Emilia-Romagna is a very homogeneous geographical territory marked by settlements of different ethnic groups. It's been a large crossroad for peoples and civilizations. Human presence is testified from the beginning of Paleolithic. Two Venus figurines dated from Upper Paleolithic were found close to Modena and Reggio Emilia. A northern culture called Fiorano developed around V Century. Other settlements however were in contact with the group from Vho. In the southern area or Emilia Romagna developed the so called Adriatic Impressed Ceramic civilization.
From the Bronze Age settlements of Terramare culture developed in the west as well as Appenine's civilization in the east. At the end of XIII Century Terramare civilization vanished for no clear reasons and the area around Bologna became crucial first to Villanovan civilization and second for Etruscans' who spread through the whole region and made Emilia Romagna a main trading center.
Romans came in III Century and based some settlements along Via Aemilia. In Augustus age the region were included in the Regio VIII. Later it was split in two different zones: the west became Emilia with Bologna as its capitol and the east became Flaminia with Ravenna that turned into a strategic center and switched into Empire's headquarter in 402 AD.