Day 10, 11, 12, Agrigento

October 15, 2019

Agrigento is famous for its “Valley of the Temples.” Here is a link to Google maps:

https://maps.app.goo.gl/Gangh7RWCUeih5Qf9

The Greek name of the city was Akragas and was founded by the Greeks around 580 BC. Experts have estimated the city had a population in the range of 200,000 to 800,000 around 400 BC. Temples were constructed along the city wall and they were large enough to be seen by ancient mariners in the Mediterranean Sea. More history can be found in the link below.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrigento

This is a natural rock outcropping incorporated into the City’s defensive wall system. Note the abandoned crypts. They were carved out well after the City was sacked. It is hard to grasp the centuries of history when standing in front these things.
Current archeologic digs are in the foreground. They recently discoved a well which they are excavating inch by inch. They were on their hands and knees with brushes and scraping tools.. This bulding is called the Concordia.

The Concordia above, is a Greek temple built around 440 BC. Concordia is a Roman name, not Greek. It is unknown what the Greeks called this temple. In the 6th century AD it was converted into a Christian church. Walls to its original configuration. The fact that it was converted to a church is what saved the temple from being deconstructed and the materials used elsewhere. It was common practice to “quarry” blocks from ancient sites. For more detailed information see the link below:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Concordia,_Agrigento

There are several ruins of temples in this area along the ancient city wall.

An ancient road with ruts from ancient carts in the limestone.
Some of the white plaster is still visible. These glimmering white temples must have been something to see in ancient times. It is important not to forget none of this could be built without slave labor.
The City of Agrigento in the background.
Abandoned crypts.
The Temple of Zeus
One of the giants for fhe Temple of Zeus.
The olive tree is only 800 years old. The dogs sure liked the shade.
A rendering of what the ancient Greek city looked liked in its glory days.

The temperature was in the mid 80s with humidity. I could have used a little of that snow from last month in the Dolomites. The sun was very harsh. I brought my long sleeve sun shirt and hat. Many people I saw were getting severely sun burned.

The museum, Museo Archeologico Regionale Pietro Griffo, contains artifacts excavated from area around the “Valley of the Temples.” Thankfully it was air conditioned.

A fragnent of painted rock from the temple of Zeus
Most of the artifacts came from excavated crypts.
The Temple of Zeus.
Note the little men.
Not so little.
People are funny.
An early symbol of Sicilia. No Medusa on this one.
500 BC. Experts are not sure whether this was a portrait of a young woman or an icon of a goddess.

Well, it happened again. I felt a little tugging on my pocket…

The house cat at the B&B wanted attention. That look. “Can’t you speak Italian?”