“Ninth kilometer” Caves or Contrada Emiliana Prehistoric Caves

As already for the whole of the north-western coast between the Egadi islands and Palermo, also the base of the northern side of Erice is characterized by the presence of numerous caves and shelters already frequented since the Paleolithic age (such as San Francesco, Maltese and Polifemo Shelters).

In particular, in recent excavations carried out by “La Sapienza” University of Rome on Contrada Emiliana, have been discovered some remains attributable, although with great caution and uncertainty, to the lower or middle Paleolithic which, if confirmed, would be the oldest remains discovered in Sicily.

Engravings on rocky walls are also inside the Grotta del Racchio (Racchio Cave), at Isulidda, not far from San Vito lo Capo, which depicting two deers, whereas other caves, situated in the municipalities of Valderice and Custonaci, show numerous signs of linear incisions, whose meaning is still unknown. In the Poliphemus cave, beside the cave of Contrada Emiliana, there is also a winding figure, ellipsoidal in shape, with parallel and concentric lines.

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