La Vela (TN)

The Neolithic site of La Vela, excavation campaigns of 1987-88. First considerations on the stratigraphic sequence


The Neolithic site of “La Vela” occupies part of an extensive alluvial conoid of the namesake torrent, situated on the right bank of Adige river, north-west of Trento. Since the early sixties, the area has been the subject of intense construction activity that has led to the discovery of the site and has marked the excavation work or simple recovery. The general plan (Fig. 1) suggests the vast extent of the archaeological evidence with their different stages and intended use (village or burial), as well as the interaction between anthropized levels and natural events (erosion, flooding, slope dynamics ). The excavation conducted in 1987-88 in the area called Vela VII, cut in two by a large erosive sewer created after the prehistoric attendance, yielded the most complex and better arguable data series, with a sequence that starts from the Mesolithic and reaches the so-called phase II of the culture square mouth pottery (style meandrospiralic ) (Fig. 2).

After sporadic bivouacs of the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, the al location of groups belonging neolithic period was substantiated in a close interaction between natural processes and human intervention, the latter aimed at the “domestication” of an environment subject to continuous episodes of valley erosion and flood inherent to the specific geomorphological system of this area. The phase dated to the Neolithic period has kept limited patches of soil man-made, heavily deleted by ancient erosion and dotted with shallow post holes that are not organized into clear alignments, but they are concentrated in the west of a deep incision straight-oriented SE-NW probably be interpreted as a moat (Fig. 3). This structure results filled with natural fillings and covered by the first phase of the town VBQ (square mouth pottery) which develops directly on the surface of ancient neolithic man-made soil.The first phase of the settlement attributable to the VBQ (recognized stratigraphic and confirmed by the analysis of syntax decorative ceramics) have been preserved mainly in the southern area. In the northern area are in stratigraphic continuity with the levels of the early Neolithic. The next phase (characterized by the appearance of the style elements meandrospiralico), is characterized by extensive reconstruction of the area with the laying of cobblestones and an extensive re-use of the moat of the Early Neolithic to the installation of a series of large wooden elements vertical with large stones at the bases. At this time the area of La Vela VII is devoted to burial ground, since all the graves are systematically covered by layers of growth of the village.


Analisi mineralogiche e chimiche »»
Industria ceramica »»
Livelli mesolitici »»
Riti funerari »»




AA.VV. 1977, L’ambiente neolitico de “La Vela ” (Trento). Il momento meandro – spiralico della Cultura dei Vasi a Bocca Quadrata,Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali, Sezione mostre ternporanee, Trento 1977, pp. 1-74

BAGOLINI B., BIAGI P. 1976, La Vela de Trente el le “moment de síyle adriatique ” dans la Culture des vases à bouche carrée,”Preistoria Alpina”, 12, 1976, pp. 71-77

BAGOLINI B., BIAGI P,, EVETT D. 1976, La Vela (Trento), “Preistoria Alpina – Notiziario”, 12, 1976, pp. 222-225

BAGOLINI B., BIAGI P., SALA B. 1975, La Vela (Cantiere Segalla), “Preistoria Alpina Notiziario”, 11, 1975, pp. 326-328

PEDROTTI A. 1990, L’abitato neolitico de “La Vela ” di Trento, in Die ersten Bauern. Pfahlbaufunde Europas, Band 2, Schweizerisches Landesmuseum Zürich, 1990, pp pp. 219-224


(*) testo di Nicola DEGASPERI e Annaluisa PEDROTTI