Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell'Abbadessa
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Prehistoric and Roman settlements

The areas extending between Savena and Quaderna, south of Via Emilia, have been inhabited since ancient times.

The gypsum caves and karst hollows have provided precious information on these early inhabitants. The existence of communities of hunters and collectors has been documented since the Paleolithic and evidence of residential clusters during the Metal Ages has been found at Croara, Farneto and Castel de' Britti.

The predominance of an agricultural economy led to the concentration of inhabitants in the plains and this area has, under cover, one of the most significant archaeological sites within the Emilia Romagna region.

The Roman city of Claterna once stood next to a consular road where the Quaderna Stream crosses Via Emilia, just outside of the park. It is one of the few Roman cities in the region not to have been continuously inhabited from ancient times to the present day.

In 187 B.C. the consul Caio Flaminio opened a road leading to Arezzo, the "Flaminia Minor", at Claterna, probably over an existing pre-Roman route. Various archaeological findings suggest that the Roman road led to Settefonti, along a course similar to that of the present-day road to S. Pietro di Ozzano and Pieve del Pastino, and that it then travelled along the ridge between Idice and Sillaro. The road still existed in the Middle Ages, although it had rerouted to the west, reaching Ciagnano and Castel de' Britti.

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