Si Trova: a Palazzolo Acreide
Lat: 37° 3' 16.71112" N - Long: 14° 53' 59.58192" E
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Near the ancient Akrai, a pleasant surprise embellishes the archaeological area: an ancient rock sanctuary of the goddess Cybele, the Magna Mater, which in the past was the main one in Sicily in reference to this cult.
It is a large complex of twelve rock sculptures, today called "Santoni", each obtained in a niche.
The site is unique in the world for the size and completeness of the representations, and was dated between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, when Sicily was in the full Hellenistic period.
In some niches, in addition to the goddess Cybele, other characters are also depicted, including the Gauls, priests of the goddess, the Coribanti, mythical companions of her, the Dioscuri and other deities.
The statues were once adorned with fabrics, flowers and jewels such as bronze and gold bracelets and crowns.
Although rather ruined, the figures retain a great fascination for the suggestion of the place, very beautiful also from the landscape point of view, surrounded by walnut trees, stone walls and Mediterranean plants.
An important money allocation will shortly allow greater enhancement of the site.
To visit the Santoni, you must contact the ticket office of the archaeological area of Akrai.
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