Gaudo culture

The Gaudo Culture is an Eneolithic culture from Southern Italy, primarily in the region of Campania, active at the end of the 4th millennium BC, whose typesite necropolis is located near Paestum, not far from the mouth of the river Sele.[1] Its name comes from the Spina-Gaudo necropolis.

Objects of this culture are known and have been recovered since Antiquity. During the 5th century BC and/or the 4th century BC, for example, Greek settlers deposited daggers made of flint probably from graves in an ancient sanctuary at the site of Paestum.[2] In the 18th century, objects were also recovered by scholars. For example, a flint dagger and a vase were brought from Italy to England by William Hamilton.[3]

Gaudo culture
Gaudo pot
Alternative namesGaudo pot
Geographical rangeSouth Italy
Period3150-2300 BC
Type siteSpina-Gaudo necropolis
An example of a Gaudo Culture tomb, made up of an access shaft with antechamber, from which branch off two burial chambers, containing ceremonial ceramics like the one pictured above, and human skeletons bound up in the fetal position.

The Necropolis

Paestum Skelette

Though there are some earlier paleolithic findings at the Gaudo site, about one kilometer from more famous Greco-Roman ruins at Paestum, the Gaudo culture is associated primarily with the better established neolithic necropolis. This necropolis occupies about 2000 m² and contains 34 separate tombs. It was discovered late in the year 1943, during the Allied campaign in Italy, when the construction of the Gaudo Airfield unearthed some of the tombs. A British officer and archeologist, Lieutenant John G. S. Brinson, proceeded to conduct a scientific excavation of the tombs and recorded his findings in a notebook now held in the National Archeological Museum of Naples.

Each tomb is roughly hewn out of rock in an "oven-shaped" design, with either one or two burial chambers of a somewhat oval shape, with a low, curved ceiling, each containing multiple human skeletons in the fetal position, either on their sides or on their backs. The tombs were accessed by a more or less circular shaft from above, at the bottom of which was a kind of vestibule or antechamber. There is evidence that the Gaudo funeral rites would have been carried out by a team of people, and after the conclusion of the rites, the tomb would have to be sealed off by a large stone. The Gaudo people would apparently use tombs repeatedly, perhaps for different generations of people. It has been seen that the body of the most recently deceased would always be placed at the back of his burial chamber, with the previous tenants of that chamber placed beside him. The corpses would be accompanied by fine ceremonial ceramic pots in various forms, such as the "askoi", the curious double "salt cellar", as well as weapons: arrowheads, spearheads, and knives of flint or copper. These accessories were probably symbols of rank. Study of the arrangement of bones and accompanying artifacts has led researchers to believe that the Gaudo society was structured into different family groups or warrior clans of some kind. It is curious that in the access shafts and antechamber of the Gaudo tombs, pottery was also found, but this was of a much coarser grade, a simpler form, larger dimensions, and was sparsely decorated.

Unfortunately, since the Gaudo people are known almost exclusively through their tombs, little is known about the many other facets of their culture, which may have been equally fascinating. Some other Gaudo sites are known throughout Campania however, such as what is thought to be a Gaudo dwelling in Taurasi, and the necropoles at Eboli and Buccino.

A large collection of Gaudo artifacts is on display at the National Archeological Museum of Paestum.


  1. ^ Bailo ModestiI G., Salerno A. (Eds), 1998, Pontecagnano II, 5. La necropoli eneolitica, L'età del Rame in Campania nei villaggi dei morti, Annali dell'Istituto Orientale di Napoli, sezione di Archeologia e Storia Antica, quad. n. 11, Napoli
  2. ^ Aurigemma S., Spinazzola V., Maiuri A., 1986, I primi scavi di Paestum (1907-1939), Ente per le antichità e i monumenti della provincia di Salerno, Salerno
  3. ^ Barfield L. H., 1985, Sir William Hamilton’s Chalcolithic Collection, in Swaddling J., Papers of the Sixth British Museum Classical symposium 1983, p. 229-233
  • "La cultura del Gaudo". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  • "Cultura Gaudo". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
  • National Archeological Museum of Paestum

See also

1943 in archaeology

The year 1943 in archaeology involved some significant events.

3rd millennium BC

The 3rd millennium BC spanned the years 3000 through 2001 BC. This period of time corresponds to the Early to Middle Bronze Age, characterized by the early empires in the Ancient Near East. In Ancient Egypt, the Early Dynastic Period is followed by the Old Kingdom. In Mesopotamia, the Early Dynastic Period is followed by the Akkadian Empire.

World population growth relaxes after the burst due to the Neolithic Revolution.

World population is largely stable, at roughly 60 million, with a slow overall growth rate at roughly 0.03% p.a.

