The Italian Cultural Institute in Amsterdam will host a conference next 22 April (7:30 PM) organized by the Werkgroep Italië Studies (WIS) titled “Un’isola multiculturale – L’archaeologia in Sicilia durante I periodi Bizantini, Islamici e Normanni” (“A Multicultural Island – Archaeology in Sicily in the Byzantine, Islamic and Norman Periods”). The lecturer will be Joanita Vroom, professor of Archaeology of Medieval and Early Modern Eurasia at the Department of Archaeology of Leiden University.
Sicily is famous for its ancient archaeological sites: the majestic ruins of Agrigento, Selinunte and Siracusa are visited by thousands of tourists every year. Less widely known is the fact that the island also houses important archaeological sites of the Byzantine, Islamic and Norman periods (approximately between the 7th-8th centuries and the 11th century A.D.). The conference intends to provide information on the findings of this period and attempt to understand the life of the inhabitants of these sites through their pottery, mainly consisting of transport containers (amphorae) as well as everyday kitchen utensils and refined tableware for the élites.
This pottery – found both in the places once under the Byzantine Kingdom (330-1453) and in the settlements of the Islamic Emirate of Sicily (827-1091) – tells the story of the coexistence of different cultures on the Island.