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By T. ASHBY, D.Litt.
In connection with the investigations into the prehistoric archaeology of the Western Mediterranean, now being carried on by the British School at Rome, a visit to Lampedusa and Linosa seemed to me to be of especial importance. Pantelleria had been already thoroughly explored by Professor Orsi and Dr. Albert Mayr, and had given very interesting results;* for it had been shown that the prehistoric population was a branch of that race which came from North Africa (which is easily visible from Pantelleria) to Sicily, but that, remaining isolated, it had developed but little, and never emerged beyond the neolithic civilisation. Their characteristic tombs, the Sesi, find no exact parallels elsewhere in the Mediterranean : and as Mackenzie has pointed out, Orsi's comparison of them with the Nuraghi of Sardinia is misleading; what they really most closely resemble is the mound tombs of France**. The prehistoric monuments of Malta, belonging also to the neolithic period, are of an entirely different character to those of Pantelleria; tombs are indeed conspicuous by their almost entire absence***, and so are the objects found in them, though the first inhabitants of Malta, as of Pantelleria, came in all probability from Africa. It seemed, therefore, of especial interest and importance to ascertain what was to be found in Lampedusa and Linosa ; whether they were inhabited in prehistoric times, and if so, what was the nature and what were the affinities of the civilisation then existing. Remains of later periods were also to be expected; * Mon. Lincei, IX (1899), 193 sqq. ; Rom. Mitt. XIII (1898), 367 sqq. ** The Tombs of the Giants and the Nuraghi of Sardinia in their West-European Relations, 25 sqq. ; reprinted from Memnon II, part 3. ***The first prehistoric tomb which has been recorded in Malta is that described by Dr. T. Zammit in the Times of December 13th, 1910. The hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni was an immense ossuary. See Liverpool Annals, III (1910), 1 sqq. MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.COM by Diego Ratti, 2011 2

who states in the passage cited last. The rock is calcareous. in which surface exploration was alone attempted.3. my very best thanks are due. Several classical geographers mention it.8. that it is fifty miles N. visit. intend to attempt. in the company of the Hon. being situated on the edge of the submarine platform which extends along the east coast of Tunis.W. is 436 feet (133 metres) above sea-level. though not hurried. and was until recent years covered with scrub in many places.W. p. Fisher. but neither island had ever been archaeologically explored. Professor T.).MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. T. or Lopadusa (H. and Mr.M.S.. where all were so helpful. S. H. Ptolemy (iv. I think I may say that we obtained as much information as we could have done in the course of a brief.O. E. the largest of the group. Assistant Secretary to the Government of Malta.12. extremity. Strabo (XVII. Excavation we did not. from which (at Mahadia) it is 90 miles distant eastwards.* especially in the western half of the island. was good enough to place a destroyer.COM by Diego Ratti. which was in the early nineteenth century separated from the cultivated eastern part by a wall built by Fernandez (see below). Student of the School. Peet. in Roman times. D. E.' at our disposal for the purpose. I therefore determined to proceed there if possible. Sir Assheton Curzon-Howe.92. Percy Wyndham. which obliged him to remain on board his ship at anchor outside Lampedusa harbour for the greater part of our stay there (June 10-12) . The greatest length of the island is about seven miles. would seem almost unnecessary.E. but is now almost entirely bare : and the soil is fertile in the valleys. and Pliny as Lepadusa. of Cercina (really about ninety English miles N. Mr. 3. 834) speaks of it under the name of . and MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. Associate {honoris causa) of the School. of Girgenti in Sicily (the capital of the province under the administration of which it is placed). and do not. ' Banshee. its greatest breadth is about two. As a result of these exceptionally favourable circumstances. P. v. at the N. for the harbour. Zammit. during my visit to Malta. The late Admiral The Hon. Lampedusa The island of Lampedusa. or at least visited. But I cannot abstain from thanking these gentlemen warmly for the cordial kindness and hospitality with which we were received : to name individuals. needs dredging (which is now in progress) before it will comfortably hold a ship of the length of a destroyer. and its highest point. and as a result the Prefect of the Province of Girgenti was requested to instruct the municipal and other authorities of Lampedusa and Linosa to do all in their power to facilitate our researches. then Admiral-Superintendent at Malta. 661 Mull. 1909.' who was kindness and patience itself during a spell of windy weather. p. that we leave to our Italian colleagues. is situated about 112 miles S. N. as also to Lieutenant and Commander Noble of the ' Banshee.S.41). at that time Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet. Councillor of His Majesty's Embassy in Rome. and six miles in length. but belongs geologically to the African continent. though a good one for small craft.COM From the accounts already accessible. iii. 2011 3 .) mentions it as an island off Africa. was good enough to approach the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on my behalf. and to him and to Rear-Adniiral Sir Frederick W. both islands had been inhabited. 7. Curator of the Museum. Roupell. Lipadusa. and was fortunate enough to be able to do so in June.S. 16.

