3/17/18: The final ancient site we visited was Syracuse. While ancients certainly inhabited the island of Ortigia, the settlements nearby on the mainland are much better preserved. At the archaeological site, we saw a large Greek theater (currently under restoration), a quarry, and a later Roman amphitheater. One of the most unusual features of the site is the “ear of Dionysius” (this name was given by the painter Caravaggio in the early 1600s). While it is in the same area as the quarry, the “ear” has a very unusual shape which does not seem appropriate for quarrying. Its formation and use is therefore uncertain. Legend has it that Dionysius, a tyrant of Syracuse in the 5th-4th century BCE, used the cave as a prison. Perhaps more likely is that it was used as a cistern.