Italy Early Agricultural Culture Part I

Even more important are the results in the field of agricultural cultures, thanks to the fundamental studies of G. Patroni and P. Laviosa Zambotti and to important excavations that have allowed us to reconstruct the succession of cultures in several regions, filling gaps in our knowledge and leading to a more balanced evaluation of the duration and importance of different cultures. Very important are the results achieved in Liguria, where the excavation of the Arene Candide cave in Finale Marina (integrated by the excavation of the nearby Arma dell’Aquila) allowed the complete reconstruction of cultural evolution.

According to ACEINLAND, a first Neolithic culture succeeds the Mesolithic, characterized by ceramics decorated with raw impressions (see Molfetta, Tremiti, Stentinello); then a civilization characterized by square-mouthed vases, pintadere, clay idols, pierced ladles, etc., which reveals connections with the Balkan and Danubian cultures of the Tibiscus sphere. The prevailing decoration is now the graffiti after firing. These layers correspond to tombs with a skeleton huddled within a lithic cyst (Arene Candide) or with a simple bedside boulder (Arma dell’Aquila). This culture is canceled by the spread of a new civilization, the “Lagozza” civilization, whose characteristics were defined by P. Laviosa Zambotti starting from the examination of the pile-dwelling station of Lagozza di Besnate (Gallarate). This culture that spread over Lombardy (Lagozza and Isolino del Lago di Varese) and Emilia (Pescale), also present in the Lucchese (Grotta dell’Onda), connects Italy with western Switzerland (ancient lake Neolithic or civilization of Cortaillod) and with southern France (Camp de Chassey and southern caves). Its characteristics are glossy, unadorned ceramics, without real handles.

Not very dissimilar must have been the course of the most ancient civilizations in Emilia, where the excavations of Fiorano, Pescale (Modena) and Chiozza di Scandiano have shed light on the cultures preceding the great Aeneas civilization in the region. The faciesmore archaic (Fiorano, Albinea, Calerno, Campegine, etc.) is characterized by ceramics decorated with grooves, cuppelle, grain grain impressions (shaped cups, hemispherical bowls with raised ribbon handles and surmounted by a button) and by a lithic industry preserving the tradition of the upper Paleolithic with scrapers on blades, rhombuses, microbills. The pedunculated arrow is missing. Wild animals still prevail in the meal residues. The following phase (Chiozza, Pescale) is characterized by square-mouthed vases of various shapes, decorated with the intaglio technique with recurring spirals, meanders, etc. (Vucedol style), pintadere, etc. There is figuline ceramics, achromatic or painted, Ripoli type. This civilization reveals the fusion of various cultural currents, some coming from southern Italy and, through it, from Balkania (painted pottery), others from the Danube valley (Vucedol type pottery, square-mouthed vases, etc.). Here too it seems to be replaced by the civilization of the Lagozza, undoubtedly of Western origin, which overlaps the Pescale with the previous culture.

In Tuscany, the presence of impressed ceramics, identical to that of the lower levels of the Arene Candide on the island of Elba, offers new evidence of the maritime origin (probably North African) of this prima facies, which mainly affects the small islands (Malta, Tremiti, Elba) and the coasts (Molfetta, Leuca, Syracuse, Finale Ligure, Bocche del Rodano). The following facies (graffitied ceramics, sporadic painted Ripoli-type ceramics – of which other fragments from the Grotta Lattaia di Cetona – and then ceramics from Lagozza) are present in Grotta dell’Onda (Lucca).

In the Etruscan territory, in Pienza and above all south of the Amiata, in Botro del Pelagone (Manciano), in Corano and Poggio Formica (Pitigliano), in Ponte S. Pietro (Ischia di Castro), etc. Necropolis of oven tombs of the Rinaldone culture have come to light, which now represents the transition to the age of metals, characterized by sometimes lenticular bottle vases with channel handles, truncated conical glasses, single or double-edged jars, etc., sometimes associated with copper daggers. The pit or cave tombs of Valvisciolo, Sermoneta and Casamari belong to the same cultural horizon, the latter accompanied by magnificent flint daggers and cusps with entirely retouched surfaces (see Remedello). A similar culture has recently also been identified in Campania in the necropolis of Paestum (see in this App.), whose ceramics, while recalling the Tuscan-Lazio types, differ mainly in the types of the handles and in particular shapes that reveal relationships with the Helladic horizon. Relations that, according to P. Laviosa Zambotti, would have taken place through Sicily, whose influence is also evident in the type of burial.

Even in southern Adriatic Italy, the most ancient agricultural culture seems to be characterized by impressed ceramics (Tremiti, Molfetta, Canne, Vigna dell’Acqua, etc.). However, the succession of types is sometimes difficult to establish due to the lack of stratigraphic data. A keen attempt to reconstruct it was that of R. Stevenson. The engraved ceramic seems to be replaced, in the following phase, by the graffiti and encrusted one (style of Matera), with which the first painted ceramic of evident Balkan influence is associated. The region then gravitates towards the Balkan cultural sphere. The painted pottery assumes, in the probable third phase, a very luxuriant development (entrenched villages of the Materano, stations of Puglie, of Ripoli, etc., amply illustrated by U. Rellini) and is widely exported to the Tyrrhenian coasts (Grotta delle Felci in Capri) and Adriatic coasts (Emilian stations), reaching as far as Liguria (Caverna dell’Acqua di Finale). Painted ceramics are associated with the monochrome gray or bright red with tubular handles. An even more advanced phase would be represented by the thin marginated tremolo ceramics of Serra d’Alto (Gravela), which also appears in Lipari, PaternĂ², etc. The circular pit tombs of the most ancient phase (Molfetta) are replaced by those in the oven, of the Sicilian type, some of which have recently been reported to Pizzone in Taranto. In these cultures, the lithic industry of the Campania technique assumes a wide diffusion, of which vast stations-workshops have been identified in the Gargano. It undoubtedly represents a contribution from

Italy Early Agricultural Culture 1