8000 years ago the neolithic revolution reached Italy. It was somewhat split from the Tyrrhenian; and Adriatic seas coast(s).

Mostly all of Italys pottery was cardium or impressed ware. When you picture style, think cardium shells, or the ones you see everywhere near beaches. The meetings between farmers. Those with pottery, and the European mesolithic communities. It was well meshed. It must of been amazing. Together, they produced some of the greatest regional variations in the pottery and neolithic styles.

Italys neolithic economy was like many of the neolithic eras. Based on domestication of wild species. It included the local cattle and pigs. And, they became animal hearers. They used local obsidian (from Mount Arci, Lipase, Pantelleria, and Palmarola). Stone’s and area hard woods to make mills, crushing, grinding tools; and, as well, knives, spears, sickles and torches. Touche, it was neolithic. The entire time they were hunting, fishing and shell fishing.

Did you know? Italian neolithic research sites. Especially ones in the Po Valley. Had a problem of hut floor foundations, or “Fondi di capanna” (Italian). On the good building sites, Romans and other cultures looted and re-built. The other, poorer ones, still had pits in the foundations. They were used as garbage sites. This made research, dating and identification of the Po Valley region a challenge.

Around 5000 BC, many were exploring the island of Lipari. For it had a rich source of obsidian. It was also close to many things. Sardina, Sicily, Tyrrhenian coast, and the sea.

NW Italy began to form. Off the Liguarian coast. Ligurian impressed ware begin. By 4500 BC in Romagna. There was Adriatic impressed ware (or ceramic). Groups began connecting. Even the Abruzzo marche begin its own line of impressed ware. And, by late neolithic things spread up above Italys boot. All the way into the Po valley and Europe. It was a mosaic of cultures. United by ceramic decoration, farming and pottery. It was so big. By 4000 BC a culture of square mouse vases had even spread.

Middle Neolithic

Southern middle neolithic archaeological cultures
Passo di Corvo facies
Scaloria Bassa facies
Capri-Lipari-Scaloria Alta facies
Serra d’Alto facies

Sicily middle neolithic archaeological cultures
Stentinello culture
Capri-Lipari-Scaloria Alta facies
Serra d’Alto facies

Central middle neolithic archaeological cultures
Catignano culture
Linear Ceramic culture

Sardinia middle neolithic archaeological cultures
Bonu Ighinu culture (link)

Northern Italy middle Neolithic archaeological cultures
Square Mouthed Vases culture

Late Neolithic

Southern Italy late neolithic archaeological cultures
Serra d’Alto acromo style
Diana-Bellavista style

Sicily late neolithic archaeological cultures
Diana culture

Central Italy late neolithic archaeological cultures
Ripoli culture
Chassey, Late Diana Ripoli culture

Sardinia late neolithic archaeological cultures
Statuette of the Ozieri culture
San Ciriaco culture
Arzachena culture
Ozieri culture

Northern Italy late neolithic archaeological cultures
Ligurian Chassey facies
Lagozza culture
Late Diana Ripoli culture


Early religion was based on pregnancy and women. Many statues were found. Dating to the neolithic period, across the entire territory. By later neolithic era. It is believed from the west, megalithism religion was introduced. Especially to Sardinia.

By 3000-3500 BC metallurgy had spread, and the neolithic age begin to slow down.
Check out more neolithic architecture today!

Bibliography: Guidi A. – Piperno M. (a cura di), Italia preistorica, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1992

Cocchi Genick D., Manuale di Preistoria, Neolitico, volume II, Octavo, Firenze 1994

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