Institute of Archaeology


The sacred hill: investigation at the protohistoric site of Dos dell’Arca in Valle Camonica, Italy

07 November 2023, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

Accordia Lectures 2023 – 2024 (poster) - black background with white text, an image of a wall painting and Accordia logo

Paolo Rondini (University of Pavia) will give the second Accordia Lecture of the 2023-24 series on 7 November.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Prof Ruth Whitehouse

The lecture, which will be given in person, is entitled The sacred hill: investigation at the protohistoric site of Dos dell’Arca in Valle Camonica, Italy, and all are welome.

This is a joint lecture with the UCL Institute of Archaeology and will be held in Room 209, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1.

For any enquiries about the Accordia Lectures on Italy 2023-24 series, please contact Prof Ruth Whitehouse (accresearch20@gmail.com). 


Dos dell’Arca is a central site for archaeological research in the Valle Camonica UNESCO Site No. 94. First discovered in the 1950s, it was excavated in 1962 by E. Anati, who documented there a unique compresence of both rock surfaces, 11 of them, engraved in prehistoric times and many archaeological structures, dating to various periods from the Recent Neolithic to the Late Iron Age. The results of research at the time stopped short of hinting at the informational potential of this place, which remained then abandoned by research for more than fifty years. In 2015, the University of Pavia resumed activities at the site through a complete study of the old, unpublished data, on-site surveys, up-to date documentation of rock art and five years of excavation campaigns. This talk presents a first comprehensive account of this research project, which was finally concluded in July 2023. Thanks to this new research, which led to the discovery of 43 new engraved rocks, amongst other things, we can now attempt to work out a more complete interpretation of this site as well as of some of the general cultural dynamics of the area during protohistory. Not only have the iconographic and chronological issues of its rock art been integrated, but also the very correlation between the rock art itself and human stable frequentation is now clearer, as well as the relationship between human presence and natural context. Finally, and more generally, the excavations have thrown some light on the nature of the activities carried out at the site in ancient times giving different meanings to the cultic sense that characterises it over the centuries, through different phases and different gradations.

Programme | Accordia Lectures on Italy 2023-24

The Accordia lecture series is jointly sponsored by the Institute of Classical Studies (Institute of Advanced Study, University of London) and the UCL Institute of Archaeology.