The excavation of the Terramara Santa Rosa of Poviglio started in 1984, with contributions from experts in the fields of geoarchaeology, archaeometry, archaeozoology, anthropology, archaeobotany and geochronology. The site consists of two dwelling areas named as ‘Villaggio Piccolo’ (VP, i.e. ‘Small Village’) and ‘Villaggio Grande’ (VG, i.e. ‘Large Village’) dating back to the Middle and Recent Bronze Age, respectively. The two groups of dwellings are separated by a moat c. 23 m large and 4 m depth, where the geophysical survey results indicated the existence of a ‘passage’ linking the two villages. The rows of large postholes came to light representing the remains of timber structures reinforcing the passageway. In the latest phase, the posts were abutted by accumulations of soil that connect the edge of the Small Village to the bottom of the ditch. The soil contained an exceptional quantity of small bronze items indicating the probable proximity of a metalworking area. The moat and its fill played an outstanding role in the local hydraulic system of water collection and re-distribution at this Terramara. The sedimentary infilling of the ditch was analysed in order to obtain palaeoenvironmental inferences from sediments and pollen assemblage.
The end of the life of the village, connected with the collapse of the Terramare culture, occurred just at the beginning of the following warm period, often indicated as the Bronze Age Warm Period (BAWP) or Bronze Age Climatic Optimum, and corresponding to a global, dry climatic episode recorded at the end of the Bronze Age. Our interdisciplinary study permits to investigate climatic and anthropic contributions to environmental changes in the region, and their relationships with the different land-use adopted by the Terramare people.