Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 - 40124 Bologna

Direzione e Uffici
Via de' Musei 8 – 40124 Bologna
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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan Collection: from villages to the city of Felsina


The first Etruscan villages in Bologna arise during the IX century BC. The most significant were placed along the Savena and are documented by the San Vitale and Savena necropolis well as by settlement traces in the current fair district. To these are added the Villa Cassarini nucleus (now Faculty of Engineering), located among the foothills.
From the VIII century BC the settlement is concentrated in the area between the Aposa river in the east and Ravone river in the west and is bordered to the south by the hills and to the north from the axis of the Righi and Falegnami actual streets. The area was particularly suited to the settlement, because rich of water, slightly emerging compared to the surrounding plain and placed in the best position to control important communication roads towards the Tyrrhenian Etruria, such as the Savena and Rhine valleys. The settlement had to be formed by small groups of huts, around which were arranged ample free spaces for the demands of agriculture, breeding and for the preservation and storage of products.
The reorganization process that interests Etruria Padana during the second half of the VI century BC determines a transformation of an urban planning in the center of Bologna, which from the village of huts of the Villanovan and Orientalizing period goes to be a real city.
The city, which continues to grow in the area previously occupied, unfortunately is little known, because the settlement continuity until the present day has not allowed to conduct extensive and systematic archaeological excavations.
The houses have the foundations in cobbles and probably the roof in tiles and curved tiles, as in the near town of Marzabotto, but in Bologna this type of housing seems to coexist with circular huts of most ancient tradition. Some structures found are attributable to specialized craft activities, such as metal and clay processing.
A sacred building situated at the foot of the hills, in the area of the ex Villa Cassarini (now Faculty of Engineering, outside Porta Saragozza), in an elevated position above the town, as a real acropolis: about the structure remain only cobblestone walls and stone bases of support for ex vote; the discovery of votive statues certifies the cult of Apollo and Heracles.

Exhibition rooms | Room X - Etruscan Bologna

External spaces | The Villanovan hut in the Margherita gardens