on account. the islet between Malta and Gozo. + These statements are taken from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2011 4 . uses a form of the name far more closely akin to the modern. 1816). with Lampas. but they were expelled from it in 813 by Gregorius.* This official was. s. It was seized by the Saracens. Paris. ** Bres. 1732. ++ In 1760+ some French settlers established themselves here under the protection of the Bali de Boccaye. Malta Antiea lllustrata (Rome. 57. found here two hermits. The Turkish firman was necessary inasmuch as these islands. p. which exist near the castle (infra. Rosina and Clelia. so that replanting would be difficult. lost several ships and 1. L'Isola di Lampedusa eretta a colonia. whom they married. *These statements are taken from Sanvisente. the Byzantine admiral. 105 sqq.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. Bouillet. wrongly identifies Comino.* but it was never inhabited. Scylax. M. with disastrous results . with permission to build a tower under baronial jurisdiction. who mentions the wild olive as especially widespread. MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. being Bailli of the Auberge de France. In 1551. 497. the only survivors of a vessel wrecked on the island. 21). to whom was granted by Charles II of Spain the title of Prince of Lampedusa.v. the scene of the landing of Roger of Sicily. though judicially considered (in this instance. Roudanovsky informs me. who was his valet. from which indeed the latter must be derived: ** * See the description of Sanvisente. though it became the home of several legends : it was the Lipadosa of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso.COM by Diego Ratti. p. of Palermo. p. according to Smyth.v. ++See also Moreri. on the other hand (111). 73. and of his conversion by the hermit . as was usually done at that period. IV. but especially to the wooded parts of Normandy and at Poitou. 1849. #Bocage is a name applied to several districts in France (meaning imply wood.COM Stephanus of Byzantium as lying off Thapsus : both use the same form as Strabo which Athenaeus (I p. Vol. head of the French Knights of St. and there is now very little soil left. Baron of Montechiaro. quoted p. who was resident at Malta. at least) to be under the Knights of Malta. 30D) explains as derived from (limpets). Sinibaldo and Guido. p. Diet. it is said. In 1436 it was given by Alfonso of Aragon to Don Giovanni de Caro.* In 1737+ the Earl of Sandwich found only one inhabitant. with a firman from the Turkish Government.** and there is a Sicilian legend cited by Smyth. John. and retaining the name (Bocage#) of the district in France in which he had previously been resident. Grand Dictionnaire Hittorique. who had set out from Messina to provision the garrison of Mahadia.* In 1667 it was acquired by Ferdinando Tommasi. that two ladies of Palermo. s. ninth edition. Andrea Doria.* In 1553 the corsair Dragut is said to have carried off 1. 27 below. of the horrible spectres that haunted it. might always be exposed to Turkish attacks.000 men off Lampedusa. Universel d'Historie et de Giographie. Apparently the first convicts were allowed to cut wood freely. That it was inhabited in Roman times is certain from the remains of a building in opus reticulatum. Naples.* During the Middle Ages nothing is known of it p.000 of the population as slaves.

COM The consent of the Prince of Lampedusa does not seem to have been asked or obtained. as was the case in Sardinia. He found the family of Mr. and a detailed map. the island was visited by Captain W.) a facsimile of an inscription in Gothic characters. and hut foundations were noticed at several points in the island : see the map. Assistant Archivist of the Government Archives in Valletta. In 1783 several individuals were afflicted with plague from Africa. The castle. the rights of the Gatt family having already lapsed owing to non-payment of rent. with slight corrections. and established there a colony of three hundred persons. 1-113) with chapters on the physical geography.* In 1814-16. or tower [despite Sanvisente's objections. Smyth for the formation of the Admiralty Chart. Some descendants of the Maltese inhabitants still live in the island. it seems to have been more thickly populated then than at any subsequent epoch.' In 1849.* There is a stone still to be seen near the so-called Grotta della Regina. and copied in 1610. meteorology. there. bearing the inscription ‘qui trovasi un cadavere morto di peste in Giugno 1784’ and I saw a similar inscription. Plate II. although they no longer speak Maltese. is still retained. Salvatore Gatt sub-let a portion of this to Alessandro Fernandez. “L’ isola di Lampedusa eretta a colonia”. Cremona. which he saw on the upper part of the facade of an old castle. MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. was re-constructed at this period. and in 1810. Cavaliere B. and describes it elaborately (pp. of whom some proceeded to Malta. Sanvisente. Fernandez in almost deserted solitude in a house near the great cave. and the British Government thought of doing the same. as Abela says. the island was formally taken possession of by the Sicilian authorities. Twenty-four Maltese still remained. which must. who hoped to develop it commercially. he returned to Palermo in 1784.* It is the only work dealing in detail with Lampedusa. The colony was a colony of free men : it was only later that a penal settlement was added to it. Scale. of Trapani. which is adapted from the Italian Staff Map (Fol. In 1800 a certain amount of land was let by the Princess of Lampedusa to the Maltese family of Gatt. Indeed. who had established the colony and had been Governor of the island since its foundation. I am informed by Mr. 2011 5 . 1647) p. At the end is a short notice of Linosa and Lampione. geology. 247 sqq. 265 II. He gives a brief account of it in his Sicily and its islands (London.## have been of much older origin.COM by Diego Ratti. Ferdinand II having ordered the establishment of a colony there. We were successful in finding indisputable evidence that Lampedusa was inhabited in prehistoric times. It runs as follows : ' Bartolomeus de Marsara [Marsala'] dictu Jan Crassu mt fecci fare ani prima indictio. Catherine II of Russia proposed to purchase it as a Russian naval station. 1824. in the garden of the Castello. others to Sfax.000). I think he must be referring to the castle at the harbour]. a captain in the Neapolitan Navy.). on the Tunisian coast. 1-50. or to the connection of the Gatt or Fernandez families with it. and twelve or fourteen Maltese peasants in the various caves. H.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. published at Naples the work to which allusion has already been made. that he knows of no documents relating to Lampedusa. had Napoleon succeeded in seizing Malta. flora and fauna of the island. the plate engraved after his drawings. with the last letters in each line missing. ## He gives (Descrittione di Malta (Malta. In 1843. and the Sicilian Government sent the doctor Antonio Corsi. 285 sqq.

