The territory of Castelvetro, located on the first hills of the Apennines, straddling the Guerro stream, and dominating important transit routes towards the Modenese plain, has long been the seat of important human settlements. The systematic work of data collection and archaeological cartography also for protection purposes carried out in the municipality of Modena by the Civic Archaeological Ethnological Museum of Modena and by the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage starting from the second half of the XNUMXs has constituted a not only regional model of a topographical survey carried out with modern and rational criteria. In recent years, investigations on the ground have also been carried out in Castelvetro, some systematic, others occasional but controlled, and surveys and excavation interventions have been carried out for protection reasons, which have allowed Donato Labate, one of the protagonists of the promoted research season by the group gathered in Modena, to attempt a first assessment of the ancient and medieval population of this territory.
It was thus possible to deal with the framework of a very articulated allocation in the different periods, which starting at least from the Bronze Age, shows a tendency to organize itself in substantial residential nuclei, at the village level, with evident ability to exploit the agricultural and strategic areas of the area. During the period of the Etruscan occupation of the Emilian plain, the vocation of the hill where the present town stands to act as a stronghold for territorial control seems to prevail. It is the moment, in the fifth century BC, when the important necropolis excavated in the nineteenth century is located with some rich funerary objects, significant evidence of the role played by groups of Etruscan aristocrats not only in urban centers but also in the territory.
Once the strategic function of the Etruscan town ended with the Gallic occupation, the territory of the municipality returned to be occupied and intensely exploited from the agricultural and residential point of view in Roman times, when some villas are distinguished both by extension and complexity of plant and for the number of productive structures found, which show a considerable economic wealth of the area which seems to last until late antiquity. A resounding example is the treasure of thousands of silver coins found in the early nineteenth century in the locality of Frascarolo, buried by some wealthy landowner (who could no longer recover it) probably when the army of insurgent slaves approached Modena. led by Spartacus in 72 BC
The data relating to the early medieval period is more scarce and discontinuous, when certainly the insecurity that once again weighed on the territory in the centuries between the fall of the empire and the year XNUMX again led to a perching on the hill where the current town is located.
This volume, produced with the decisive collaboration of the Municipality of Castelvetro and the Civic Archaeological Ethnological Museum of Modena, naturally also represents an indispensable tool for future protection and planning interventions in the area.
Superintendent Archaeologist of Emilia Romagna