Abealzu-Filigosa culture

The Abealzu-Filigosa culture was a Copper Age culture of Sardinia (2700-2400 BC). It takes its name from the locality of Abealzu, near Osilo, and Filigosa, near Macomer.

The populations of this culture lived mainly in the Sassarese area and other parts of central-southern Sardinia.

They still used obsidian to produce tools and weapons but copper objects, such as the daggers depicted in the Statue menhir, were becoming common. Lead and silver were also smelted. Their economy was focused on pastoralism and agriculture.

The pottery of Abealzu show some similarities with those of the Rinaldone and Gaudo culture from the Italian peninsula.To this period date the second phase of construction of the massive megalithic temple of Monte d'Accoddi.


The Chalcolithic (English: ), a name derived from the Greek: χαλκός khalkós, "copper" and from λίθος líthos, "stone" or Copper Age, also known as the Eneolithic or Aeneolithic (from Latin aeneus "of copper") is an archaeological period which researchers usually regard as part of the broader Neolithic (although scholars originally defined it as a transition between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age). In the context of Eastern Europe, archaeologists often prefer the term "Eneolithic" to "Chalcolithic" or other alternatives.

In the Chalcolithic period, copper predominated in metalworking technology. Hence it was the period before it was discovered that adding tin to copper formed bronze (a harder and stronger metal). The archaeological site of Belovode, on Rudnik mountain in Serbia has the oldest securely-dated evidence of copper smelting, from 7000 BP (c. 5000 BC).The Copper Age in the Ancient Near East began in the late 5th millennium BC and lasted for about a millennium before it gave rise to the Early Bronze Age.

The transition from the European Copper Age to Bronze Age Europe occurs about the same time, between the late 5th and the late 3rd millennia BC.

Chalcolithic Europe

Chalcolithic Europe, the Chalcolithic (also Aeneolithic, Copper Age) period of Prehistoric Europe, lasted roughly from 3500 to 1700 BC.

It was a period of Megalithic culture, the appearance of the first significant economic stratification, and probably the earliest presence of Indo-European speakers.

The economy of the Chalcolithic, even in the regions where copper was not yet used, was no longer that of peasant communities and tribes: some materials began to be produced in specific locations and distributed to wide regions. Mining of metal and stone was particularly developed in some areas, along with the processing of those materials into valuable goods.

Copper Age state societies

The Chalcolithic or Copper Age is the transitional period between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age.

It is taken to begin around the mid-5th millennium BC, and ends with the beginning of the Bronze Age proper, in the late 4th to 3rd millennium BC, depending on the region.

The Chalcolithic is part of prehistory, but based on archaeological evidence, the emergence of the first state societies can be inferred, notably in the Fertile Crescent (Sumer, predynastic Egypt, Protominoan Crete), with late Neolithic societies of comparable complexity emerging in the Indus Valley (Mehrgarh) and in China.

The development of states—large-scale, populous, politically centralized, and socially stratified polities/societies governed by powerful rulers—marks one of the major milestones in the evolution of human societies. Archaeologists often distinguish between primary (or pristine) states and secondary states. Primary states evolved independently through largely internal developmental processes rather than through the influence of any other pre-existing state.

The earliest known primary states appeared in Mesopotamia c. 3700 BC, in Egypt c. 3300 BC,

in the Indus Valley c. 3300 BC,

and in China c. 1600 BC.

Funnelbeaker culture

The Funnel(-neck-)beaker culture, in short TRB or TBK (German: Trichter(-rand-)becherkultur, Dutch: Trechterbekercultuur; Danish: Tragtbægerkultur; c. 4300 BC–c. 2800 BC) was an archaeological culture in north-central Europe.

It developed as a technological merger of local neolithic and mesolithic techno-complexes between the lower Elbe and middle Vistula rivers, introducing farming and husbandry as a major source of food to the pottery-using hunter-gatherers north of this line.

It was preceded by Lengyel-influenced Stroke-ornamented ware culture (STK) groups/Late Lengyel and Baden-Boleráz in the southeast, Rössen groups in the southwest and the Ertebølle-Ellerbek groups in the north.

The TRB techno-complex is divided into a northern group including modern northern Germany and southern Scandinavia (TRB-N, roughly the area that previously belonged to the Ertebølle-Ellerbek complex), a western group in the Netherlands between the Zuiderzee and lower Elbe that originated in the Swifterbant culture, an eastern group centered on the Vistula catchment, roughly ranging from Oder to Bug, and south-central groups (TRB-MES, Altmark) around the middle and upper Elbe and Saale. Especially in the southern and eastern groups, local sequences of variants emerged. In the late 4th millennium BC, the Globular Amphora culture (KAK) replaced most of the eastern and subsequently also the southern TRB groups, reducing the TRB area to modern northern Germany and southern Scandinavia.

The younger TRB in these areas was superseded by the Single Grave culture (EGK) at about 2800 BC.