The first remains observed were to the west of the Casa Garito. Descrizione dell ' Isola di Lampedusa. and that he had destroyed ' a circular house ' to reach it. which had the appearance of later boundary walls. Further down towards the coast were several walls of smaller stones. Then.W. which takes place just west of the boundary wall crossing the island from north to south. 1851. of the Casa Sanguedolce (I cannot give the point exactly). we noticed no other remains of the kind until after its junction with the northern path. Palermo.COM by Diego Ratti. running east and west. 2011 6 . Calcara. Palermo. The farmer told us that there was pottery about one metre below the surface. which is shown in Sanvisente' s map as the ' old wall ' (Muro vecchio). 1847. 32) and fragments of others. some fragments of prehistoric pottery and of obsidian. MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. and some sea-shells. * I have not been able to consult P. PLATE II. Further west were similar lines of stones of uncertain character. none of them more than two or three feet long or broad.COM The day after our arrival (June 11th) was devoted to an excursion to the western extremity of the island. and the rough pottery found among them was not prehistoric. in a field to the S. Here we could trace a portion of a single curving line of stones. p.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. we saw on the surface a good specimen of a small oval rubber of porous lava (infra. Descrizione dell ' Tsola di Linoza. note 1. Stamperia Pagano. p. cited by Calcara. Following the southernmost of the two paths. 8.


oval in shape. and overlooking the valley through which the path to the modern town runs. above this.but they were otherwise unworked. in a rudimentary form. in the Contrada Camposanto Vecchio (so we were told. measuring about 9 metres from east to west. 38). as in the nuraghe town at Serucci. near the property of Francesco Famolaro. with the commencement of the ashlar masonry. was. we came across quite a large group of hut circles. Ausonia III (1908). over the vault is a mound of earth. composed of five stones. The largest stone noticed measured 0'95 metre high. were found on the site.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. though the depth of soil is insignificant. measured some four metres by three. and one diameter of 3*30 metres. and upon that a thatched roof. The first traces of huts we saw were in the district known as Sopra Imbriacole.ments of a few of them may be noted . One of them. the curious architecture of which is worthy of note. the east side of which. and the narrower north side 1*8 metres. one MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. At the northeast angle was a rectangular chamber. north of the Poggio Monaco. was more rounded in shape. was 4'3 metres long. and is lighted by small.). and other prehistoric buildings of the Western Mediterranean and in the British Isles (Mackenzie. apparently with an edging of larger ones. while the west side was three metres long. the latter no doubt remains of food. The hut foundations are in all cases formed of orthostatic blocks. in the locality called Sanfratello. and in this the formation of the wall was seen. narrow windows. 1). and that the wall consisted of two concentric lines of blocks.COM by Diego Ratti. Further east. The measure. There was no pottery to be seen.W. In the best preserved specimens we see that the plan was slightly oval rather than round. We see here the persistence of traditional forms down to quite modern days: the Casa Sanguedolce. only three years old. which is on a small scale. one of these. with wide intervals between them. which would well repay clearing and planning. p.. in which a slight convergence of the sides in the interior could already be observed. with a packing of earth and stones between them .N. which is precisely similar. in the locality called Poie del Parrino. and 8^ from north to south. occupying a tongue of rock isolated on every side except on the W. one of the fallen stones had a hole in it. Further south-west is the Casa Teresa. just above the path to the town. still more pronouncedly oval. though the map seems hardly consistent with this). and corresponding internal diameters of 6"40 and 3'40 metres. I am unluckily unable to fix the point exactly on the map. To the west we observed the foundations of a roughly rectangular building. which had only eight stones in its circuit. owing to the lateness of the hour. had internal diameters of 2'70 and 2*30 metres. 0*75 metre wide. with the west end curved. had external diameters of 8*50 and 5*80 metres. We thus get. we were shown some mounds of small stones. On the following day (June 12th) we visited the north-eastern portion of the island. Prehistoric pottery and sea-shells. Memnon II. near Gonnesa in Sardinia (see Mackenzie. in two cases. the combination of orthostatic slabs and ashlar masonry characteristic of the ' tombs of the giants ' of Sardinia. A group of huts here. Returning by the northern path. quite unworked. we see the beginning of coursed masonry of thin slabs. A third. 21 sqq. satisfactory photographs could not be secured. after passing the Cimitero Vecchio. with a door opening one metre in width. and their antiquity was thus uncertain. 2011 8 . on the south-west side of the valley along which the path followed on the return on the previous day runs to the village. upon which stones are placed owing to the prevalence of high winds (Plate III. we were told. but have done so as best I could. 0'55 metre thick.COM Whether this was a prehistoric hut or a more recent threshing floor we could not ascertain. Traces of walls joining the huts were also to be seen. not as a rule more than one metre high or long. The construction is of a very solid character : the interior has a heavy vaulted ceiling. very rough. with a doorway 0'70 metre in width. Another.

