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A variety of seeds may be preserved on archaeological sites by charring, as grain impressions, or as a result of waterlogging. They may be the seeds of weed plants, fruits, pulses (see beans), or the grains of cereals (see BARLEY, MAIZE, MILLET, OATS, RICE, RYE, WHEAT). Segesta [Greek Egesta]. An ancient city in the northwest corner of Sicily west of Palermo, reckoned by traditional sources as home of the indigenous Elymi, and mostly known today for its unfinished 5th-century bc temple, and Hellenistic theatre. Earliest occupation seems to have been Iron Age of the 8th century bc. The classical town had an eventful history, shaped by its constant rivalry with its neighbour, Selinus, and by shifting alignments with, variously, Carthaginian, Greek and Roman sources of power. Perhaps the best-documented event (Thucydides VI, 6) is its appeal to Athens for assistance (415 bc), which helped to decide Athens to go ahead with the disastrous Sicilian expedition. Later, in 307 bc, the town was sacked by Agathocles with a systematic sadism (which included firing men into the air). Loyalty to Rome in the First Punic War was rewarded with a grant of the status of civitas libera et immunis(free and tax-free). A prosperous but insignificant Roman period seems to have followed. The city site is on the plateau adjacent to the theatre, where the absence of any obvious Roman remains may indicate that the Roman town shifted nearer its port at modern Castellammare. The 6th-5th century bc Sanctuary shows a temenos layout, and evidence for an archaic Doric temple. The surviving 5th-century temple, which stood outside the original city, is usually seen as a distinguished, but unfinished example (it has a colonnade, but no interior celld). The query has been raised, however, as to whether some peristyle building other than a temple may have been intended — possibly something more relevant to this indigenous and Carthaginian context.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied