Villanova Culture

Villanova Culture
Villanova Culture

The region of the Italian Peninsula has always had a special link with the world of art in stages such as the Baroque and the Renaissance Italy has always been one of the most outstanding territories but even much earlier, the world of art he turned his eyes towards this peninsula to look at the splendor of Roman art that, together with the Greeks, laid the foundations of the classical world. Now, many years before the Romans and even before the Etruscans, from whom Rome took several contributions, settled in the North of the Italian Peninsula,what we know today as the Villanova Culture and which already in its time was one of the greatest artistic and cultural advances of the moment.


The Villanova culture is a people framed in the Iron Age, the last stage included in the Metal Age, who were settled in what would today be the region of Bologna and whose main archaeological site is Villanova di Castenaso, from where the name Villanova culture comes from. The famous site was found in the mid-19th century, specifically in 1853, by Giovanni Gozadinni.

The archaeological remains found in this regard tell us of a culture with great concern for the afterlife; According to the remains found at the site, the members of theVillanova culture did not practice burial but cremation so that they cremated their deceased and later buried the funerary urns. It is precisely these funerary urns that have come upon us and that tell us about the artistic conception that existed in this area.

Recourse to metallurgy circular funerary urns were made but above all with an oikomorphic plant –as if it were a cabin- in which, although the forms were very simple, the decoration was complex and laborious; Geometric elements were often used, perhaps as an influence of Greek culture, which decorated the urns in bands or friezes, but to which some representations of zoomorphic or even human figures were also incorporated. These elements are very simple, with stylized and unrealistic forms, but they represent a great advance in the artistic conception of the time.

According to the studies carried out in this regard, the Villanova culture must have had a multitude of objects of an artistic nature, although unfortunately most of these have not reached us and those that have, are restricted to the funerary sphere, being not only urns but also other objects such as necklaces, bracelets, arrowheads… all of them as part of the funeral goods. The objects found also seem to indicate that this culture maintained commercial and transactional contacts with other peoples in the area.

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