Equiterme

Prehistoric Tuscany

Many prehistoric finds have been unearthed all over the Tuscany, from Cetona to the stone statues found around Lunigiana

The first human settlements in Tuscany date back to when the region’s geography finally settled into the hills, valleys and rivers we see today.
Early Stone Age settlements have been uncovered in Montepulciano and evidence has been found of later Stone Age villages with culturally advanced inhabitants who engaged in agricultural activities throughout the region – from Laterina in Arezzo, Tecchi in Equi to the Golino Cave in Talamone.
There have also been significant finds around Cortona and the Valdichiana region. Most of these also date back to the Stone Age and show that Neanderthal men lived here in Neolithic times. Neolithic artefacts such as ceramics have been found. Bronze age finds have also been unearthed in the region, particularly at Belvedere, near Sarteano.
After the depopulation of Belvedere towards the end of the Bronze Age, the area was progressively repopulated by small settlements up until the colonisation of the whole area by the Etruscans. The Etruscan colonisation superimposed itself on top of the pre-existing strata of local culture in southern and central Tuscany, up to the river Arno. This flux of people followed in the wake of large immigration of Indo-European peoples travelling from the north to the southern parts of Italy.
North of Tuscany’s most important river, the Arno, the same migratory patterns were determining make up of the Ligurian population. Ligurian civilisation settled in a vast area that stretched through the Apennines of the Mugello, Valdarno, Garfagnana, Lunigiana and the area known today as the Apuane province. Archaeological evidence of these peoples is rare although most significantly there are several ‘statue-stele’, stone statues which have been found in the Lunigiana region. Other archaeological evidence of the Ligurian people are the ‘castellieri’, formidable fortifications which can still be made out today at Minucciano, Tresana di Massa, Pania di Corfino and on Monte Pisanino.
Still today there are many mysteries surrounding the ancient peoples who populated what we now call Tuscany. The Roman invasion of the area made a huge impact on the pre-existing civilisation and culture.