European Protohistory - Second Cycle

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide a set of general knowledge of the European Age archaeological cultures of the Bronze and Iron Ages, with a more targeted focus on the main cultural complexes in northern Italy, between the second millennium BC and the age of the Romanization.

The course aims to provide the tools to orientate oneself in the recognition of material culture and in the interpretation and use of archaeological sources, with particular regard to the protohistoric contexts of northern Italy.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding: the course allows you to acquire a framework of general knowledge relating to the European archaeological cultures of the Bronze and Iron Age, with a more focused focus on the main cultural complexes present in northern Italy between the second millennium BC. and age of Romanization.
Skills: the course provides the tools to orientate oneself in the recognition of material culture and in the interpretation and use of the archaeological sources that form the framework of knowledge of the discipline, with particular regard to the contexts of northern Italy.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
According to the developing of the Covid emergency, lessons will be held in presence mode if just possible or in blended mode.
Students will be able to find all the information to access the lessons and any changes to the program on the Ariel website of the course, at the beginning and during the 2nd semester.
If it is not possible to carry out the final test in the manner provided in the Syllabus, the test can be carried out using a Teams channel. Any updates will be communicated on the Ariel site of the course .
Course syllabus
The teaching of European Protohistory deals with the most recent segment of prehistory (Bronze and Iron Age, II-I millennium BC) and with the cultural groups that constitute the first evolutionary stage of some nation-states of modern Europe. It is a period characterized by a strong acceleration in socio-economic developments.
In the academic year 2021-2022 the course will deal with the Bronze Age. The general features will be deepened: chronology, material culture, subsistence, production and exchanges, settlement patterns in the landscape, funeral rites and their changing over the time, ideology and social context, without forgetting controversial issues such as conflict and violence. A particular focus will be on the water, central to the Bronze age communities for subsistence and settlements on the lakes shore and in the wetlands (pile dwellings!) as well for the cultural practices of offerings in springs and rivers. During the Bronze Age in many European regions there was a widespread, stable and strongly impacting settlement on the environment and territory, which imploded around 1200 BC; Was this model "sustainable"? What causes spelled its end?

Part I.
Themes and methods: type and typology, archaeological culture, methodologies for relative and absolute dating.
The periodization of the Bronze and the Iron Ages.
Protohistoric Europe: a picture of cultures.
The bronze metallurgy and its historical and social repercussions.

Part II
The Copper Age / Bronze Age transition.
Productions and exchanges.
Settlement and economy.
Living on and off the water: pile dwellings and Terramare.
Reconstructing Societies: funeral archaeology, paleodemography, complexity and social stratification.
Ideology and cults without architectures: offerings and depositions
Violence, conflict and defense
The Iron Age: new technologies, new horizons

Part III (3 credits)
The third part of the course, for Students attending lessons, will consist of visits to museums and work groups to encourage direct knowledge of the archaeological materials (classification and drawing of findings); for Students non-attending lessons a bibliography will be defined on the basis of the interests indicated (up to 5 articles or printed works).
Prerequisites for admission
Recommended, not required: Prehistory; Methodology of archaeological research.
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons
Teaching Resources
Part I (3 cfu)
Lessons' slides (available at: . Moreover:.
1. de Marinis R.C., Archeologia e arte antica in Enciclopedia europea, 12, Milano 1984, pp. 559-568.
2. de Marinis R.C., Cultura archeologica, facies archeologica, gruppo culturale e civiltà nella letteratura pre- e protostorica italiana, in Danckers J., Cavazzuti C., Cattani M. (eds.), Facies e culture nell'età del Bronzo italiana? Atti del Convegno di Roma, Institut Historique Belge de Rome, 3-4.12.2015, ARTES 11, pp. 27-39.
3. R.C. de Marinis, Il museo civico archeologico Giovanni Rambotti: una introduzione alla preistoria del lago di Garda, Desenzano del Garda, 2000 (solo i cap. V, VI, VII).
4. Rapi M., 2013, "Dall'età del Rame all'età del Bronzo. I primi villaggi palafitticoli e la cultura di Polada", in R.C. de Marinis (ed.), L'età del Rame. La pianura padana e le Alpi al tempo di Ötzi, Roccafranca (Brescia), 525-544.
5. R.C. de Marinis, "La protostoria del territorio di Varese" (pp. 11 ss.), "L'età del Bronzo nelle palafitte del lago di Varese" (pp. 124-139), "La palafitta del Sabbione di Monate" (pp. 661-668) in R.C. de Marinis, M. Pizzo e S. Massa, a c. di, Alle origini di Varese e del suo territorio, Roma, 2009.
6. R.C. de Marinis, Il Bronzo Recente nel Canton Ticino e la cultura di Canegrate, in I Leponti tra mito e realtà, a c. di R.C. de Marinis e S. Biaggio Simona, Locarno, 2000, tomo 1, pp. 93-121.
7. Bernabò Brea M., "Le terramare nell'età del Bronzo", in Bernabò Brea M., Cremaschi M. (ed.), Acqua e civiltà nelle terramare. La vasca votiva di Noceto, Milano, 2009, pp. 5-16.

Part II (3 cfu)
Lessons' slides (available at: . Moreover:.
1. M. Cremaschi, "Foreste, terre coltivate e acque. L'originalità del progetto terramaricolo", in M. Bernabò Brea, M. Cremaschi, a c. di, Acqua e civiltà nelle terramare. La vasca votiva di Noceto, Milano, 2009, pp. 34-45.
2. de Marinis R.C., Il ripostiglio della Cascina Ranza (comune di Milano), NotArchBerg 26, 2018, pp. 27-113.
3. R.C. de Marinis, Il ripostiglio della Malpensa (Somma Lombardo, VA), in R.C. de Marinis, S. Massa e M. Pizzo, a c. di, Alle origini di Varese e del suo territorio, L'Erma di Bretschneider, Roma, 2009, pp. 146-154.
4. R.C. de Marinis, Le armi e la guerra nell'età del Bronzo, in AAVV, Genti in arme. Aristocrazie della Basilicata antica, catalogo della mostra di Roma, Roma 2001, pp. 19-25.
5. M. David-Elbiali, "Sous l'agle du genre: analyse de nécropoles de l'âge du Bronze (15e-13e siècle av. J.-C.) d'Italie du Nord et comparaisons avec le nord des Alpes", Rivista di Scienze Preistoriche, LX, 2010, pp. 203-256.
6. R. Jung, I "bronzi internazionali" ed il loro contesto sociale fra Adriatico, Penisola balcanica e coste levantine, in E. Borgna/P. Càssola Guida (eds), From the Aegean to the Adriatic: Social Organisations, Modes of Exchange and Interaction in Postpalatial Times (12th-11th c. BC). Atti del Seminario internazionale (Udine, 1-2 dicembre 2006), Roma, 2009, pp. 129-157.

Part III (3 cfu)
Museums visits, seminars and focused groups activities to improve knowledges directly on the archaeological materials. For Students not attending lessons will be defined a list of articles/books (max. 5) depending on interests.

NB: The bibliography could be modified with more up-to-date works, which will be indicated at the beginning of the course and will not lead to an increase in the expected workload.
Assessment methods and Criteria
oral test
Unita' didattica A
L-ANT/01 - PREHISTORY AND EARLY HISTORY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-ANT/01 - PREHISTORY AND EARLY HISTORY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-ANT/01 - PREHISTORY AND EARLY HISTORY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)