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Elisabetta Govi

Full Professor

Department of History and Cultures

Academic discipline: L-ANT/06 Etruscology and Italic Antiquities

Head of Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni Archeologici


Keywords: monumental sculpture Marzabotto Po Valley Etruria Etruscan epigraphy urbanism and architecture funerary practices Etruscan craft production

Her main research field is the Po Valley Etruria and its various aspects: epigraphy, religion, craft production, trade, city planning (necropolis, sanctuaries, houses) and burial customs.

To the excavations in the Etruscan city of Marzabotto are connected the studies concerning sacred architecture and town-planning. The analysis of the necropolis of Etruria padana from the 6th to the 4th Century B.C. (Bologna e Spina) is the focus of the most recent scientific production, with a specific interest reserved to the monumental sculpture of Bologna, a coherent group of funerary stones produced during the 5th Century B.C.

The primary research fields are the following ones:

The Etruscan city of Marzabotto: Research in the town is connected to the excavations, which have been carried out by University of Bologna: from 1988 to 1989 in Regio IV, 2, where a house-workshop has been brought to light; from 1999, in Regio I, 4-5, where a large peripteral temple near a second, tuscanic temple have been discovered.

Regarding House 1, she has been supervisor of many BA and MA degrees and has established collaborations with various Institutes to study specific classes of materials (Govi et alii 2006; Govi 2008). The most valuable result of the study is the complete edition of the context (Govi-Sassatelli 2010), in which she has dealt with the stratigraphic and planimetric analysis of the House, the reconstruction of the architectural phases, the building materials and at last, together with G. Sassatelli, the conclusion.

Regarding the urban, peripteral temple, she has been studying the architectural features (typology, cultural model, chronology: Sassatelli-Govi 2005; 2009), materials found during the excavations, the 3D modeling and virtual reconstruction of the structures in collaboration with other University Departments. The preliminary results of the whole process of analysis have been object of an International Conference organized together with G. Sassatelli, "Culti, forma urbana e artigianato a Marzabotto. Nuove prospettive di ricerca (Bologna 2003), Bologna 2005".

Investigations continued in the northern area of the temple, still in the RI, 5 where many and important novelties emerged on the chronology and development of the first and oldest Marzabotto settlement (Govi 2016). The tuscan temple of R. I, 4 (Garagnani, Gaucci, Govi 2016 and Govi 2017) is now being excavated. Marzabotto's urbanism study, investigated by field and geophysical surveys, aims at defining the urban layout and the new general planimetry. All these research topics have found a preliminary presentation in an up-to-date summary on the city (Govi 2007).

Craft and trade dynamics in Po Valley Etruria: the focus of the study is on the monumental sculptures of Bologna (Govi-Sassatelli 2004, Sassatelli-Govi 2009, 2010, Govi 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014; 2015). The whole corpus of monuments, with an innovative iconographic and iconological reading, is examined in the perspective of capturing not only the meanings of individual scenes, but also the compositional logic by analyzing individual decorative elements and their association (Govi 2014 and 2015). The trade and cultural phenomena underlying the importation into Po Valley Etruria of pottery from the Greek world and from Tyrrhenian Etruria represent a fervent field of investigation faced with the study of some classes of materials (Govi 1999). In relation to this specific theme, the analysis took into consideration the corpus of Etruscan ceramics found in Adria (Govi 2012).

Funerary Ritual: Within this theme she coordinates a project on the necropolies of Bologna of the VI-IV sec. B.C. (Govi 2009). More recently, the necropolis of Valle Trebba of Spina has been included in this research project, assigned to the chair of Etruscologia di Bologna (Govi c.s.).

The Etruscan epigraphy: she carved the epigraphic corpus of Marzabotto in collaboration with G. Sassatelli (Sassatelli 1994) and recently studied the text of the bronze sheet found in the excavation of the peripteral temple of R.I, 5 (Govi 2015). She considered the complex epigraphic framework of Spina necropolies, for which she tried to analyze the documentation anchored to the contexts (Govi 2006). In the aspect of writing more properly connected to the craft production she also dedicated the full edition of inscriptions and graffiti found in the excavation of the Petriolo di Chiusi (Govi-Martelli-Sassatelli 2009). She participates in the draft edition of the entire epigraphic corpus of Po Valley Etruria, coordinated by G. Sassatelli, which will be part of a series of Corpus Inscriptionum Etruscarum.

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