28795 - Prehistory and Protohistory (LM)

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Archaeology and Cultures of the Ancient World (cod. 8855)

Learning outcomes

The course will allow students to know Italian Protohistory and acquire the capability to study in depth specific topics through the learning of methods and through the widening of records and contexts. At the end of the course students will be able to recognize the main archaeological contexts of the Copper and Bronze Age, to analyze the markers of each phase, as well as to manage correctly description and interpretation of archaeological records.

Course contents

The Copper Age and the Bronze Age in Italy: a case study for the analysis of settlement pattern with a particular reference to the demographic aspects, resources management, craft productions and the ideological changes. Chronological description of main cultural aspects from Early Copper Age to the Final Bronze Age through the analysis of the most important contexts in the italian peninsula and in the islands. Along this topics, the course will face the methodology of prehistoric research, discuss the meaning of “cultural aspects” and how they can be identified in the archaeological record. A further discussion will be devoted to the reconstruction of social systems, through the evidence of archaeological markers and the analysis of the interaction among individuals and communities.

  • Copper Age in Italy: metallurgy and other technological innovations related to social transformations.
  • Copper Age in Italy:funerary aspects, rock art and the ideology of the warrior
  • Copper Age in Italy:Iceman, image of an individual and a model of the prehistoric research.
  • Bronze Age in Italy: demographic increase, stabilization of settlements and the resource exploitation.
  • Bronze Age in Italy: cultural facies from palafitte to terramare, from castellieri to nuraghi as a case study for the analysis of economy and social organization.
  • Chronology and archaeological markers of cultural changes in the Bronze Age.
  • Early Iron Age: iron metallurgy and the development of aristocracy.


Cocchi Genick D. 2009, Preistoria, Quiedit, Verona.

de Marinis R. a cura di, 2014, L’età del Rame. La pianura padana e le Alpi al tempo di Ötzi, Brescia.

Bietti Sestieri A.M. 2010, L'Italia nell'età del Bronzo e del Ferro, Carocci, Roma.

de Marinis R.C. (a cura di) 2000, Il Museo Civico Archeologico Giovanni Rambotti. Una introduzione alla preistoria del lago di Garda, Castiglione delle Stiviere.

Bernabò Brea B., Cardarelli A., Cremaschi M. 1997, Le Terramare. La più antica civiltà padana,Catalogo della Mostra,Modena 15 marzo - 1 giugno 1997, Elemond, Milano

Moravetti A., Melis P., Foddai L., Alba E., a cura di, 2017, La Sardegna nuragica: storia e monumenti, Regione autonoma della Sardegna, Sassari, C. Delfino editore. 

Fokkens H., Harding A. (eds.) 2013, The European Bronze Age, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Further texts will be added during the course lessons.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods will include lessons with powerpoint to be considered of primary importance for the comprehension of the discipline. Attending the lessons will be evaluated positively.

Further seminars will be organized on analytical methods of material culture.

Assessment methods

For attending students the teacher will propose two different solutions:

1.Illustration with powerpoint in a specific lesson of one theme selected by the candidate

2. Direct examination by the teacher with questions on main topics.

Non attending students are required to agree upon an alternative program with the teacher

During the lessons and in the final examination it will be evacuate the capability to understand general themes and to manage the bibliography, with particolar reference to the geographical environments. The mastery of appropriate language and the ability to present will be evaluated with highest consideration.

The unsuccessful knowledge of chronology, historical and geographical background, inappropriate language will be evaluated negatively.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be illustrated with powerpoint presentations, available also at the web site of the teacher

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Maurizio Cattani


Quality education Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Life on land

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.