San Bernardo

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Field name
Site: Ornavasso [from first object]
Coordinates: 45° 59' 2.22" N, 8° 24' 11.87" E [from first object]
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The necropolis near the oratory San Bernardo, north of Ornavasso, where the river Toce flows in a bend around the Punta di Migiandone, the end point of a ridge of Monte Massone, was found during the building of the railway and excavated and published between 1890 and 1893 by the local scholar Enrico Bianchetti (Bianchetti 1895). Bianchetti excavated 165 inhumation graves at San Bernardo. Subsequent excavations at San Bernardo and the associated grave field at In Persona revealed 17 more tombs (1941, 1952). In 2021 and 2022, sondages and excavations were conducted to retrace Bianchetti's excavations and determine the extension of the two necropoleis and associated structures (see Lanza et al. 2023). San Bernardo and In Persona are probably sections of the same necropolis, today separated by railway tracks and a strada provinciale, the San Bernardo area being an older part, whose tombs date between the late 3rd/early 2nd c. and the late 1st c. BC. A settlement has not so far been found, but research of the site by the Soprinzendenza Novara is ongoing. See also Piana Agostinetti 1997–1999.

Corinna Salomon