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Croppole – Megalithic Area

The mystery of ancestral cults

Italia, Regione Piemonte, provincia del Verbano Cusio Ossola, Montecrestese

Positioning

Loc. Croppole

COORDINATES
(CH 1903) E   668365 N   112042 H  
(WGS 84) Long.   8.324 Lat.   46.156
GENERAL EVALUATION
DIFFICULTY
INTERESSE CONTESTUALE Hiking, Archaeological
Ethnographical, Naturalistic, Landscape
ARCHAEOSITE   place of worship

DESCRIPTION

The Croppole archaeological site consists of megalithic terracing enclosing a chamber, and a group of vertical monoliths (menhirs) standing on the surrounding land. The site is difficult to date and interpret, partly because the presence of the monoliths could suggest that the area was used for cultural purposes.

INSIGHT

The complex includes an elliptical chamber structure incorporated into the terracing, and a group of monoliths positioned on the level ground in front. The chamber (approximately 2 metres in height from the base rock, 2.75 metres wide and 1.85 metres deep) has a ‘false vaulted’ ceiling, constructed in blocks arranged in regular jutting rows up to the closing slab. Inside, three niches have been carved into the thickness of the walls, and on the ground, to the right of the entrance, there is a stone block used as a seat. The door, an open space in the wall, faces west and is almost trapezoidal in shape. The group of monoliths includes a large block positioned horizontally overlooking the valley, and an undetermined number of menhirs, of which eight are still standing, at least four are lying down in one piece, while others consist only of fragments. They would appear to have been arranged in two parallel lines facing north-south, from the base of the horizontal block, but they may even have formed a circle around it. The archaeological excavations have not revealed any information which can be used either to date the stones or to identify their precise purpose. The presence of these menhirs, or standing stones, could suggest that the area had a cultural function.

scala temporale periodi geologici

HOW TO REACH THE SITE

S.S. 33 (Gravellona Toce - Sempione), exit at Montecrestese-Crevoladossola and follow directions for the village.

USEFUL INFORMATION FOR THE VISIT

Park in the Madonna di Viganale car park and follow the directions for the footpath.

TO LEARN MORE

AA. VV. (1990), "Megalitismo in Ossola?", in "Oscellana", XX, 4, pp. 209-240;
CARAMELLA P., DE GIULI A. (1993), “Archeologia dell'Alto Novarese”, Mergozzo, p. 179;
COPIATTI F., DE GIULI A., (1997), “Sentieri antichi. Itinerari archeologici nel Verbano, Cusio, Ossola”, Domodossola, pp. 114-116;
COPIATTI F., DE GIULI A., PRIULI A. (2003), “Incisioni rupestri e megalitismo nel Verbano Cusio Ossola”, Domodossola, pp. 126-127;
DURAND M.E. (2005), “…per conoscere Montecrestese. Le strade, la storia, le frazioni, curiosità, archeologia”, Domodossola;
PANERO E. (2003), “Insediamenti celtici e romani in una terra di confine. Materiali per un sistema informativo territoriale nel Verbano Cusio Ossola tra culture padano-italiche e apporti transalpini”, Alessandria, pp. 48-50.

http://www.comune.montecrestese.vb.it/ComSchedaTem.asp?Id=19053

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Programma di cooperazione transfrontaliera Italia - Svizzera 2007 - 2013 Progetto cofinanziato dal Fondo Europeo Sviluppo Regionale (FESR)
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