Campo Pianelli


Ph. “Antichissima Bismantova” – Iames Tirabassi

A brief history of research in Campo Pianelli and stratigraphic synthesis

Campo Pianelli consists of sandstone debris that were deposited at the foot of the Pietra di Bismantova and that in the millennia have slowly slipped into the underlying clay formations.
On this debris we find a first ephemeral human presence which took place in the late phase of the Copper Age (about half of the third millennium BC).
Several centuries later, ie in the full stage of middle Bronze Age (about 1550-1450 BC), it was implanted a village of sea-land culture that lasted through at least the first phase of the Late Bronze (1250 circa1300- century BC.). This town has returned the remains of two huts of this last phase.
Finally, from the late sixth century and until the fourth, the village was reoccupied by Etruscan and Ligurian people.
The first archaeological finds in Campo Pianelli date back to 1855-56 and occurred randomly by the then owners. It was only in 1865 that Don Gaetano Chierici, personally went to the place and, thanks to a small essay, unearthed two graves.
The resumption of the research came about a century later, the first thanks to fortuitous discovery between 1963 and 1969 of 3 graves, then in 1973-74 when new excavations brought the light other 21 graves and allowed to study the stratigraphy of the site.
In 1982 a new excavation campaign aimed to investigate a large area of the deposit, more focused over the acropolis that the necropolis, allowed to point out the connections between prehistoric and protostoric layers.
Finally in 2012 a third campaign, carried out in the center of the plateau, made it possible to better define the stratigraphy of the site and to recognize the remains of a recent Bronze Age hut.

Remains of dwellings from the recent Bronze Age in Campo Pianelli

The structures of the Bronze Age recently reported in light in Campo Pianelli from the nineteenth century to today are essentially two: one found in the extensive excavations of 1973-74 and one in a modest survey of 2012.
The first witness is represented by the remains of an earthen floor cooked by the heat of the fire.
The part highlighted was about two square meters wide, but still over the wall of the trench and therefore we do not know what its total extension was. Two sandstone slabs placed vertically in the vicinity seemed to be what was left of an access to the hut to which the floor belonged to.
The second witness, i.e. the remains of a largest hut, is rather complex and significant. Unfortunately, a previous survey in 1974 had recorded the house, highlighting part of the fireplace collapsed to the ground due to a fire.

The necropolis Campo Pianelli: features and aspects of the ritual

The necropolis is made up of almost fifty burials located on the ruins of the previous settlement of the Late Bronze, intentionally covered with a layer of flakes of sandstone place to regularize the plateau. The new settlement as the necropolis refers, moved to an area most appropriate to the needs of the time, it must be in a place not yet identified above the Pietra di Bismantova or near it. The funeral ritual reflects the ones typical of the Final Bronze Age: the remains of the deceased burned on the pyre are collected in a vessel almost always with a double truncated coneform and accompanied by items of clothing and personal adornment. The ossuary is covered by another vessel, usually a bowl: the association alludes to a head resting on the body and returns to the deceased the anthropomorphic aspect, destroyed in ritual cremation. The necropolis broadly refers to a not very large community, active between X and XI century BC, and its extension seems confined to the northern edge of the plateau.

* Reference: Very ancient Bismantova, by Iames Tirabassi