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In Asti and other Piedmontese urban centres, the early 1980s saw the onset of the first emergency investigations in private and public building sites, as part of an increasingly incisive protection action implemented by the Archaeological Heritage Department. This type of action has continued and is accompanied by growing and extensive awareness of the importance of preserving the archaeological heritage that lies beneath the Italian urban fabric. The surveys of Palazzo Mazzetti are an important testimony to a respect for extant material that is well integrated in the recovery project and takes into account new building use requirements. The numerous exhibits in Asti of artifacts recovered during recent excavations illustrate for the first time the potential and the results of stratigraphic archaeological diggings conducted as part of the renovation of a key stately home. Moreover, the exhibition and the accompanying guide not only present new objects that are testimonies of the long history of the site and, of course, the city, from the 1st century BC to the 18th century, but also illustrate the range of results obtained by the interdisciplinary work of several specialists, many of whom from fields other than that of archaeology.
The study of the numerous finds collected is still in its preliminary stages but is appreciable for the effort of so many colleagues and friends, coordinated by Federico Barello and following the conclusion of works, the presentation of a series of discoveries that enrich the historical framework was unusually fast, laying the groundwork for further stimulating research. This exhibition is therefore an important example of how the Archaeological Heritage Department’s protection actions, conducted in accord with the city’s other institutions, and in this case with the valuable support of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Asti, which we would like to thank, offer concrete contributions and stimuli for the hoped-for renewal of the Museo Civico, thereby restoring Asti to its leading role in the promotion of shared archaeological heritage.