Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Official web site of the Province of Teramo

Teramo Turismo

Document Actions


Insert a start address and click to Search button


This neolithic village counts among the most famous of the Italian Prehistory and owes its renown to the flourishing processing of stone and ceramics which developed here, thus giving birth to the famous “Ripoli culture”. The first excavations were conducted during the second half of the 19th century when a doctor of Ripoli discovered the rests of the village situated on the edge of a natural terrace and made of many huts set along the riverbed (some were dug into the earth, others were simple or multiple structures).

The archaeological excavations conducted from 1960 to 1965 and in 1970 (by the Istituto di Antropologia e Paleontologia Umana dell’Università di Pisa) have allowed to dig up 22 huts enclosed by a fosse.

The typical hut was closed by trunks and twigs sealed with clay and by a roof most certainly made of branches mixed with dirt, while the shape could be circular, oval or at least oblong and had a diametre of 1,5 to 3-4,5 m. They were usually dug into the clayey ground and some into layers of gravel which can be found intercalated in the clay of this terrace.

Eleven burials have also been dug up. They were mass graves dug into the gravel and contained from two to fourteen skeletons, all in flexed position.

The graves often contained rests of ceramics, pebbles and grindstones and were perhaps filled with the mould from the huts (that is why it is hard to establish wether the materials found inside are to be considered grave goods or if they were simply part of the filling).

Until the most recent discovery of the painted ceramics of Catignano (Pescara) the ceramic of Ripoli was the most ancient within Italy. The variety of the elements that characterise it are remarkable: red-brown coarse calcareous clay, or fine-grained clays, light yellow (from figuline clay) or blackish often burnished clay (primitive bucchero), or red. A total of 24 different vase forms have been recognised and classified among which the variety of handles is noteworthy, some of which might actually include anthropomorphic stylizations.

The dug up stone material is of remarkable quality: arrow heads with central and side shanks, retouched spalls, instruments equipped with beaks or cut off, scrapers, awls, flints, rings, club heads, hones and further objects that have not been clearly classified.

The bone industry was also quite flourishing. Awls, hooks, pendants etc. have been dug up as well as many obsidian instruments and pierced shells used as womens' ornaments.

The people of Ripoli imported raw materials and exported the finished products.

Teramo Turismo

This site conforms to the following standards: