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MODICA, a town of Sicily, in the province of Syracuse, 57 m. W.S.W. of Syracuse by rail and 33 m. direct. Pop. (1901), 48,962. It lies on a hill between two valleys; the hill, crowned by the church of S. Giorgio, reconstructed in the 17th century, was the site of the Sicel town of Motyca, while the modern part of the town extends along the river Mauro, an inundation of which did much damage in September 1902. Remains of megalithic buildings, apparently, however, houses of the Byzantine period, are described in Notizie degli Scam, 1896, 242 seq. Six miles to the south-east is the valley known as the Cava d'Ispica, with hundreds of grottoes cut in its rocky sides; of these only a few are Sicel tombs, the majority being catacombs or open tombs of the early Christian and Byzantine periods, or even cave-dwellings of the latter age.

See P. Orsi in Notizie degli Scavi (1905), 431.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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