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The Canegrate culture was a civilization of Prehistoric Italy whom developed from the recent Bronze Age (13th century BC) until the Iron Age, in the Pianura Padana of what are now western Lombardy, eastern Piedmont and Canton Ticino.

The name comes from the locality of Canegrate in Lombardy, south of Legnano and north of Milan, where important archaeological findings (approximately fifty tombs with ceramics and metallic objects) were discovered in the 20th century. It is one of the richer archeological sites of Northern Italy. First findings were excavated around 1926 in the area of Rione Santa Colomba, and systematic excavation occurred between march 1953 and autumn 1956.

The Canegrate culture testifies the arrival of a first migratory wave of populations from the northwest part of the Alps that, crossing the alpine passes, had yet infiltrated and settled down in the western Po area between the Lake Maggiore and the Lake of Como. They were bearers of a new funerary ideology, which supplanted the old culture of inhumation, introducing the cremation.

From the archaeological evidences it can be deduced that their impact with the precedent populations had not been completely pacific. The absolutely typical and isolated Canegrate findings do not led to a connection with the precedent Polada culture and of a graduated insertion of theirs.

The population of Canegrate maintained his own homogeneity for a limited period of time, approximately a century, after which they melted with the Ligurian aboriginal populations and to give origin with this union to a new phase called the Golasecca culture.

The origins of the Orobii, a population localized by Classical writers in these areas and which founded the city of Como, have been linked to the Canegrate culture.

See also


  • Corbella, Roberto: Celti: itinerari storici e turistici tra Lombardia, Piemonte, Svizzera, Macchione, Varese 2000; ISBN 8883400305
  • Corbella, Roberto: Magia e mistero nella terra dei Celti: Como, Varesotto, Ossola; Macchione, Varese 2004; ISBN 8883401867
  • D'Aversa, Arnaldo: La Valle Padana tra Etruschi, Celti e Romani, Paideia, Brescia 1986ISBN 88-394-0381-7
  • Grassi, Maria Teresa: I Celti in Italia, Longanesi, Milan 1991 ISBN 88-304-1012-8
  • Kruta, Venceslas: I celti e il Mediterraneo, Jaca Book, 2004, ISBN: 881643628X, ISBN 9788816436282
  • Kruta, Venceslas: La grande storia dei celti. La nascita, l'affermazione e la decadenza, Newton & Compton, 2003, ISBN 8882898512, ISBN 9788882898519
  • Kruta, Venceslas and Valerio Massimo Manfredi: I celti d'Italia, Mondadori, 2000, ISBN 8804477105, ISBN- 9788804477105
  • Violante, Antonio: I Celti a sud delle Alpi, Silvana, Milan, 1993 ISBN 88-366-0442-0

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