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Excavation

  • Serra Cicora
  • Nardò
  •  
  • Italy
  • Apulia
  • Provincia di Lecce
  • Nardò

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Summary (English)

  • The plateau of Serra Cicoria is in an elevated position overlooking the surrounding territory (circa 46 m a.s.l.). Surrounding the plateau, following the scarp, are the remains of a dry-stone wall (which must have been imposing judging by its width of 2 m at the base) comprising two outer facings filled with a core of earth and stones. The wall must have been interrupted at the cliff which overlooks the modern provincial road between S. Isidoro and Santa Caterina.

    The plateau’s history dates to the early Neolithic period, as attested by impressed and graffito pottery fragments scattered over the entire area. There was archaeological evidence for this first phase in all three of the sectors investigated (IV, V and VI). In particular, in sector IV, in direct contact with the bedrock there was a layer of baked clay with post-holes made in the natural cavities and pottery with impressed and graffito decoration. The dating for this phase falls between 5670 and 5480 B.C. Further confirmation of early Neolithic occupation was provided by a burial of a single individual below the curtain wall, in the tract near the present point of access to the plateau: it dates to circa 5740-5620 B.C. Sector VI also produced undisturbed evidence of early Neolithic occupation in the form of pottery with impressed and graffito decoration. This was associated with areas showing traces of burning and large quantities of plaster, a fragment of which datable to 5740-5550 B.C.

    The successive occupation of the site relates to a Serra d’Alto-Diana phase which takes shape largely in the context of cult and funerary spheres. Most of the burials found both below the curtain wall and in the centre of the plateau date to this period. The evidence brought to light by the excavation this year confirms that the site was in use from the middle of the 6th millennium B.C. and, during the 5th millennium was used for funerary purposes. There did not seem to be a change in the artefacts corresponding with later groups: the technology, shape and decoration of the pottery containers remained that of impressed ware. There were few finds of Serra d’Alto-Diana pottery and in some cases it was associated with impressed ware. Therefore, the hypothesis of a contiguous chronology between the culture of impressed pottery and that of Serra d’Alto may be valid.

  • MiBAC 

Director

  • Elettra Ingravallo - Università del Salento, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Laboratorio di Paletnologia

Team

  • Maria Antonietta Gorgoglione - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Puglia
  • Elettra Ingravallo - Università del Salento, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Laboratorio di Paletnologia

Research Body

  • Università degli Studi di Lecce, Dipartimento Beni Culturali

Funding Body

  • Università degli Studi di Lecce, Dipartimento Beni Culturali

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