Syracusan Settlement Expansion in South-Eastern Sicily in the Archaic Period

Jerrad Lancaster

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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During the Archaic period Syracuse grew from a newly established colony to become a colonial power itself and its hegemony spread across the south-east part of Sicily. The motivations behind the expansion process and the foundation of multiple new settlements is the central theme of this thesis. The most notable are Heloros (late eighth century BC), Akrai (664 BC), Kasmenai (644 BC) and Kamarina (599 BC). The traditional interpretation behind this expansion is based on ancient literary sources and it stresses military intentions of Syracuse. However, even though the foundations did have a strategic motivation behind them, more central was the desire for wealth accumulation through access to new agricultural land and creation of an inland trade route. The aim of the methodologies (architectural energetics, population estimates and degrees of primacy) used in the thesis is to build a clearer picture of the settlements at key stages of their development from foundation to the end of Archaic period. Architectural energetics is used to estimate the comparative labour costs of building each settlement. Assessment of the architectural development of each site also supports the non-military motivation behind their foundation.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Pakkanen, Jari, Supervisor
Award date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusUnpublished - 2017


  • Archaic period
  • Greek Sicily
  • Classical archaeology
  • architectural energetics
  • landscape studies
  • population modelling
  • Syracuse
  • Kamarina
  • Kasmenai
  • Akrai
  • Heloros
  • rank-size
  • primacy

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