Many reasons why the two sides of the islands have been always different, one of them is due to natural geography: the two rivers called Imera. Northern Imera (Himèras, Ημέρας) was and is still today starting from his source in central Sicily in the Madonie mountain range, going towards the north and ending where in the past, in year 648 BC, Himera (Himéra, Ἱμέρα) was founded as a Greek colony on the Tyrrhenian sea. Close the source of Northern Imera, there was and there is still the other source for the Southern Imera - also called Salso Himeras (meaning salty, due to his rocks in its southern part of the river) - going towards the existing area of Licata town. Weather and rain falling were very different long time ago, and water presence in Sicilian rivers was highly flourishing. This could allow ancient civilizations in Sicily to take advantage of the ample rivers and going by boat on the rivers from the sea towards central Sicily - and viceversa - including the Madonie mountain range, where those two Imera rivers were extensively used. What is interesting to know is that people used to sail until the end of one river, walk towards the beginning of the other river, then sail again with another boat towards the other side of Sicily. This action could lead them to move from north to the south of Sicily or vice versa without the need to circumnavigate the island. Furthermore, it also explains a lot regarding ancient civilizations of Sicily: Sicans weere concentrated on one side of the rivers (Central Western Sicily), while Sicels were on the other side of the rivers (Central Eastern Sicily), keeping the podromes of the cultural, social and economic difference between Western Sicily, more influenced by the Punic Carthage of Phoenician origin, and Eastern Sicily, more influenced by the Doric Syracuse of Greek origin.
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