Those finds, which cover the period of time between the 6th and the 1 7th century to be precise, come from the country church of Saint George (Pieve di San Giorgio), from the marshy Palmanova settlement and from Matteotti Street and Vinarola Street in Argenta.
The excavations made in the country church of Saint George have unearthed a large number of remains, among which the apsidal mosaic flooring (dating back to the 6th century, very naturalistic despite its Byzantine influence), and an Ostrogothic belt’s buckle.
The latter find bears witness to the passage of Ostrogoths through these places, where the Archbishop Agnello, by establishing the Church dedicated to the cult of Saint George in 569, testified the influence exerted by Ravenna over the territory of Argenta. In the 6th Century, Archbishop Agnello of Ravenna had the Pieve di San Giorgio built, but it was around the 10th & 11th centuries that Argenta knew its greatest fortune.
As you cross the Reno, a large park opens out on the left, around the Pieve di San Giorgio, the oldest church in the whole of the province of Ferrara, with its beautiful marble portal.
The park is close to the Val Campotto Nature Reserve and offers to the visitor grounds laid out with an exercise trail, cycle paths and rest areas. Argenta was possibly already a castle in Ravenna's Exarchate period. Before long, however, this community - like Ferrara - had to organise its life around two separate cores: one military/commercial, the other civic/religious. We thus find its original Romanesque parish church today situated on the opposite bank of the Reno to the township, along the road leading to the Campotto nature reserve. Prominent on the facade of this tiny church, nestling in verdant meadows, is a portal dating from 1122, surmounted by a lunette containing a carved Martyrdom of St. George. Inside are traces of mosaic paving and an altar from the 6th century, when the church was founded by Agnellus, archbishop of Ravenna. The present walls of the church include sections from various periods: the lower part of the apse dates back to the 6th century whilst the lower part of perimeter walls are from the 12th century.
The upper part and the buttressing of the vaults, part of which can be seen in the perimeter walls can be dated between 1571 and 1573-. The last restoration was completed in 1971-72). The loss of importance of the country church of Saint George back in the 12th century, attested by the fact that the Font was moved to Saint Nicholas Church (Chiesa di San Nicolò), shows that the settlement beyond the “P0 di Primaro” river was gaining more and more weight. Here, the growing settlement brings about the ditch filling in Vinarola Street (Via Vinarola) between the 13th and the 14th century, which causes an urban expansion of Argenta. The objects found in this place testify to a kind of city and domestic life characterised by innumerable wooden tools, pieces of metal, pottery and pieces of glass linked to the fluvial trades on the Primaro and a sort of waters-related economy. The finding of the votive plate coming from Saint Gilles Sanctuary in France bears witness to the passage of pilgrims over the territory of Argenta.
Finally, the excavations made in Matteotti Street (Via Matteotti), in the former Corona site, bring back to light a large variety of exemplars in graffito baked clay, which attest to the existence, at that time, of a workshop in the nearby of the old river. This type of pottery, very widespread in Argenta between the 16th and the 17th century, presents both simple and more sophisticated images, like the heraldic representations of important families on dinner sets. Floral patterns, as well as figurative decorations of animals and people show both the engobe and the simple graffito working, and the definitive work decorated with the classical green copper flake colour and the so-called “yellow ferraccia”(the Italian word refers to a concave iron instrument used by gilders to fuse gold before mixing it with mercury), which make it possible to describe these objects as typical local heritage.
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