which stands at the north-eastern extremity of the island : they are similar in type.S. quite unhewn. east of the harbour. In one case a hut close to the Punta Alaimo. The most important settlement seems to have been that near Punta Alaimo. 1898). and next to it came that of Sanfratello. From what we saw. On this side a landing is impossible. they are very numerous.COM of which was about five metres in diameter. they are exceptional. and as a rule vary in diameter from 5'50 to 6'50 metres. 2). commanding the approach to the fertile part of the island and to the harbour. relatively. until our visit. however. for there are numerous traces of foundations of buildings and numerous enclosure walls of fields in various parts of the island which are constructed of smaller stones. though we saw no specimens. it is clear that in prehistoric times the island was. while southwards they enjoyed an uninterrupted view. well populated. Whether these were hut or tomb mounds is not certain . To the Punic period seems to belong a group of tombs to the south of the village. and it is thus not at all improbable that a second visit might lead to the discovery of others. 1. Going eastward from the ruined Garitta di Guardia. but there were at least six of them altogether. They closely resemble in plan the Punic tombs of Malta. 2011 9 . and another group is on the north side of the landing place. as the island is calcareous. being thinner than elsewhere. cut in the rock. or guard. however. but. A large and important group occupied the bare and rocky Observations must.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. Another group of huts exists on the rocky plateau W. while there was plenty of porous lava to be seen (see below). close to the ruined house (' casa diruta ') marked on the map. There is very little soil. 5'50 metres in diameter. A view of the fine coast to the north is shown in Plate III. 2. if the former. Ancient Pagan Tombs and Christian Cemeteries (Malta. occupied a fine position on a hill between two valleys.COM by Diego Ratti. in accordance with the nature of the rock. no attention at all seems to have been directed to these remains. but the large stones at the base have been removed for the modern field walls. which slopes slightly southwards from the high cliffs which form the abrupt north coast of the island. 121 sqq. are slabs rather than blocks. and they rest almost on the bare rock. which is nearer. near the catacomb of l’ Abbatia-tad-Deyr (illustrated by Caruana. to the south-east of the summit of Monte Imbriacole (see map) . and in a way which indicates that they belong to far more recent times. The pottery found is scanty and indefinite. and measuring some TOO metre long. the stones are rough. be conducted with care. The existence of obsidian in the latter island was confirmed by some of the inhabitants.). so as to guard against sudden attack and to command a view of the surrounding country. either from Pantelleria or from Linosa. so that the inhabitants of these huts could not be surprised from the sea. has a floor partly of rock and partly of slabs cut to fit into the rock. but it must be remembered that. as they do not occupy a good strategic position. MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. The points occupied were always points of vantage. A group of mounds exists to the north-east. known as Cala Pisana. and 0*15 to 030 metre thick. of the lighthouse. A plan and section of the best preserved of them are here given (figs. The obsidian and lava must be imported. On the south-east portion of the island Regione Cavallo Bianco we saw no remains of huts.

'* Some pottery. . p. apparently among these tombs : ' rinvenimmo una tomba delle ultime scavate che conteneva due persone di diverso sesso. ed apposte sul sito del capo. We especially noticed a funerary urn. with an eagle with out.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. belonged to the Roman period. in the shape of a truncated pyramid with square base." with the coins found in them. a lamp with a very rough representation of a horse. furono trovate alcune monete dell' epoche delle guerre puIliclle. and a small column of marble. in the last tomb excavated were found some coins of the period of the Punic Wars. a lachrymatory. a jug. Another lamp. which was said to have been found in this group of tombs has unmistakable Punic characteristics. 105.COM by Diego Ratti.) ' I sepolcreti nelle vicinanze della cosi detta Grotta della Regina con le monete in esse trovatevi hanno datta la convinzione che nell epoca delle guerre puniche i Romani vi risiedevano. Sanvisente (p.' MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.' ' The tombs of the neighbourhood of the so-called " Grotta della Regina. (cf. and the mark M underneath (the letter is hollow).COM Another tomb. 3). and from a lamp placed between them. e da una lampada entro di essa riposta. 2011 10 . e da una colonnetta di marmo di figura piramidale tronca a base quadrata con delle armi. which was set close by their head. e cifre incise. which contained two persons of different sex .stretched wings. has a somewhat different plan (fig. 108) thus describes his investigations. * ' We found a tomb among those excavated last. Finally. close by. and with weapons and signs cut on it. it seemed that such a tomb must have belonged to people of high rank. have satisfied me that it was at the time of the Punic Wars that the Romans settled there. Finalmente nelF ultimo sepolcro dissotterrato. si vedeva dover tale tomba appartenere a persona di alto rango.

