Canegrate culture

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The Canegrate culture was a civilization of Prehistoric Italy who developed from the recent Bronze Age (13th century BC) until the Iron Age, in the Pianura Padana areas of what are now western Lombardy, eastern Piedmont and Canton Ticino.[1]

The name comes from the locality of Canegrate in Lombardy, south of Legnano and 25 km north of Milan, where important archaeological findings (approximately fifty tombs with ceramics and metallic objects) were discovered in the 20th century. It is one of the richer archeological sites of Northern Italy. First findings were excavated around 1926 in the area of Rione Santa Colomba, and systematic excavation occurred between March 1953 and autumn 1956.

The Canegrate culture signified the first arrival of the proto-Celtic[2] migratory wave of populations from the northwest part of the Alps that, crossing the alpine passes, had yet infiltrated and settled down in the western Po area between Lake Maggiore and Lake of Como (Scamozzina culture). They were bearers of a new funerary ideology--cremation—which supplanted the old culture of inhumation.

From the archaeological evidence, it can be deduced that their interactions with the precedent populations had not been completely pacific. The absolutely typical and isolated Canegrate findings do not lead to a connection with the precedent Polada culture and of a graduated insertion of theirs.

The population of Canegrate maintained its own homogeneity for a limited period of time, approximately a century, after which it melded with the Ligurian aboriginal populations and with this union gave rise to a new phase called the Golasecca culture.[3]

The origins of the Orobii, a population localized by Classical writers in these areas and which founded the city of Como, have been linked to the Canegrate culture.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Canegrate culture map
  2. ^ Venceslas Kruta: La grande storia dei celti. La nascita, l'affermazione e la decadenza, Newton & Compton, 2003, ISBN 88-8289-851-2, ISBN 978-88-8289-851-9
  3. ^ Maps of the Golasecca culture. [1] [2]