Projects and Science

P 26405-G21

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Alessandro Naso / Mag. Simon Hye

Funding:fwf logo

Verucchio: City Development and Trade Links, 11th-7th C. BC
Exchange, raw material supply, cultural contacts: a protourban centre on the Adriatic Sea as a hub of activity between Central Europe, Etruria and Ionia
 Verucchio 30.08.13

The special position occupied in prehistoric research by the proto-urban centre of Verucchio in the southern Romagna can be explained not only in the extraordinary finds that have been made in its necropoleis, but also in its position as the Etruscan "bridgehead" in Umbrian territory. However, the history of the origins of the settlement and its zone of influence have been left largely unexplored. The proposed project aims to address this desideratum at various levels, building on the groundwork of recent years:

In the first instance, an archaeological landscape survey will be conducted of areas directly adjacent to the main route between the Tyhrrenian Sea and the Adriatic coast (the valley of the river Marecchia). From the data obtained a settlement history of the valley will be developed in order to be able to better understand the processes leading to centralisation in Verucchio. This will be followed by a comparison of the new results with the knowledge that has been gained about the development away from a small village settlement structure to the protourban settlement types of the Central Tyrrhenian region and southern Italy. Initial studies have already successfully been carried out from 2009-2012 by a working group at the University of Innsbruck and will be completed by this research project.

In the second part of the project, commercial and cultural contacts will be explored on the basis of the imported raw materials and the locally-produced luxury goods that were exported elsewhere. Scientific analysis of the amber and copper used will allow hitherto mostly hidden sources of these raw materials to be identified. The collaboration of two of the world's leading research facilities in this field has been secured for the project: the Amber Research Laboratory (ARL), Department of Chemistry, Vassar College (NY, USA) and the Deutsche Bergbau-Museum in Bochum (DBM). The archaeological material studies will focus in particular on dress accessories made of these materials which indicate connections to Central Europe and Ionia.

The starting points for the study will be groups of objects from the necropoleis of the settlement, the amber finds from the sanctuary of Artemis at Ephesus (National Archaeological Museum of Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, Selçuk, British Museum, London) and other finds with provenance in Verucchio (and probably produced there) that have been distributed throughout the centuries in several museums (e.g. Staatliche Museen in Berlin, Stadtmuseum Wiesbaden, Medelhavsmuseet Stockholm, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University).

The interdisciplinary approach of the project will allow us to gain accurate insights into the contact network of the proto-urban centre at Verucchio and to reveal important information as to the settlement’s exchange relations and commodity distribution.

Verucchio 04.09.13

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