Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Sections / Bologna in prehistory

Bronze Age villages in Bologna

The Late Bronze Age in the area where Bologna now stands was marked by an important new settlement phase. A series of digs that commenced in 1872 unearthed the remains of dwellings on the slopes between Porta Saragozza and Porta San Mamolo: groups of huts were discovered near modern-day Via Petrarca (Villa Bosi and Acquedotto), in Via dell’Osservanza (Villa Sarti), and at the Villa Cassarini, now the location of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Bologna, where regular excavation campaigns were conducted.

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It seems likely that the hillsides between 80 and 100 metres above sea level were not occupied by a single large settlement but by groups of huts set close together. The location of these settlements was conditioned by the geography of the sites, particularly with reference to the little valleys set among the hills, from which minor waterways still descend today, although most are now underground.

Regular excavation campaigns were conducted in the Villa Cassarini area, situated in the foothills of Bologna near Porta Saragozza. The excavations unearthed the remains of an Etruscan sanctuary complex, several huts and burials from the Early Iron Age, as well as dwellings with a round or oval plan, part of a large settlement referable to the Bronze Age. This village was built at the end of the Middle Bronze Age, as indicated by the numerous pottery fragments with the incised decoration typical of the Apennine culture, and it reached its greatest development during the Late Bronze Age. Most of the materials referable to the Subapennine culture can be dated to this period, including the numerous handles with a cylindrical top end and configured extremities.


Provenance: Bologna, Villa Cassarini
Datation: Late Bronze Age II (1230–1170 BC)
Material: Impasto
Inventory #: 1063

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