which is not symmetrically placed.COM by Diego Ratti. 2011 11 . to the east of the Castello. It is constructed mainly of opus reticulatum (the faces of the cubes of which have a side of 0'075 metre). is a group of round enclosures possibly sheep-folds. It consists of a rectangular room 5'95 by 3*65 metres. and reached by a door 0*95 metre wide. and its plan (as far as excavated) is shown in fig. thus going below sea-level. There is brickwork in the lower part of the walls of the apsidal room. and the mortar from 0015 to 0021.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. one of which was perhaps Punic. the bricks ranging from 003 to 0'04 metre thick. where the opus reticulatum rests on the rock. postRoman. with brick and stone quoins. being 2*6 metres. with an apsidal room next to it. however. 4.20 by 1.west. and having very salt water. a void is filled up with small cubes of stone. too. the diameter of the apse.80 metres. and is said to be 60 palms (some 13 metres) deep. measuring 3'65 by 5'65 metres. Under one of them is a cave. so that their thickness is uncertain. in Lampedusa a building which unmistakably belongs to the Roman period. The well measures some 1. in one place. Another buried apse lies some five metres to the south. It is situated in the garden. in the western portion of the island.COM On the ridge above the valley of Aria Rossa. from which various debris has been excavated. It is probably. including some fragments of pottery. The exterior of the walls has not been cleared. MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. There is.

some are rectangular and some arched at the top. It measures 4. here. as is usual in such buildings. they may have stood loose. belonging apparently to the same period. and of subterranean chambers. and lined with good cement.55 metre thick.43 metre in diameter and 0.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. like other caves near the harbour.50 metres square inside. 0. and a column base of limestone 0.105 metre high. with a square bolt-hole in the centre.40 metre in diameter. MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. however. above the Grotta della Regina (a large cave. as a fish-curing store) to the east. 2011 12 . They contain small niches averaging 040 to 0'50 metre high and 0*25 metre wide. now used.COM There is also a hand-mill of porous lava. of concrete of small rough stones. There are traces of three cross walls within it. are 0. one of which looks like the beginning of a small stairway descending : and there are remains of walls adjoining it.COM by Diego Ratti. the walls. They are like the niches of a columbarium. Another building which probably belongs to the Roman period lies to the south of the town. but there are no traces of the urns having been let into the floor of the niche.

and the number of ruins and monuments which exist on every side. Sanvisente (p. just where the houses end. and. The cover was broken. i bagni. including a hand-mill found in the village. of Mauritius. the height. for the harbour. : imp gordianvs pivs fel avg . Turkish. as preserved. ' Indeed. so I was told. and on the reverse a wolf at whose teats sucked two children. which has each end curved. and also a fragment of a bas-relief. measuring about 0. One of these coins bore the representation of a head on one side. Outside the village. is 1*31 metres. 1905. and measures 0. with two bodies in it.32 metre. e Saraceni. 0. 199 metre long and 0'67 wide.41 by 0. with a lower diameter of 0. Gallienus. a sarcophagus. was brought from the coast of Tunis. is as follows : MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. Within it was found. Mars to left. of lamps afterwards found. and Faustina . and also coins of the dark ages (bassi tempi). and still preserved there. French. the royal delegate with full powers for the colonisation of the islands. and Arab. Gordian. measures 183 metre long. mentioning ' i monumenti antichi. Thus. a second brass (Cohen 391). carved on a slab of limestone 0. as.40 metre. will be quite sufficiently deep to accommodate destroyers. I must now turn to mention the objects which have been found in the island without the site of their discovery being known. The proximity of these buildings to the harbour is noticeable. Venetian. and perhaps belonging to a Christian sarcophagus (Plate III. coins of the period of the consuls and emperors of Rome. A Corinthian capital.COM by Diego Ratti. Orsi {Not. of course. the list. while the interior. as I was told by its owner. : virtvs avg. 2011 13 . We were also shown by the owner of the statue a threshold stone of dirty grey marble. and Maltese coins. in whose house it now is. not a very long one. The back is rough. a coin of Gordian. Scavi.' he adds. locche dimostra essere stata la medesima (isola) abitata da Greci. Signor Michele Calcagno. ' were coins of Syracuse and Agrigentum. It is of limestone. however.COM The door was on the south-west side. for example. and there is no inscription or decoration. The sponge fishers sometimes discover and bring back Eoman antiquities. of amphorae. but this seems improbable in view of the fact that other definite traces of habitation in Roman times have now become known. though insufficient in depth for any but quite small steam craft in bad weather. and 0*60 deep outside. when dredged throughout to a depth of four metres. le ferriere.' I noted all the coins that were shown to me as the result of our enquiries. was a coin of the Roman Republic. olive branch in right hand. to the northeast. it does not seem that the interior of the island was at all extensively settled in Roman times. the Signori Aiello showed us in their store several amphorae of the usual type. 0*48 wide. Domitian. Romani. 452) published the photograph of a female statue found at Lampedusa in 1905 in making the foundations of a house in the village. representing a winged cherub. of those that I could decipher.51 metre in height.' This last. 105) speaks somewhat vaguely on the subject. Rev. head with wreath to right. ' an incontestable proof that the island was inhabited by ancient races is the quantity of hot baths (or hypocausts he uses the word ' stufe ').le monete da noi rinvente . which is preserved with these last.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. found at the same time : and some other fragments. and 0*46 deep.' Further on he states that among the coins that he sent to the Duke of Cumia. A gold Turkish coin was also said to have been found here. Obv.11 metre thick. and none would have been needed. le fabbriche. of tombs.70 by 0. He conjectures that it may have been brought as ballast from Africa. No trace of Roman harbour works is visible. is a good enough one for small sailing ships. was found in 1853.C. spear in left. S.35 metres. 3). in the field.


