Guided Tour of the Megalithic Area Aosta
Discover the Megalithic Area of Aosta with a licensed tour guide for a journey in human prehistory to discover an internationally recognized archaeological site.
Forty years of archaeological investigations and about one Hectare are worth a visit at the Archaeological Park and Museum of the Megalithic Area.
In fact, we visit the oldest area known to be occupied by humans from the Neolithic to the Copper Age.
The earliest human activity documented in the megalithic area consists of plough furrows, a ritual meant to fertilize the earth. The term “ploughing” is not related to agriculture, but to a ritual action. Large pits were excavated in a northeast to southwest orientation, and each pit contained cereals and millstones for grinding cereals, associated with rituals repeated and connected to agricultural cults designed to favor cereal production.
Aligned wooden posts, with the same orientation as the pits contained ox skulls, ritual praxis to talk with gods, and a representation of mythical figures. And then… the gods of stone, the anthropomorphic steles. Steles are the first megalithic manifestation in the Saint Martin de Corléans site and they belong to the prehistoric statuary.
Some were knocked down, other re-used but anyway all of them depict the human figure. They probably represent some mythical figure gathered together in a sort of pantheon.
During the last period, around 2000 B. C. the religious site also became a funerary area and many steles were re-used in megalithic tombs.
The imposing tomb II consists of a dolmen which stands on a large triangular platform, symbol of a ship carrying the dead to the afterworld.
At the dawn of the Bronze Age the site was gradually abandoned and used, for over a thousand years, only for agricultural purposes. During Roman times the site was important for both settlement and agriculture as well as funeral rites: remains of a large rural building were found alongside traces of a necropolis along a secondary suburban road.
The funerary area was used for about 2000 years and then re-used during the Roman period until eventually hosted the Romanesque church of Saint Martin
In 2019 the Megalithic Area of Aosta was the first site in Italy to sign up to the “European Route of Megalithic Culture”, an important Cultural Route of the Council of Europe.