90089 - Prehistory and Protohistory

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Maurizio Cattani (Modulo 1) Claudio Cavazzuti (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Cultural Heritage (cod. 9076)

Learning outcomes

The course aims to introduce students to the study of Prehistory and Protohistory with particular reference to research methodology and knowledge of Italian prehistoric contexts. In particular, the discipline deals with the phases of identification, documentation and analysis of data, integrated with the theoretical concepts for the reconstruction of pre-protohistoric societies. At the end of the course the student is able to acquire the basics in order to be able to easily orientate himself in the study of prehistory and to choose following studies

Course contents

The course deals with the illustration of main characters and transformations during Prehistory and Protohistory. The study of the most ancient phases of human history allows us to address the following topics: - Chronology and dating methods - Climate and environment in prehistory - Subsistence and economy, from hunting and gathering to agricultural production - Technological evolution and exploitation of resources. - Presentation of some of the most significant moments of recent prehistory and protohistory with particular reference to European and Italian outcomes: neolithization process, technological innovations and social transformations with the spread of metal, evolution of forms of ideology and cult, types of organization of settlements, from the first villages to the fortified settlements of the Bronze Age. The course aims to illustrate the main Italian findings, with particular reference to Northern Italy, from Paleolithic and Mesolithic, to Neolithic and Metal Age (Copper Age, Bronze Age and Early Iron Age).

Finally, following the history of the prehistoric research, the course faces methodological and theoretical aspects of the discipline.


Cocchi Genick D. Preistoria, Verona 2009; Martini F. Archeologia del Paleolitico, Roma, 2008; Pessina A., Tiné V. Archeologia del Neolitico, Roma 2008; Bietti Sestieri A.M. 2010 L'Italia nell'età del Bronzo e del Ferro, Roma 2010; Guidi A. Preistoria della complessità sociale, Bari 2000; Cazzella A. Manuale di archeologia. Le società nella preistoria, Bari 1989.

Further texts will be added during the course lessons.

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

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.

Assessment methods

For attending students: direct examination by the teacher. Non attending students are required to agree upon an alternative program with the teacher

During the lessons and in the final examination the capability to understand general themes and to manage the bibliography will be evaluated, with particolar reference to the geographical setting. An appropriate language and the ability to illustrate the themes of the discipline will be evaluated with highest consideration.

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

The final assessment will be based on the following marks: - insufficient: lack of basic knowledge and inability to produce a correct interpretation of the texts and / or problems of the discipline - sufficient: mastery of basic knowledge; correct interpretation, but imprecisely explained or repeated without comprehension. - good: possession of knowledge in an intermediate level; fully correct interpretation, but not always precise. - excellent grade: mastery of knowledge in high level; interpretation of problems fully correct and illustrated with autonomy and precision. Excellent capacity of oral expression.

Teaching tools

Powerpoint presentations will be available at the web site of the teacher.

Office hours

See the website of Maurizio Cattani

See the website of Claudio Cavazzuti


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.