Necrópolis de la Piazza Duomo

A large part of a monumental type of "cemetery", in the Plaza in front of New Cathedral of Saint Stephen, part of which is now open to the public, has recently been investigated, thanks to a conservation project backed jointly by the local amministration and the Superintendece of Messina.

Nearly eighty tombs, both single and multiple and of various construction, have been discovered in the cemetery, built on two levels along the south-east:

⁃ "formae" in stone, with blocks of limestone and with internal plastered wall;

⁃ tombs in mixed stone with tile-built or flat covers;

⁃ small stone semi-underground, rectagular chambers with side entrance and flat tile covers, with raised "terraced" monuments;

⁃ monumental family sepulchre; ⁃ commercial containers such as amphorae.

The unchanging position (north-west/south-east), the distribution in several parallel rows, the alignment along a free space, the presence of some "service" areas (Antiquarium, Room 10 - showcase 24), the knowledge of the existence of other burialsites in nearly areas, investigated in the 1970's, (Palazzi Marullo and Messina) are all evidence than the area explored dates back to the time when the use of the cemetery was at its height. The information obtained from the general analysis of the archaeological context and from the few objects that made up the "funeral goods" (Antiquarium, Room 10 - showcase 25) implies that the cemetery was in use from the Vth century AD to the early Byzantine era (VIIth century AD). It is significant that, from a topographical point of view, the presence of a funeral area near the isthmusat this time seems to confirm the hypothesisthaturban settlement was returning to the area around the castle.