The excavation of a hilltop settlement dating back to the Neolithic Era has put the town of Tremona on the map. Today, the fascinating Tremona-Castello Archaeological Park offers rare insights into 6000 years of history.
The settlement was built between 5400 and 3400 B.C. and has seen major historic periods: from the Neolithic Period to the Bronze Age, and from the Iron Age to Roman Times. From this strategic location, you can see from Como to Varese or Milan in Italy.
Today, the Tremona Archaeological Park in Mendrisiotto is a treasure trove for history buffs. The well-preserved ruins, the sheer number of artifacts, and the many unsolved mysteries make it an ideal destination.
6000 years of history at the Tremona Archaeological Park
The continuous settlement during 6000 years has resulted in lots of artifacts. Among the highlights are stone axes, arrowheads, blades, flint tools, clay pottery, and even a few ceramic vases. Tombs as well as elaborately manufactured goods are evidence that Tremona remained a relevant trading post through the Iron Age and up until the arrival of the Romans.
About fifty coins dating back to 100 B.C. are the only physical proof of the Roman occupation and its strategic importance. The excavations have also yielded additional coins.
The excavations at Tremona have also presented the archeologists with some pretty peculiar findings. Take the remains of a goat discovered in a building's doorway. It was arranged in what appears to be a ceremonial position, with the head facing eastward and the legs arranged around it so that the hooves were touching.
Augmented reality meets archaeology
The many historic artifacts and unsolved mysteries will surely keep you busy. But this park is also proof that augmented reality and archeology go hand in hand. Thanks to a dedicated mobile app, you get to breathe life into this historical settlement and even meet some of its 13th-century residents.
Bring your own earphones and pick up a pair of 3D glasses at the Information Point (available from Thursday to Sunday between 10:30 AM and 5 PM, 12 francs per person or 8.40 francs with the Ticino Ticket.)
At ten AR points throughout the park, the augmented reality function magically constructs the buildings and walls as they used to be. Quite literally seeing the passage of time allows us to gain an appreciation of our cultural heritage.
The medieval houses at the Tremona settlement are among the most mind-bending augmented reality experiences in Switzerland! Have a look at what this two-hour tour offers:
Mendrisiotto is a gateway to history
We have previously covered all the things to do in Mendrisiotto, from the wine culture to architecture and paleontology.
Now that we know about the Tremona-Castello Archaeological Park, it becomes even more evident that Mendrisiotto in Ticino is a perfect gateway to history: while Monte San Giorgio has unearthed fossils and dinosaurs, nearby Tremona offers time traveling through 6000 years of human history.
(This article is in cooperation with Mendrisiotto Turismo)