On Saturday 14 May, at the Municipality of Prizzi (PA), the Archaeological Map of the municipality and the initiative “Prizzi Lab-Hippana Mission: pilot action for the creation of an Experimental Centre of Public Archaeology for the development of inland territories” were presented. This initiative is promoted by the Phoenicians’ Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Municipality, the Superintendence for cultural and environmental heritage of Palermo, Archaeological Groups of Italy and 8 international and national research institutes that are part of the International Universities Network of the Phoenicians’ Route (IUN): the Institute of Heritage Science (ISPC) of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), the University of Milan, the Universitiy of Ubino Carlo Bo, the Spanish Universities of Jaén, Cadice and Valencia, the “Fondazione Santagata” for the Economics of Culture of Turin and the Duke University (USA).
The goal of the action is to deepen and put in practice Public Archaeology principles in a Sicilian inland area (little known but full of cultural places with a very high cultural value). Its goal is the involvement of local communities in the research about the past and in the enhancement of cultural heritage. In fact, discovering, recovering and enhancing an archaeological site or asset not only makes the historical memory of our country live again. Interpreting what remains of the past can stimulate sharing of cultures and prospects and assume a vital social function in the present as long as it compares itself with the community of reference, with people. An Archaeology no more addressed only to the insiders and concluded by carrying out an excavation and by publishing its results. Archaeology dives into the current context, by interacting with daily life. Indeed, an archaeologist finds his role in society by becoming a mediator between the ancient and the contemporary, by using right formulas in order to involve citizens in the rediscovery of their past, by making sure his research acts in a positive way on the local community’s identity and values.
Different international research teams will collaborate on the enhancement of the ancient hippana site. They will put in place a complex cultural operation, a participative process for the construction of knowledge and identity, through archaeological fieldwork and research on the relationship between archaeology and the public. Through communication able to reach different types of people, a large variety of people with different ages and interests will be involved in the discovery of cultural heritage. A real Public Archaeology school, the first one that will present Prizzi at international level like a big experimental and specialised destination laboratory. The first activities will start in June with preparatory investigations.
The launch of Prizzi Archaeological Map shows the concrete commitment of the administration, led by Mayor Luigi Vallone, and of the Councillor for Culture Antonella Comparetto, by following a correct scientific approach and by providing tools to experts and scientists in order to adhere to the proposal of heritage education. In addition, the Phoenicians’ Route and the Archaeological groups of Italy apply in this experimental project the Faro Convention principles about heritage value for the society, with the active and passionate involvement of Prizzi’s community.