This paper explores a new perspective on the problem of the origins of the Venetian settlements before Venice’s birth. With an archaeological viewpoint, the author considers the recent excavation data from Torcello (2012-2013 campaigns), integrating modern debates on ecological degradation and anthropological theory of materiality. The attempt is to reconsider the process of Europeanization through the formation of new settlements in the Venetian lagoons at the end of the Roman period.
The paper focuses on the relationship between the environment and the societal structures from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle ages. During this critical period of flux, it is possible to study how ethnic and social groups developed a new social geography and how new political systems and different trade networks shaped the "rising Venice".