The site of Morgantina, located on a ridge in the rolling landscape of east-central Sicily about 60 km from the Ionian Sea coast, has been the locus of continuous archaeological investigation
since 1955 (fig. 1).1 The ridge controlled the western end of the fertile Plain of Catania and stands above the source of the Gornalunga River. Farther west, behind the inhabited zone, the land rises toward the Heraian Hills, which form a protective barrier. Between approximately 1000 BC and AD 50, two distinct settlements—both apparently called Morgantina in antiquity—existed on the ridge: an earlier village on the hill at the northeastern end, known today as Cittadella, and a later one on the neighboring plateau, called Serra Orlando, to the southwest (fig. 2). Research carried out at the site has revealed a great deal of information about both towns. The history and preserved material culture of Morgantina specifically (and of Sicily generally) allow for a detailed examination of the transition from Cittadella to Serra Orlando, as well as of the identities and lifeways of the people who settled in those towns during the archaic and classical periods (roughly 600–400 BC). Evidence that will be applied to these issues will include contemporary and later ancient historical accounts, the urban plans of the two towns, and the artifacts—especially pottery—uncovered by archaeologists at Morgantina. Most significantly, this evidence reveals the great extent of indigenous presence in the settlement of the town at Serra Orlando, and perhaps even their participation in the town’s foundation, a fact all the more striking for the historical context in which it occurred.