University of Udine

DIpartimento di Studi UManistici
e del patrimonio culturale


Buried and sunken landscapes. Aquileia and its territory from the Eneolithic to the Iron Age


Buried and sunken landscapes. Aquileia and its territory from the Eneolithic to the Iron Age

Coordinator: Prof. Elisabetta Borgna
Member: Dr. Susi Corazza
Website: Prehistory and Protohistoy Lab

The research group in Prehistory and Protohistory of the University of Udine is dealing with a multi-annual project on Aquileia and its territory during the pre- and proto-historical age, in accordance with the regional Superintendence (Soprintendenza Archeologica del Friuli Venezia Giulia) and through collaboration with external experts and interdepartmental cooperations (Prof. Paolo Paronuzzi). The project concerns various activities, among which the study and the publication of the prehistoric materials (both those already belonging to the collections of the Museo Nazionale di Aquileia and those found in the course of previous excavations organized by the Superintendence), surveys and new excavations in sites dating to the Bronze and Iron Age and educational and outreach activities.

Since 2013 the project consisted in a series of excavation campaigns (2013, 2015, 2017) concentrated on the protohistorical village in the locality of Ca' Baredi, in the nearby of Canale Anfora, more precisely in the comune of Terzo di Aquileia (which lays South West of the ancient roman city). The purpose is to better understand the ways and processes of settlement in the territory of Aquileia, before Aquileia was even founded. Through a multidisciplinary approach, the project also aims at reconstructing the "sunken" landscape of the friulian lowlands from the perspective of Anthropic Geography: the objective is thus to investigate the protohistorical cultural aspects in relation to the geomorphological, pedological, hydrological characteristics and, more in general, to the environmental factors which had the most significant impact on the evolution of the landscape over the centuries.

Another primary objective is the integration of the history of the friulian lowlands with that of the highlands, a region rich in tumuli and "castellieri" (fortified boroughs) whose systematic and continuous analysis supplied a huge quantity of data which allowed a deep understanding of the general context.

This project develops in parallel with other minor projects relating to the study of the complexes of protohistoric bronzes (deposits and sporadic finds), attesting supplying dynamics, circulation and short and long-distance exchanges during the Bronze Age, as well as to the archaeometric analysis (in collaboration with the Department of Geosciences of the University of Padova.
The topics of pre- and protohistoric research are also considered with a view to promotion and dissemination (preparation of didactic materials about protohistoric contexts, in collaboration with the local authorities; participation in the Italian-Croatian call for the setting up of cross-border touristic-cultural routes).


  • Territorial analysis of the regional Prehistory, including the friulian lowlands and the areas of tumuli and castellieri (central plain and highlands), with particular focus on the Bronze and Iron Age
  • Study of the supplying dynamics, circulation and metal deposition during the Bronze Age