The north-central European megaliths were built primarily during the TRB era.

Gaudo Airfield

Gaudo Airfield is an abandoned World War II military airfield in Southern Italy, approximately 3 km north of Paestum, where the neolithic necropolis belonging to the Gaudo Culture was discovered, about 70 km southeast of Naples. It was a temporary airfield built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Its last known use was by the United States Army Air Force Twelfth Air Force in 1944 during the Italian Campaign.

12th Bombardment Group, 19 January-6 February 1944, B-25 Mitchell

321st Bombardment Group, February–April 1944, B-25 Mitchell

62d Troop Carrier Group, May–June 1944, C-47 SkytrainA significant number of aircraft were damaged at the airfield in March 1944 when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The last use was in June 1944 by C-47s, and afterward the airfield was dismantled and closed. Today the site of the airfield is indistinguishable from the many agricultural fields in the area.


Ghassulian refers to a culture and an archaeological stage dating to the Middle and Late Chalcolithic Period in the Southern Levant (c. 4400 – c. 3500 BC). Its type-site, Teleilat Ghassul (Teleilat el-Ghassul, Tulaylat al-Ghassul), is located in the eastern Jordan Valley near the northern edge of the Dead Sea, in modern Jordan. It was excavated in 1929-1938 and in 1959-1960, by the Jesuits. Basil Hennessy dug at the site in 1967 and in 1975-1977, and Stephen Bourke in 1994-1999.The Ghassulian stage was characterized by small hamlet settlements of mixed farming peoples, who had immigrated from the north and settled in the southern Levant - today's Jordan, Israel and Palestine. People of the Beersheba Culture (a Ghassulian subculture) lived in underground dwellings - a unique phenomenon in the archaeological history of the region - or in houses that were trapezoid-shaped and built of mud-brick. Those were often built partially underground (on top of collapsed underground dwellings) and were covered with remarkable polychrome wall paintings. Their pottery was highly elaborate, including footed bowls and horn-shaped drinking goblets, indicating the cultivation of wine. Several samples display the use of sculptural decoration or of a reserved slip (a clay and water coating partially wiped away while still wet). The Ghassulians were a Chalcolithic culture as they used stone tools but also smelted copper. Funerary customs show evidence that they buried their dead in stone dolmens and also practiced Secondary burial .

Settlements belonging to the Ghassulian culture have been identified at numerous other sites in what is today southern Israel, especially in the region of Beersheba, where elaborate underground dwellings have been excavated. The Ghassulian culture correlates closely with the Amratian of Egypt and also seems to have affinities (e.g., the distinctive churns, or “bird vases”) with early Minoan culture in Crete.

Grotta del Pisco

The Grotta del Pisco is a cave on the southwestern side of the island of Capri, Italy. Impasto ware fragments found at the Anacapri site are from the Copper Age. Gaudo culture artifacts were identified here and at the Grotta delle Felci.

Italic peoples

In historical studies, Italic peoples may refer to the speakers of languages of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family found in Italy from the 9th century BCE onwards, as attested by inscriptions. The term may also refer to the presumed ancestral migrants who brought Indo-European languages into Italy, presumably in the second millennium BCE.

One of those Italic groups, the Latins, achieved a dominant position in the Italian peninsula in the late 1st millennium BCE. It eventually created the Roman Empire, that spread their civilization and their language — Latin — to much of Europe. All other Italic tribes, together with many European peoples who spoke non-Italic or non-Indo-European languages, were absorbed in a process known as romanization. After the collapse and fragmentation of the Empire, a large part of those Romanized Europeans developed Latin into various Romance languages.

The term "Italic peoples" is also sometimes used, especially in non-specialised literature, as including other groups living in the Italian peninsula in the first millenium BCE, like the Etruscans and the Raetians, who did not speak Indo-European languages.


Jorwe is a village and an archaeological site located on the Pravara, a tributary of the Godavari River in Sangamner taluka of Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra state in India. This site was excavated in 1950-51 under the direction of Hasmukh Dhirajlal Sankalia and Shantaram Bhalchandra Deo.

It has historical background in Indian independence movement. Bhausaheb Thorat, known freedom fighter and milestone of Late Bhausaheb Thorat Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd, Sangamner.

List of ancient peoples of Italy

This list of ancient peoples living in Italy summarises groupings existing before the Roman expansion and conquest. Many of the names are either scholarly inventions or exonyms assigned by the ancient writers of works in ancient Greek and Latin. In regard to the specific names of particular ancient Italian tribes and peoples, the time-window in which historians know the historical ascribed names of ancient Italian peoples mostly falls into the range of about 750 BC (at the legendary foundation of Rome) to about 200 BC (in the middle Roman Republic), the time range in which most of the written documentation first exists of such names and prior to the complete assimilation of Italian peoples into Roman culture. Nearly all of these peoples and tribes were Indo-Europeans: Italics, Celts, Ancient Greeks, and tribes likely occupying various intermediate positions between these language groups. However, the exact language families of some Italian peoples (such as the Etruscans) are uncertain or considered "pre-Indo-European". Peoples speaking languages of the Afro-Asiatic family are known to have settled in some coastal parts of insular Italy, specifically the Semitic Phoenicians and Carthaginians.

