Iaitas (lat: Ietas, Medieval-: Iato ) was the Greek name of an ancient city in north- western Sicily. She lay on a plateau of Monte Iato in a field, which today is one of the municipalities of San Giuseppe Jato and San Cipirello. The city was destroyed in 1246 by Frederick II, since the area is uninhabited.
The beginnings of colonization extend into early historical time. Towards the end of the 7th century BC can be on the finds first contacts with the Greek culture to prove. Whether the former inhabitants attributable to Elymi or Sikanen, can not be ascertained on the basis of archaeological finds. The town lay in the Punic influence area of Sicily, but also cultural achievements of the Greeks were taken.
Around 300 BC, the settlement amount will be built largely new to the model of a Greek city, which can be summarize archaeological particular on the basis of public buildings such as the fastening system, the Agora and the theater, but also to the generous residential buildings on a Greek model. In Roman times the city was given the status of a municipium, but lost more and more important and seems to have been abandoned in late antiquity, or to have been limited to unexplored areas of the settlement area.
In the later 10th century AD, towards the end of the Fatimid rule in Sicily, but the city seems to experience a second golden age. According Malaterra the city refused the Norman Roger I allegiance and tribute, where - have trusted the now -called Iato city benefits from its large population and good attachment of the place - as the chronicler of the prince. The city is placed under the newly established Archdiocese of Monreale from 1182 and is in the course of the late Norman and Hohenstaufen time to the actual center of the Muslim resistance in Sicily. This sealed in 1246 AD, finally, the destruction of the city by the troops of Frederick II, who can deport the surviving inhabitants to Lucera and Monte Iato occupied by a settlement ban.
Since 1971, the high plateau of Monte Iato unearthed from the Archaeological Institute of the University of Zurich in held annually campaigns. The results will be published in the annual preliminary reports in the magazines Ancient Art ( German ) and Archaeological Sicilia ( Italian), also further evaluations are published in the monographic professional series " Studia Ietina ".
The Monte Iato can be viewed as an archaeological park during the day free. Access is via the road from the south-east of Mount ago. In 2010 opened new associated archaeological museum, which has replaced the previous Antiquarium in San Cipirello, Finds from Monte Iato from the Archaic period can be seen to the Middle Ages.