Salina

The ancient production of salt

At the natural lake of Lingua there are the remains of an ancient salt production plant, which is where the island of Salina takes its name (sale is Italian for salt).
The most significant testimonies date back to the first Roman imperial age, i.e. to the 1st-2nd century AD, of which the lower part of the partition walls, built with the opus reticulatum technique , and the floor, made of poor lime and gravel, remain. The ancient salt mine exploited this natural inlet created in the south-eastern part of the island. There was a connection with the surrounding sea, which filled the pools, which were then isolated and dried until the salt was deposited. Around 31 grams of pure sea salt is obtained from every litre of sea water.
This technique has not been used since the 18th century with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, when it was replaced by much less laborious and expensive techniques and technologies. The lake has therefore gradually filled up with water to its current state, where it is exactly at sea level. However, it is still perfectly isolated, acquiring the characteristics of a marshland, a protected and important site for bird life.

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