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Roman and late antiquity necropolis and early Christian church at the "Basilica di San Procolo" – Verona

Via San Procolo 1 – 37100 Verona (VR)
– Fax 045 8021469
Summary


The archaeological area in the basilica of Saint Procolo includes some graves from the Roman and late antiquity necropolis (I-III and IV-V centuries A.D.), as well as the remains of the early Christian church of V-VI century A.D.

History of research

The first investigations in this area date back to 1926-1928, on the occasion of the works to consolidate and dehumidify the church. However, in that context the excavations were not carried out as per stratigraphic method and they were not properly documented. Real archaeological excavations were carried out at the end of the Sixties and between 1985 and 1988, together with the restoration of the building.

Urban and geographical context

Verona is located along the Adige river, where this enters in the Po plain, at about thirty kilometres east to the Garda lake. Its altitude is 59 metres above sea level and it is placed at the basis of the Lessini mountains. The Roman and late antiquity necropolis and the church of Saint Procolo were located out of town and of the Adige river bend.

Chronology

I-VI century A.D.

Description

The excavations that were carried out in the church of Saint Procolo at the end of the Sixties brought to light about 16 tombs with northeast-southwest orientation. Seven of them were “cappuccina” tombs, one was inside an amphora (probably this one belonged to a child) and eight were cist tombs, with their lid, sides and bottom made in stone slabs. Their dating is still uncertain, but the building techniques and the funeral monuments that were found in the surroundings suggest that they might date to the I-III century A.D.
The late antiquity cemetery (IV-V century A.D.) was made on the necropolis, from which it is separated by a layer of soil and by thin use layers which have been interpreted as the result of the ritual practices which were carried out for the burial. Originally, 11 tombs were found. They were cist tombs and their bottom, sides and lid were made of pink limestone. One of them was found intact and it still contained three skeletons, all side by side, which had been buried at the same time. Their heads rested on a sort of pillow made of two stone slabs covered with mortar. The central body had a crown of interweaved branches on the head. Some of these tombs are visible inside the crypt, on its left side and under the stairs.
The basilica of Saint Procolo was built between the V and VI century above the late antiquity cemetery. Its structure consisted in a single apsed room and was 32,4 metres long and 11,10 metres large. The floor was in mortar and it is still partially visible on the way to the crypt, on the left. The walls remain at a foundation level and are of load-bearing type with river pebbles kept together by mortar. The elevation was in fragmented bricks and pebbles. Some of its remains are visible along the stairs going down to the crypt, beyond the tombs.
Around the XI century a crypt was added to the church, which could be accessed through large central stairs as large as the church. In the XII century the width of the building was increased of 6 metres and its façade was built where it is today. Further renovations were carried out in the XVI century and a new system for accessing the crypt was built. It included the demolition of the previous stairs and the construction of the thick wall which we see today along the stairs descending to the crypt.


Visiting

Admission: Negli orari di apertura
Solo su prenotazione

Visitability: Interno

Ticket: No

School access

Opening Times

Opening Days
Tipology When Specs
Only Friday 17-18
Only Monday 17-18
Only Thursday 17-18
Only Tuesday 17-18
Only Wednesday 17-18

Recommended tour time (minutes): 40

Educational Services

Guided Tours
Guided tours by the association "Centro Turistico Giovanile" (tel. 045 8004592)


Bibliography

La chiesa di San Procolo in Verona: un recupero e una restituzione 1988, a cura di Brugnoli P., Verona, pp. 71-95.
Archeologia a Verona 2000, a cura di Bolla M., Milano, pp. 94-95.
Bonetto J. 2009, Veneto (Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia), Roma, pp. 454-455.


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