A deep well close to this point. The little chapel of the Madonna was restored by Sanvisente. in which is an arched niche leading to a rectangular opening. which he could not at the moment find.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. which is for the Turks. we were told. who can escape thither. gives a somewhat different account : MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. and the Turks in the other.80 metre in diameter.COM by Diego Ratti. and a sum of money. 2011 15 . a piece of walling in good stonework. N. made by King Ferdinand. and none the less celebrated. At the north end of the valley there is. nor to determine for certain their original purpose. Nor is it possible to date with any confidence (in so far as they have been either formed or enlarged artificially) the numerous caves in the rocks on the east side of the picturesque Vallone della Madonna.N. who declared himself for Cross or Crescent. and this to a large cistern formed in a natural fissure. as a fact. All the ships that touch there.COM There were various other buildings. that mentioned by Sanvisente as having been made in his time and giving an excellent supply of water. the outer chamber being used by the Arabs as a place of worship. The galleys at Malta have the right to take the money which they find on the altar and carry it to Our Lady of Trapani in Sicily. They are common both in Malta and Linosa. and contains various fruit trees. which happens fairly often. and a heap of stones was to be seen there also. no pottery could be seen there. 287). An especially good specimen was shown us in the Contrada dei Gregali. Can this be the supposed tomb of the Knight of Malta? It seems not improbable. but he notices that it served a double purpose. and no coins or other objects were shown us.' Coronelli. with an opening 0. in its eastern portion. was. and it may have some connection with Abela's visit (supra). iv. it runs down to the sea and affords a landing for small boats. It is said that whenever a sailor has dared to take the smallest thing. with a Christian symbol carved on it in bas-relief. which it was impossible to date with any degree of certainty. Nor can the bell-shaped cisterns cut in the rock which sometimes occur be dated with any confidence.E. 497. according to the religious views of his visitors. The heap of stones we did not see. Like several of the small valleys on the south of the island. though the type is of Punic origin. According to Sanvisente (p. clothes. and it presents now no features of interest. in the locality called ' Sopra Imbriacole. intended for the Christians. leave there some provisions. Paris. though we heard something of it. Grand Dictionnaire Historique. 45) there was a tradition that a Turkish sheik had been buried in one of them . 1732. no doubt. both Christians and Turks. the Christians in one half of the Chapel. Over the niche is carved a cross with the date 1611 ( ?) : the first two figures are certain. says : ' Lampedusa is deserted. and has been almost entirely destroyed by its construction. because there is a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. The narrow valley is picturesque. and is. the sides of which have been cemented to a height of about five feet. of the village. and a man at the house above the valley reported having discovered a body and a coin with it. to denote the tomb of a knight of Malta. but the last two are not. This was no doubt the basis of the legend of the hermit of Lampedusa. Moreri. described earlier. who found it dilapidated. notably on the south-west edge of the paths below the huts. cited by Smyth (op. he has been unable to leave port until he has returned what he had taken. where the image of the Virgin which was at Lampedusa has been transported. on the other side of the path.' the foundations of a building in concrete which obviously existed before the path. cit. while the statue of the Virgin and the altar were separated by a railing. which serves as asylum for all the slaves.

and especially on the hill called dell' Imbriacole. or who had the hardihood to take away the merest trifle. and the same information was given me by Captain Francesco 'Torre. But the pure faith of the Knights of Malta is not so light and vain. 2011 16 . just where it was requisite to raise arches in order to lay a secure foundation for her sanctuary. as far as I could make out through the glasses. Catherine by their side. and in a fit of generosity offered his holy sail to the worship of his fellow townsmen. which are believed to have been used as water-cisterns for the Roman fleet..' Ruffini goes on to add that the picture is ' of small dimensions something less than a yard high. and there apply them to the support of the Hospital for the Infirm. until ' at length the Castellini came to understand that it was the Madonna's express wish that her headquarters should be shifted to where her resemblance betook itself every night. two gunshots in advance of the present sanctuary. and.' (p. and about two feet in breadth containing three figures. and a terrace built. was one day attacked and defeated by the Turks. being the captain of a privateer. 240. .COM by Diego Ratti. but to a picture. and though it had pleased her to make choice of the most abrupt and steepest spot in the whole mountain. and . In the course of time some rooms were annexed for the accommodation of visitors and pilgrims. and carried to the Isle of Lampedusa. The scene is laid near Taggia. one in Latin. that he made an unusually prosperous voyage back to his native shores. 233 ed. the other in bad Italian verses.. with round each head a golden glory. there are holes lined within with fragments of pottery which have the shape of large amphorae. but lined with cement. and a chapel erected.) The only indication of ancient ruins on the Staff Map is on the hill to the west of Cala Croce. and the date and mode of its translation to Castellaro. and horrible visions that appear in the night. on account of the phantasms. Andrea Anfosso. spectres..' A different legend. is the sanctuary of the Madonna di Lampedusa. which are to be seen in the interior of the little chapel of the sanctuary. on the Italian Riviera. . and so well did it answer his purpose. . set about building a boat. a native of Castellaro. Miller (p. This took place in 1619. the Castellini set themselves con amore to the task so clearly revealed to them. is given at full length in two inscriptions. my knowledge of which I owe to the kindness of Mr. W. as a resident in the district of which he speaks. repose and quiet being banished by the formidable apparitions and frightful dreams that fatally afflict with death-like terrors whoever does remain there as much as one night. take them over to Malta.* He further added : ' In some points of the island. which I did not actually see. Anfosso . and a St. Our Lady and the Divine Infant. Tauchnitz. and this widely renowned chapel was completed. Leipzig. of which he gives the following account. A place was chosen by universal acclamation. relating not to a statue. ventured on the bold and original step of taking from the altar of some church or chapel of the island a picture of the Madonna to serve as a sail. will be found in Doctor Antonio. a novel by Giovanni Ruflini. and here. of a capacity varying from one to two cubic metres. collecting the offerings made to the fore-mentioned church. which is that no one would be able to go out of the island who did not leave something there. Here he succeeded in making his escape and hiding himself until the Turkish vessel which had captured him left the island. The Turks are governed by a ridiculous superstitious idea. for they annually go thither with their galleys. when it was operating against Carthage. near the village of Castellaro.' The allusion is no doubt to some bell-shaped cisterns like those mentioned above. who.COM ' Even writers worthy of confidence assert that no one can reside in this island. of the 34th Regiment of Infantry.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. 1861) : ' All that relates to the miraculous image. MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA..' Then follows an account of how the picture was every morning found at the exact place where the actual church now stands. but they seem to be simply the remains of a modern house of no importance or interest. may be trusted as to local details of this kind.

