Gela (2)


In prehistoric times, between 3000 and 1500 BC, the territory of Gela was inhabited by different populations, including the Sicanians and the Sicels. The city was founded by Greek colonists from Rhodes and Crete led by Antiphemus and Entimus around 689 BC. According to Thucydides, precisely 45 years after the foundation of Syracuse and 108 years before the foundation of Agrigento. It was called Lindioi and then Geloi, from the indigenous name of the river at whose mouth the colonizers had settled. They soon occupied the area of Gela, merging the indigenous culture with their own. With regards to religion, Telines, high priest of Demètra and Kore, imposed the cult of these divinities extended to the rest of Sicily and even to Rome. In a short time Gela was enriched with houses, temples dedicated to Demeter and Kore, Athena, Hera, and other beneficial gods, initiating the colonization of the adjacent areas.








In 580 BC, colonists from Gela, led by Aristonous and Pystilus, founded Agrigento, which became autonomous ten years later. Thanks to the work of its tyrants (Cleander, Hippocrates, Gelon) Gela quickly established itself as a guide for the unity of all the Greek populations in Sicily. Subsequently it took possession of Kamarina, occupied Gallipoli, Nasso and Leontini confirming itself as the undisputed master of Greek Sicily, creating a blockade against the threat of the Carthaginians who occupied western Sicily. In 485 BC, Gelon moved to Syracuse and in 480 Gela participated with his cavalry, alongside Agrigento and Syracuse, in the great battle of Imera, which saw the defeat of Hamilcar and his Carthaginian army of three hundred thousand men.

Following this victory, Gela got stronger and reached its splendor, as evidenced by the precious objects that can be admired inside the Regional Archaeological Museum. In addition to it, in the Archaeological Park there are the Acropolis area (Molino a Vento), the iconographic Antiquarium and the Timoleon walls and Capo Soprano, the archaeological area of Bosco Littorio (Greek Emporium) of Gela. A Museum of the Sea is also under construction.

Museo Archeologico Gela