Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 - 40124 Bologna

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Via de' Musei 8 – 40124 Bologna
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Places / External spaces / The Villanovan hut in the Margherita gardens

Almost nothing remains of the buildings of Etruscan Bologna of the oldest period (9th-mid-6th century bc): they were built of wood, clay and reeds – all fragile materials – that have perished over time. However, the ground has preserved the trace of some buildings in the form of a patch of dark soil, with ashes, fragments of vases and remains of food. From these remains, archaeologists have been able to reconstruct the form, size and structure of the huts.

The idea of rebuilding a life-size ancient Villanovan hut arose from the example of the didactic parks built throughout Europe to enable the public to gain an immediate and effective sense of the everyday life of ancient populations. The hut is circular, with a diameter of 4 metres and an earth floor dug 80 centimetres into the ground. Traditional techniques in use until a short time ago in the Po Valley have been used in the construction of the walls and roof. These techniques are probably not very different to those in use in Antiquity.

The realisation of this project has also made it possible to make some useful observations about life in Antiquity. For example, it has been calculated that with the labour of three people, the hut could have been constructed in not more than fifteen days.

The hut has proven to be extremely comfortable: thanks to the circular form and the insulating materials used to build it, lighting a central fire very quickly heats the interior to a comfortable temperature. Just a few pieces of wood kept burning would have been sufficient to keep the hut warm.

Moreover, this type of construction lasts a long time: there are still huts with thatched roofs in the countryside near Ravenna surviving from about 90 years ago.


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External spaces | The Villanovan hut in the Margherita gardens

Giardini Margherita
40137 Bologna