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Stretto District

The site of Stretto District is found in the district of the same name which takes its name from a col which was cut across by the construction of the road to Corleone, in an area where there is a large quarry which was in use until the end of the 1960s.
The healthy climate, the fertile land and the presence of numerous rivers and streams determined the settlements of pre and protohistoric, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab and other dominating populations of Sicily. This is shown by the numerous archaeological finds and the cultural patrimony of the territory.
In Stretto district, the important presence of a system of Neolithic ditches (5570-5400 B.C.) which were dug into the limestone and possibly used for irrigation, have given Partanna the denomination “città della civiltà dei fossati”-“city of the ditch civilization”. In the site, in fact, at least five strips of ditches have been found, one is particularly large and measures 1-1.20m in width and 13 in depth. The enormous dimensions of the ditch, which can be reconstructed to a length of about 46m, through the remains found from the various samples, and the presence in the ditch of ceramics, flints, obsidian, extremely important remains of flora and fauna, layers of ashes and signs of fire, have brought the archaeologists to hypothesise that this was not used for hydraulics but they are inclined to believe that it had a cultural use. The same use has been attributed to a gallery of the same age as the ditches found during the archaeological excavations in 1994, which leads to a pool of water which is still active and is very suggestive to visit also from a naturalistic point of view.
For the singularity of its archaeological credentials, the Stretto has been defined, “Santuario delle acque”-“Sanctuary of the waters”.
The excavations and survey campaigns have also brought to light some caved tombs and also some monumental chambered tombs dating back to the bronze age in which some funerary goods of ceramics and vases of the Partanna-Naro typology, characteristic of other protohistoric villages in the Trapani area, which are now kept in the Museo Archeologico Regionale di Palermo-Regional Archaeological Museum of Palermo.
An important piece of evidence showing the high level of development reached by the inhabitants of the site in the Bronze age, is the finding of a drilled skull which carries the signs of a surgical operation. Studies of the find have, in fact, been able to ascertain that the individual who underwent the drilling continued to live for about another year after the operation. The skull is also conserved in the Antonino Salinas Regional Archaeological Museum of Palermo
Other findings from the neolithic and bronze age are exhibited in the Museum of Basso Belice, in the Grifeo castle.

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