Before the introduction of writing, and before ancient sources existed that describe ancient Italian tribes, archaeological cultures might be hypothesized to have been associated with historical identities, especially in relatively isolated and continuous regions. However, due to the lack of written documentation, any further assumptions as to the historical names or cultural identities of these ancient archeological cultures and of those Italian peoples existing prior to known ancient written sources would be presumptuous by current archeological and historical standards.

The specifically named ancient peoples of Italy listed here are therefore confined mostly to the Iron Age of Italy, when the first known written evidence, generally from Ancient Roman or Greek sources, ascribed names to these tribes or peoples before such peoples became assimilated into Roman culture through the Roman conquest. In contrast to those tribes or peoples documented by ancient sources, pre-Roman and pre-Iron Age archeological cultures are also listed, following the lists of specifically named ancient Italian peoples and tribes; however, the names of these pre-Roman archeological cultures are modern inventions, and most of the actual names of the peoples or tribes that belonged to these proposed cultures, if such names existed, currently remain unknown.

List of necropoleis

This is a list of necropoleis sorted by country. Although the name is sometimes also used for some modern cemeteries, this list includes only ancient necropoleis, generally founded no later than approximately 1500 AD. Because almost every city in the ancient world had a necropolis, this list does not aim to be complete. It only lists the most notable necropoleis.

Metallurgy during the Copper Age in Europe

The Copper Age, also called the Eneolithic or the Chalcolithic Age, has been traditionally understood as a transitional period between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, in which a gradual introduction of the metal (native copper) took place, while stone was still the main resource utilized. Recent archaeology has found that the metal was not introduced so gradually and that this entailed significant social changes, such as developments in the type of habitation (larger villages, launching of fortifications), long-distance trade, and copper metallurgy.

Roughly, the Copper Age could be situated chronologically between the 5th and 6th millennia BC in places like the archaeological sites of Majdanpek, Јarmovac and Pločnik (a copper axe from 5500 BC belonging to the Vinča culture). Somewhat later, in the 5th millennium BC, metalwork is attested at Rudna Glava mine in Serbia, and at Ai Bunar mine in Bulgaria.3rd millennium BC copper metalwork is attested in places like Palmela (Portugal), Cortes (Navarre), and Stonehenge (England). However, as often happens with the prehistoric times, the limits of the age cannot be clearly defined and vary between different sources.

Neolithic Europe

Neolithic Europe is the period when Neolithic technology was present in Europe, roughly between 7000 BCE (the approximate time of the first farming societies in Greece) and c. 1700 BCE (the beginning of the Bronze Age in Scandinavia). The Neolithic overlaps the Mesolithic and Bronze Age periods in Europe as cultural changes moved from the southeast to northwest at about 1 km/year – this is called the Neolithic Expansion.The duration of the Neolithic varies from place to place, its end marked by the introduction of bronze implements: in southeast Europe it is approximately 4,000 years (i.e. 7000 BCE–3000 BCE) while in parts of Northwest Europe it is just under 3,000 years (c. 4500 BCE–1700 BCE).

The spread of the Neolithic from the Near East Neolithic to Europe was first studied quantitatively in the 1970s, when a sufficient number of 14C age determinations for early Neolithic sites had become available. Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza discovered a linear relationship between the age of an Early Neolithic site and its distance from the conventional source in the Near East (Jericho), thus demonstrating that, on average, the Neolithic spread at a constant speed of about 1 km/yr. More recent studies confirm these results and yield the speed of 0.6–1.3 km/yr at 95% confidence level.

Prehistoric Italy

The prehistory of Italy began in the Paleolithic period, when the Homo species colonized the Italian territory for the first time, and ended in the Iron Age, when the first written records appeared in the Insular Italy.

Remedello culture

The Remedello culture (Italian Cultura di Remedello) developed during the Copper Age (3rd millennium BC) in Northern Italy, particularly in the area of the Po valley. The name comes from the town of Remedello (Brescia) where several burials were discovered in the late 19th century.

Rinaldone culture

The Rinaldone culture was an Eneolithic culture that spread between the 4rd and the 3rd millennium BC in northern and central Lazio, in southern Tuscany and, to a lesser extent, also in Marche and Umbria. It takes its name from the town of Rinaldone, near Montefiascone in the province of Viterbo, northern Lazio.



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