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Parco Archeologico Nazionale dei Massi di Cemmo

Capo di Ponte

The Museum

The Parco Archeologico Nazionale dei Massi di Cemmo (National Archaeological Park of Massi di Cemmo) owes its name to two large boulders, which fell from the rock wall above in the early Holocene period (almost twelve thousand years ago) and were later decorated with etchings depicting human figures, animals, ploughing scenes and carts. From the Copper Age, the surrounding area developed into a megalithic shrine.

The History

Massi di Cemmo - Ingresso dell'Area

Massi di Cemmo - Ingresso dell'Area

The Parco Archeologico Nazionale dei Massi di Cemmo (National Archaeological Park of Massi di Cemmo) lies in the Pian delle Greppe valley of glacial origin. The area, characterised by the terracing used from the Iron Age onwards for grazing and subsequently for growing grapes and fruit trees, was eventually levelled off in 1970, leading to a dramatic change in its morphology.

For this reason, while planning the Park, between 1998 and 1999 the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Lombardy restored the site, which was inaugurated in October 2005.

The Area

Parco Archeologico Nazionale dei Massi di Cemmo

The area around the shrine, the first “camunian” rock art site reported in 1909 by geographer Gualtiero Laeng, was continuously inhabited from the Ancient Mesolithic (9th millennium B.C.) until Roman times. The sacralisation of the area, on the other hand, dates back to the Copper Age (3rd millennium D.C.) and coincides with the appearance of the first rock engravings. Plough furrows were found around them, which, probably, along with the recently discovered steles (not kept on site), formed the boundary of the sacred area.

In the Bronze Age (2nd millennium B.C.) the monumentalisation of the area was completed with the construction of a semi-circular wall which was restored several times between the Iron Age and the Roman era (5th-4th/2nd-1st century B.C.), when an access road to the site was also created. With the advent of Christianity the shrine was dismantled, probably during the struggle against idolatry documented in the Alpine area between the 4th and 11th centuries.

The heritage

The Park, which covers an area of around one hectare, is flat and its paths are equipped and easily suited for persons with reduced mobility. The visit lasts around one hour and access during visiting hours is governed by a video surveillance system with an automatic gate. Around 15 minutes before closing time, a visual signal (flashing light) and acoustic signal indicate to visitors the approaching closing time. Some steles from the shrine, and some more from other Copper Age shrines in Val Camonica are on display in the rooms at the MUPRE. A visit to the Museum is therefore recommended to enhance and complete the visit to the Park.

  • Boulder 1

    Boulder 1

    The boulder was known to the local people as “Preda dei pitoti” (the “puppets stone”), to indicate the engravings. More than one hundred and fifty figures can be found here, including animals, daggers and a ploughing scene. Different stages of the figures on the boulder can be identified from 2900-2500 B.C.

  • Boulder 2

    Boulder 2

    Standing around 15 metres south of Boulder 1, the decorated side of this boulder, dating back to between 2900 and 2500 B.C., is divided into three parts. The engravings include animals, weapons, human figures, a ploughing scene and a four-wheeled cart. A religious meaning is attributed to these two ploughing scenes, linked to rituals to favour soil fertility.

  • Boulder 20

    Boulder 20

    A large monumental fragment dating back to the second half of the 3rd millennium B.C. shows some special engravings which belong to three phases. A fragment of human skull was also placed in front of it, suggesting the presence of an ancestral bone manipulation ritual.

Address

Località Cemmo
25044 Capo di Ponte

Ownership

Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities

Tipology

Archaeological Park

More info

Info

Timetables

Monday: closed
Tueseday: 8.30 – 19.00
Wednesday: 8.30 – 19.00
Thursday: 8.30 – 19.00
Friday: 8.30 – 19.00
Saturday: 8.30 – 19.00
Sunday: 8.30 – 19.00

Other info: Closed on: Mondays, 1 January and 25 December. Unless otherwise instructed by the office in charge at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT). For extraordinary opening times, consult the Museum Pole website, or the MIBACT and the official social networks of the Museum.

Address

Località Cemmo
25044 Capo di Ponte

How to get here

Coming from the SOUTH By car: A4 Motorway: Seriate or Rovato exit; Strada Statale 42 del Tonale e della Mendola, towards Passo del Tonale exit at Nadro-Ceto, Capo di Ponte, Cimbergo-Paspardo, Rock art sites; entering Capo di Ponte, turn left at the first roundabout and follow the signs to Massi di Cemmo. By train: Brescia-Edolo line, Capo di Ponte; then on foot through the village of Capo di Ponte. By coach: various coach services are available, stopping in the town. Coming from the NORTH By car: from Passo di Aprica or Passo del Tonale, at Edolo continue on Strada Statale del Tonale e della Mendola towards Brescia; exit at Sellero-Capo di Ponte and continue to Capo di Ponte; follow the provincial road until the third roundabout, then turn right; follow the signs to Massi di Cemmo. By train: Brescia-Edolo line, Capo di Ponte; then on foot through the village of Capo di Ponte. By coach: various coach services are available, stopping in the town. Car and coach park: in front of the CittàdellaCultura or Cemmo Cemetery.

Contacts

+39 0364 42140
+39 036 4426634 (fax)
www.parcoarcheologico.massidicemmo.beniculturali.it/
parcoincisionirupestri.capodiponte@beniculturali.it

Full ticket

Free

Booking

Optional

Accessibility

The park is accessible to people with motor disabilities thanks to a new tour made with the Superintendence Archeology Fine Arts and Landscape for the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia, the Institutional Coordination Group of the UNESCO site, the Mountain Community of Valle Camonica, the social cooperatives of Valle Camonica and with the support of the Lombardy Region and the Brescian Community Foundation.

Animals

Dogs are allowed in the park on a lead

Guided tours

Guided tours for groups and schools, educational workshops and specialist visits organised exclusively out external staff liaising directly with the service providers.

Car park

Yes, also disabled

Restaurant

A restaurant is available just a few metres from the Park exit