Research and excavations in the Lower Verbano region

The lower Verbano region is an area of great archaeological potential as, in antiquity, it was characterized by a dense population with characteristics that remained stable from Protohistory to the Roman era. The region was a important crossroads between the Po Valley and the Alpine passes. It was crossed by an overland road that departed from Milan and, after following the Olona valley, reached Sesto Calende and Angera. From there, trade continued until modern-day Switzerland by waterway. The region has, therefore, considerable potential to investigate: 1. settlement patterns and trade over the longue durée and; 2. how the territory adapted to face the invasions coming from beyond the Alps after the fall of the Roman Empire.

The research objective of the ArcheoMeMi group in the Lower Verbano region is to understand the process of human occupation and exploitation of natural resources from the Iron Age to the medieval period in the area between the current municipalities of Angera, Sesto Calende, Golasecca, Somma Lombardo, Vergiate, Arona, and Castelletto sopra Ticino. In particular, it aims to study the dependency relationships that the sites in this area may have had both with Lake Maggiore and the Ticino river. The research also aims to explore the road system and trade in the region, and how this changed throughout the period under examination.

A GIS mapping of all known sites is underway to achieve these objectives. Data collection is conducted by integrating data from the GNA portal – ‘Geoportale Nazionale Archeologia’ with other published and unpublished evidence from archives. Geospatial analyses will be conducted on this dataset to verify the relationships between sites and explore changes in settlement patterns. This first phase will be followed by a detailed analysis of the territory through targeted archaeological investigations and study of finds.

Papers at conferences and seminars

Emanuele E. Intagliata, Amedeo De Lisi, Tra economia circolare e analisi geospaziali – nuove prospettive di ricerca per l’Archeologia Cristiana e Medievale all’Università degli Studi di Milano. In IX Giornata della Ricerca del Dipartimento di Beni Culturali e Ambientali “Maria Teresa Grassi” (Milano, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali e Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Milano – 23/05/2024)‘’.

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