great temples built at this time on the southern extremity of the hill. A democratic regime was established in the later 5th century BC, and the city enjoyed a short period of tranquillity, albeit one of rivalry with Syracuse. This came to a brutal end in 406 BC, when it was besieged and sacked by the Carthaginians. It struggled to regain its former glory, and succeeded briefly under Timoleon, who crushed the Carthaginians in 340 BC and brought in new colonists. However, the city became a prize fought over by Romans and Carthaginians. It first fell into Roman hands in 262 BC, and was definitively incorporated into the Roman Empire in 210 BC. During the last years of the Republic and in the Early Empire, Agrigento benefited from being the only market town still active on the southern coast of Sicily. However, the decline of the Western Empire and the ascendancy of Christianity led to depopulation and impoverishment of the city. From the 7th century AD onwards it shrank in size; the older quarters being abandoned and the remaining population clustering on the hill.

The Valley of the Temples covers most of the built-up part of the ancient city and its public monuments. It is closed by the ridge running parallel to the sea that was assigned the role of a sacred area in antiquity. The area between the acropolis and the temples was laid out in the early 5th century BC on the traditional Hippodamian grid pattern. The sacred area was created in the second half of the 6th century BC, as shown by the early temples at the western end of the ridge. However, the most impressive remains are those of the temples built during the reign of Thero and after to Herakles, Olympian Zeus, Hera Lacinia, Vulcan and Concord. The Temple of Olympian Zeus, only the foundations and main altar of which survive, was one of the largest of all Greek temples, and it has some unusual features. Instead of the more common open peristyle, it was surrounded by a wall varied by immense Doric columns on the outside and pilasters in the interior. The cella is defined by two rows of massive quadrangular pillars instead of internal walls, and was open to the sky. The so-called Temple of Concord is the most impressive surviving Doric temple in the Greek world after the Parthenon in Athens. It has survived to a remarkable degree owing to its having been adapted for use as a church in the 6th century AD. It is built on a four-level stylobate and is surrounded by 34 columns. Built at the same time as the Temple of Concord and in very similar style is the Temple of Hera Lacinia, at the eastern end of the ridge, where remains of the Greek fortifications can still be seen. It was burned by the Carthaginians in 405 BC and traces of the fire are still visible. The Temple of Herakles is earlier than the other Doric temples on the ridge. The two temples dedicated to the Chthonic divinities, Demeter and Persephone, and that to the Dioscuri were begun in the 6th century BC, but rebuilt in 480-460 BC. In addition to these outstanding monuments, there are substantial excavated areas of the residential area of Hellenistic and Roman Agrigento. A number of the houses have well-preserved mosaic pavements. There are also extensive ancient cemeteries on and south of the ridge with tombs and monuments from the pagan and Christian periods. The so-called Tomb of Theron is actually of early Roman date, but its form, that of a small Ionic shrine set on a podium, is Graeco-Asiatic, originating from Asia Minor. Other features of this site are the upper and lower agoras and the complex network of underground aqueducts.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

According to tradition, the Greek town of Akragas was founded by colonists from Rhodes and Crete coming from the founder colony in Sicily, Gela, around 580 BC. However, excavations have indicated that there was an earlier Greek settlement here in the 7th century BC. It is a classic Greek settlement site, on the flanks of a hill on the coast, and this allowed the city to begin to expand from the original acropolis (now occupied by the modem town) and to prosper within a very short time after the 6th century colonization. During the reign of the tyrant Phalaris (570-555 BC) a system of defensive walls was built. to reinforce the natural protection afforded by the difficult topography. It was at this time that the series of so-called Chthonic temples were built on the south-west flank of the Temple hill.

The political expansionism of Akragas begun under Phalaris reached its height during the rule of the tyrant Thero (488-473 BC). After defeating the Carthaginians decisively in 480 BC at Himera he extended his rule to the northern and eastern coasts of Sicily. The wealth that this brought to the city, and the cultural life that this wealth supported, are illustrated by the great temples that were built at this time on the southern extremity of the hill. One of its most notable sons at this time was the philosopher, doctor, and musician, Empedocles.

A democratic regime was established in the later 5th century BC, and the city enjoyed a short period of tranquillity, albeit one of rivalry with Syracuse. This came to a brutal end in 406 BC, when it was besieged and sacked by the Carthaginians. It struggled to regain its former glory, and succeeded briefly under Timoleon, who crushed the Carthaginians in 340 BC and brought in new colonists. However, the city became a prize fought over by Romans and Carthaginians. It first fell into Roman hands in 262 BC, and was definitively incorporated into the Roman Empire in 210 BC.

During the last years of the Republic and in the Early Empire, Agrigento, as it became known, benefited from being the only market town still active on the southern coast of Sicily. However, the decline of the Western Empire and the ascendancy of Christianity led to depopulation and impoverishment of the city.

From the 7th century AD onwards it shrank in size. the older quarters being abandoned and the remaining population clustering on the hill. The reduced settlement was which was successively occupied by the Arabs (who called it Kerkent or Girgent), in 829 and by the Normans (for whom it was Girgenti, the name that it retained until 1927) in 1086.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation