The Necropoli di Monsorino (Necropolis of Monsorino) is in the homonymous town and belongs to the Municipality of Golasecca, not far from the border with Sesto Calende. It is of significant archaeological importance as it is the only monumental evidence of the so-called Culture of Golasecca, and especially for the several cromlechs found here. These are round structures that enclose one or more graves.
However, the discovery of the archaeological site was anything but simple.
The Necropoli di Monsorino was first identified by abbot and scholar Giovanni Battista Giani in the 19th century. Unfortunately, he mistakenly interpreted the stone circles as the bases of tombs in a Roman camp.
It was another distinguished scholar Pompeo Castelfranco to properly interpret the meaning of the cromlechs. He uncovered about 50 of them along with 100 tombs that belonged to a civilisation older than the Roman one. It was the civilisation called the Culture of Golasecca, dating back to a period between the 8th and the 7th centuries BC.
The scholar used long iron pins for his research to probe the ground in his search for the tombs. In fact, many of the vases discovered have highly visible holes as a result of this odd system.
The necropolis was fundamental in obtaining important information on the Culture of Golasecca, as our knowledge of it is mainly based on funeral art. For example, the study of this archaeological site revealed that the people from the Culture of Golasecca used different types of tombs: tombs in the bare earth, in cists and well graves.
All finds discovered such as vases and stone slabs, are at the Civic Museum of Sesto Calende, and some are also at the Sforzesco castle in Milan.