It is in the former that the arch mentioned by Smyth is to be found. was picked up.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. it is about 2*20 metres in span. not exceeding. and the whole is probably not archaic at all. In the other group. The other rooms seem to be irregular in shape. accessible only from the east.32 metres in depth. MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. It is a rocky and uninhabited islet (Plate IV. cit. the sides of which appear to contract. 1). two groups of ruins upon it. The sides and bottom are covered with an excellent cement. of which one part had a roof. is however constructed of small stones. and is no doubt a cistern. but of irregular construction of small stones. and we therefore made our way thither on June 13th. through whose intervention I was brought into communication with him. wall has a foundation of large blocks. which is rectangular. Our curiosity was fired by the following passage in Smyth (op.W. but only notes the existence of two old habitations (' antichi abituri ').COM by Diego Ratti. No tessellated pavement was anywhere to be seen.' Sanvisente (p. and its date cannot be certainly fixed. A considerable quantity of Punic or Roman (?) pottery. 289) : 1 on its summit there are several vestiges of buildings. side is a possible doorway 0. * I desire to express my obligations to him. from which it rises steeply towards the west side. and in another part there are fragments of a tessellated pavement composed of irregular cubes of coarse marble. but high up the slope. supported by an arch of good construction. well coloured. the interior of the chamber. and to the Director of the Istituto Gecgrafico Militare at Florence.E. which lies some eight miles west of the western extremity of Lampedusa.COM Lampione The opportunity of visiting this islet. which is mostly constructed of small stones. either in this or in the other building. and on the W.N. the N. where are cliffs just over 100 feet high (33 and 36 metres are the two levels marked on the Staff Map) going sheer into the sea.east. which remains. the morning of our departure from Lampedusa. The building to which it belongs is fairly extensive. about three feet in height. 2011 17 . and the other on the northern extremity. however. occupying a space of nearly 60 feet. There are.58 metre wide and 1. one towards the south. of an evidently ancient date. which are unhewn. as a fact. 122) had obviously visited it also. seemed too good to be lost.N. but nothing prehistoric.

owing to the more varied outline. p. As the map shows. we were able to traverse and examine superficially the greater part of it. 2). As Sanvisente says (p. there were no traces of its having been. the north-west side of which has been blown out (Plate IV. 105).COM by Diego Ratti. the highest point in the island (640 feet) has no crater. Linosa has practically no history. It was colonized from Lampedusa in 1845. and fever unknown. to whom our best thanks are due. and the Scalo Vittorio Emanuele on the west. 60. Besides the section of Sanvisente's work (pp. Nemousa). one to the east of the Monte Bandiera. and forms part of the edge of the large central crater east of Monte Bandiera. a little to the south of the modern village. (Aethusa) is mentioned next to Lopadusa by Ptolemy (op. under the guidance of the Syndic. VI. or to the entire lack of springs. IX. The Monte Vulcano. so that in the course of a few hours. there are a number of craters two in the Montagna di Ponente. thus preserving the traditional Punic type. Limosa. gives as an alternative to is identical with the modern name Linosa (medl. They are cut in the rock with round mouths.. 207 and fig. like Lampedusa. being entirely of volcanic origin. from which we approached it. supra). while Miiller thinks that which one MS. Lopadusa. whereas the name Aethusa well suits the volcanic Linosa. 1846'). but these may as well have been brought from Pantelleria (cf. On the beach at the Scalo Vecchio we observed plenty of porous lava of the kind used in the rubbers which we saw at Lampedusa. and the curve of the Montagna di Levante is probably the north half of another.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. and the storage of rain-water in cisterns is the only means of obtaining a supply. iii. The Cala di Ponente seems to be another crater ring.west of point 16) down to sea-level reached salt water. there is a short monograph by Pietro Calcara. Mori. but here the air is even lighter and drier than at Lampedusa. 114121) which deals with it. 12) as from Linosa. near the ' Ruderi ' marked south by east of point 52.. 92 (Insulae in African versae . on the other hand. D'Avezac (lies de V Afrique. Descrizione delV Isola di Linosa. 4) . for Lampione is calcareous. which is most used. a well dug in the centre of the island (inthe crater to the north. who has confused it with Aegusa off Lilybaeum (Polyb. there is far greater protection from the prevailing winds. There are two landing-places the so-called Scalo Vecchio on the south. in Edrisius. though all of them are now quiescent. and have apparently been so for a long period. and especially on the Monte Lastre Buone. and MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.. inhabited in prehistoric times. cit. In both islands the climate is good. Palermo. We were informed that obsidian was to be found there. 119) identifies Anemosa with Linosa. though somewhat seldom. but quite wrongly. As far as our explorations and enquiries went. I do not know. The island is only about two miles square. Aethusa with Lampione. N. quam alii Aegusam scribunt). Whether the obsidian of Lampedusa was derived from Linosa or from Pantelleria. when it was found to be uninhabited. Orsi. The fact that it was not colonized by settlers from Africa in the neolithic period may be due either to the activity of its volcanoes at that time (as indeed its classical name would imply). 2011 18 . while. It is quite different to Lampedusa in character. Pliny. ' August 16th. Professor of Natural History at Palermo. Of these cisterns he saw no less than 153 (p. and about forty miles to the north-east of Lampione. and consequently of very picturesque outline and considerable fertility. H. Line. and another to the north of it (these two being the largest). while the Montagna Rossa (610 feet) is another crater. 119).COM LlNOSA Linosa lies about thirty miles to the north-north-east of Lampedusa. 1851 (but bearing date at the end. cf.

