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Religious and funerary complex – Sovizzo

Viale degli Alpini, at the corner with Via Alfieri – 36050 Sovizzo (VI)

The archaeological site at Sovizzo is a religious and funerary complex of the Copper age. The site comprises three stone cairns (big, medium and small) preceded by a stone corridor. The corridor is also made of stone; it has an apse and it is divided in two by a further central row of stones. Three cairns have been excavated and have allowed the recovery of two burials: one of a two or three years old child, the others of young persons. The complex ends with scattered pebbles and stones where pottery fragments, stone tools and flint manufacture wastes have also been found.

History of research

The recovery of the archaeological area in the locality of “San Daniele” dates back to the Nineties and occurred on the occasion of the construction of private buildings by the municipality of Sovizzo. The preliminary investigations (1990-1991) were initially carried out on the whole residential zoning (95000 squared metres). After the recovery of the first structures of the site the investigations continued discontinuously between 1991 and 1994.

Urban and geographical context

Sovizzo is located 10 km west of Vicenza, on the south-easternmost part of the Lessinian mountains.


End of IV – beginning of III millennium B.C. (3300 – 2900 B.C.)


The archaeological site of Sovizzo is a religious and funerary megalithic complex that includes some burials made of stone heaps and a stone corridor to access the burials. The time of reference for this complex is Copper age, between 3000 and 2300 B.C.
The entrance to the megalithic complex is constituted by the three big sandstone slabs that we see if we look at the area on its western side. The biggest slab is north-south oriented, while the other two are east-west oriented. The corridor starts near the three stone slabs and heads towards east. This corridor (A) has an apse, it is 22,5 m long and it is made of three parallel rows of irregular sandstones and river pebbles. Each lane is approximately 60 cm large. It is believed that this corridor should have a ritual function, but the lack of further data and particularly of neat proofs that the lanes would be walked upon, makes questionable any hypothesis regarding the real ritual use of this structure.
The corridor ends near the big mound (B, better visible from the northern side of the area), an elliptical heap of stones of about 6 x 5,5 m that remains up to a height of 0,9 m. Its central part is constituted of sandstone and of medium and small pebbles incorporated in dark clayish soil and it is collapsed to the inside.
Southeast of the big mound there is the small mound (C), which is made in stones and pebbles. It has an elliptical shape of about 3 x 2 m and it is conserved up to a height of 0,55 m. Inside the mound a burial grave has been recovered, measuring about 1,2 x 0,8 m. The grave contained the anatomically connected bones of a very young person. Not far from this mound a small hole has been found, of almost circular shape and with flat bottom, which has been interpreted as the temporary seat for a wooden pole which might have been connected to the funerary ritual.
On the east of the big mound there is the medium mound (D, which is better visible from the southern side of the area), which is made of big sandstone blocks and river pebbles. This mound has almost circular shape, measures approximately 5 x 4,5 m and it is conserved up to a height of 0,5 m. Inside the medium mound the excavations have allowed the recovery of a rectangular grave which contained the burial of a two or three years old child. As for the small mound, not far from this one a small hole has been found, which has once again been interpreted as temporary seat for a pole connected to the funerary ritual.
The megalithic complex ends with scattered pebbles and stones of various but mainly medium-small sizes. In this area pottery fragments, stone tools and flint manufactured wastes have also been found. These artefacts might be interpreted either as other disarranged funerary goods or as documents of the use of this area in the late Neolithic times, by a group belonging to the culture of the “Vasi a Bocca Quadrata” (squared lip vases).


Visitability: Esterno

Ticket: No

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Recommended tour time (minutes): 60

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Veneto e Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Guide Archeologiche Preistoria e Protostoria in Italia) 1996, a cura di Aspes A., Fasani L., Forlì, pp. 142-149.
Bianchin Citton E. 1998, Il complesso funerario-cultuale di tipo megalitico dell’età del rame di Sovizzo – Località San Daniele, in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, XIV, pp. 163-164.
L’area funeraria e cultuale dell’età del Rame di Sovizzo nel contesto archeologico dell’Italia Settentrionale 2004, a cura di E. Bianchin Citton , Vicenza.
I luoghi della cultura 2006, Roma, pp. 387.
Bonetto J. 2009, Veneto (Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia), Roma, pp. 472-474.

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