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  • Author or Editor: Paolo de Vingo x
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This paper highlights several unusual aspects of the socio-political structure of Lombard society in the years following the conquest of Italy, bearing in mind that Germanic society consisted unequivocally of both men and women with complementary roles and the possibility of action, including intervention in the economic sphere, which could be expressed in various ways. As well as the capacity of foreigners to integrate with the local community, traditionally recognised in the two cemeteries of Nocera Umbra and Castel Trosino, the archaeological evidence shows a second form of integration with a process that took place exclusively within individual Germanic communities. The Collegno cemetery reveals the presence of women belonging to the Merovingian culture, probably from Transalpine territories and of high social status, who integrated with the Germanic community without losing the prerogatives of their rank during the transitional period. Lastly, the case of the Spilamberto cemetery shows how the formation of grave goods, and thus the investment capacity of individual families, corresponded to requirements that exceeded any other necessity including the state of health of female individuals. By placing all these elements on an ideal hypothetical level of reflection, it can be suggested that a funeral, at least until the mid-seventh century, was not just a religious ceremony but the moment when the family of the deceased displayed their economic capacity to absorb the roles, prerogatives and property of the dead person through the permanent loss of material goods, sometimes of significant value, when they were placed in the burial.

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The Animalistic Style differs in different phases with its own and different characteristics. There is also a 'hybrid' Animalistic Style, in which different phases of this decorative style are juxtaposed or even merged. This variant of the Animalistic Style has been analyzed here with the aim of clarifying the key moments of the evolution between the different phases. Three artifacts from the Regnum Langobardorum were considered, in particular from Cividale San Mauro, Torino Lingotto and San Lorenzo in Vaccoli in Lucca. Comparing the three artifacts, some conclusions were reached. The presence of artifacts decorated in a 'hybrid' Animalistic Style reaffirms an apparently banal concept: the use of a decorative style does not cease with the appearance of a new one. Furthermore, the coexistence in the Italian context of the different phases of the Animalistic Style on the same artifact indicates that the evolution towards the II Animalistic Style may have occurred in Italy.

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Abstract

Archaeological excavations at the site of Montessoro (660 m. a.sl.), carried out between 2009 and 2013 by the Department of Christian and Medieval Archaeology (University of Turin – Department of the Historical Studies) and currently under publication, have led to the large-scale exploration of a rural Apennine site which was inhabited between the first century BC and the fifth century AD. The late antique phase, which is the best-preserved, consists of five farm buildings made using a masonry base bound with clay, with an elevation in lathwork and a roof made of cover and pan tiles. The systematic study of almost 600 clay fragments, some of them large and mainly from the collapse levels caused by the fire in the granary, with negative impressions of plant material, has enabled considerable information to be obtained about the technique of wattle and daub used to construct the elevations: the morphology and arrangement of the wooden parts (horizontal and vertical), related to the woven lattice of the lathwork and the load-bearing structure, and the mixing and application of clay and plaster. This work, associated with a thorough analysis of the plentiful wood charcoal remains (carried out by Prof. Lanfredo Castelletti and Dr. Sila Motella – Museo Civico P. Giovio di Como), has yielded data about the choice and working of the plants and trees used for the construction of elevations and all the structural parts, enabling a fairly precise reconstruction of the buildings and the socio-economic and cultural context of the site.

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