Exploring Spina: Urbanism, Architecture, and Material Culture

Mistireki, Aleksandra; Zamboni, Lorenzo (2020). Exploring Spina: Urbanism, Architecture, and Material Culture. In: Zamboni, Lorenzo; Fernández-Götz, Manuel; Metzner-Nebelsick, Carola (eds.) Crossing the Alps. Early Urbanism between Northern Italy and Central Europe (900-400 BC) (pp. 207-226). Leiden: Sidestone press

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Spina was a leading emporium in the Upper Adriatic between the late 6th and 4th centuries BC, one of the main trade partners of Athens in the West Mediterranean, and a bridgehead of the Greek interests towards Central Europe. Newly founded towards the end of the 6th century BC inside a wetland landscape, Spina was a commercial centre ruled by a wealthy merchant class whose members probably came from various places of origin, and lived there in a multicultural environment. This is suggested by the admixture of several cultural features, including Greek and Etruscan imports and hundreds of graffiti in different languages. This commercial town flourished for more than a century, until Spina went into crisis during the mid-4th century BC when sling bullets and burnt layers could be linked to a military attack. However, Spina somehow survived that crisis at least until the early 3rd century BC when the site was completely abandoned, except for rural villae nearby after the Roman conquest. This paper offers an overview of recent archive and field research, with a focus on trade, connectivity, settlement layout, and building techniques.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Archaeology of the Mediterranean Region

UniBE Contributor:

Mistireki, Aleksandra


900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)




Sidestone press




Aleksandra Mistireki

Date Deposited:

25 Feb 2021 15:31

Last Modified:

25 Feb 2021 15:31

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Po Valley; Spina; Cultural encounters; Greek and Etruscan trade; Mediterranean connectivity





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