14 July 2022

Prehistory in Aosta

Area Megalitica di Aosta

The Megalithic area of Saint-Martin-de-Corléans has been discovered in 1969. The archaeological site is divided into two different areas. The area that we will visit focus into the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. It was used in different ways from the 5th millennium BC to the Middle Ages (church outside of the area).

Thanks to the modern research methods it was possible to recognize and clarify the sequence of the structural phases. Here we could list first ritual plough furrows made with help of animals or by humans, in an extensive area, excavation and the use of pits, lines of the posts, steles, menhirs and tombs”.

With every probability the furrows were excavated in the brown soil, became solid after with time. Their profile is regular, and their direction is the same. This can be seen as well with pits, steles, tombs, and timbers. Using of plough may have been agricultural or simply a ritual human action. On the other site different excavated pits can be seen. Their shape is round, and their size is different. Pits were used like a magazine to preserve seeds or cereals and closed on the top. They have been used between 4300 and 3950 BC. In the late 4th and 2nd millennium BC there was a presence of a vertical structures, in the holes one there were wooden posts (pine and larch). The wooden timbers go into the 1st half of 3rd millennium BC, they were placed for religious reasons and had an astronomical meaning. With every probability they were fire-charred to preserve them. Nearby the wooden timbers lines, there is a line of steles. The line of steles is made in stone, it means in a harder and durable material. The human figures are represented into anthropomorphic steles, which are the first megalithism manifestation into the area of Saint-Martin-de-Corléans.

Three different types of the monoliths can be found here menhirs, performed slabs and the anthropomorphic steles. The steles have two different styles: first one with a distinctive anthropomorphic appearance and the second one with more details like arms, heads, shoulders, clothes, weapons, ornaments. 

The Megalithic Area will be closed until November 2022.

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