30) records the discovery both of Roman pottery and of Roman bronze coins. I could see no traces of antiquity in any of them. Here are some scanty remains of concrete foundations. similar foundations of uncertain date exist. but whether. On the saddle which the path crosses from the west side of the island to the village (at the point marked B in the map). e dalla costruzione di qualche fabbrica con pezzi di figura romboidale allungate. I must confess. known as the ' brutta locanda. and it is not always possible for the steamer. one can spend two nights on Linosa. above the path to the village (at the point marked C). while further west. they must. were given me. In several places. I could see nothing but ruins of houses or of the enclosure walls of fields or gardens contemporary with them. and indeed of comparatively modern date. e dalle monete rinvenute si dimostra cbiaramente che Linosa e Lampedusa furono anticamente abitate da popoli di una stessa nazione. and here we found the handle of an indubitably Roman lamp. and the difficulty of visiting them without loss of time. The caves marked on the map ' grotte abitate ' were in use as habitations until about thirty years ago. but we found a piece of Samian pottery. e molti ruderi fanno con ragione asserire che numerosa popolarione vi e stata altra fiata. see any of the construction ' with pieces of stone of the form of an elongated rhomboid. 2011 19 . to my mind. Let my first excuse be the remoteness of the islands. but in every case (except in that of those marked A. ' Ruderi ' (ruins) are marked bythe Italian Staff Map at four different points in the island. which is a small one. to make the voyage. I was told. On the west side of the Cala Ponente. on the other hand. and a piece of apparently Roman glass. we found several fragments of ' Samian ' and false ' Samian ' pottery. and were told that much other pottery and a coin had been found. which were. on the edge of the crater itself. they are now in the Valletta Museum. We have already seen that Calcara (pp. so far as I have been able to ascertain. Nor can I agree with them in considering the ruins of houses which exist in various parts of the island to belong to the Roman period. spoken of locally as *Antichi abituri. at the bifurcation of the path leading to Monte di Ponente.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.' present any trace of antiquity. and the handle of an amphora of uncertain age was seen to the north-east of Montagna di Levante. It may seem that I have dwelt too long on unimportant details. those of an old church.COM by Diego Ratti. 29) suppose. any of them are Roman. By taking the mail steamer which leaves Porto Empedocle each week. dallo intonaco di esse.' or ' bad inn. found not very far off. We heard confused accounts of burials (apparently mediaeval or modern) in some of them.COM lined with cement. but no walls or foundations in situ. we saw scanty remains of walling which in itself seems to be of quite uncertain date. A view of the east coast is given in Plate IV. The first was to the north-north-west of the modern village. which have apparently been destroyed for material for field walls). and his statement is thus shown to be correct in this respect. 120)* and Calcara (p. but with indubitably Roman pottery lying about it. be considerably later. or else extended to five days. where Roman pottery and flanged tiles occur. ever been archaeologically explored before. We may well hope that some archaeological interest has MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. I should not like to say. again attributed to a church. Nor have the islands. Two late Roman coins. on the east side. 29. but that the latter had been sold. I did not. dalla forma delle cisterne. as he (p. Nor does the large cave to the west of the village. but the time for visiting Lampedusa is either reduced to a few hours on each journey.' described by Sanvisente. which I could not identify. 3. are ruins of uncertain date.

The prehistoric remains of Lampedusa.COM by Diego Ratti. 2011 20 . MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. for which a certain amount of clearing and excavation is indispensable. to whose attention I confidently commend this brief record of our journey. at any rate. merit further exploration. and that future casual discoveries will be carefully noticed. and this. as I have said.COM been aroused in the breasts of our kind hosts.MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. and the objects preserved. must be left to the Italian authorities.

MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA. 2011 21 .COM by Diego Ratti.COM Ashby: the first archaeological map of Lampedusa MEGALITHIC-LAMPEDUSA.