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Excavation

  • Grutta de is Janas
  • Foresta di Addoli
  •  
  • Italy
  • Sardinia
  • South Sardinia
  • Seulo

Summary (English)

  • The Grotta Is Janas is a large karstic system containing extensive prehistoric deposits. It is situated in the middle-upper part of a hill slope, above a tributary of the Riu Lareri, at a height of 797 m a.s.l.

    During August 2011 excavations continued in one of the lower chamber of this grotto: ‘Is Janas Inferiore’.
    The semicircular chamber (2.8 m long and circa 3 m wide) is situated close to the upper chamber but on a lower level, on one side of a corridor and large chamber connecting the east and west branches of the grotto. It is closed on three sides by large spelothems (cave formations).
    The central part of the chamber (close to the entrance) was divided into six 1 × 1 m squares (the rear part of the chamber is covered by a collapse).

    The excavation of this area was not completed but the following contexts were identified:

    Context 1: collapsed rocks and disturbed surface deposits (10-40 cm deep), dark grey soil with abundant ash, goat dung, large pottery fragments (including some wheel-turned fine-grained orange ware dating to the historic period and some burnt pieces finely decorated with linear and curved incisions which can be ascribed to the Ozieri Culture), animal bone, small fragments of wood, an acorn, a match and some pieces of plastic;

    Context 2: deposit of loose, fine, dark grey soil and abundant ash (3-5 cm deep) containing small stones (1-5 cm long), some bone and a large quantity of pottery (including a fragment decorated with incised or impressed parallel lines);

    Context 3: discontinuous natural calcitic formation (2 cm deep), caused by dripping water – no material culture present;

    Context 4: deposit of dark ash, containing fine soil, some bone and pottery fragments (including a piece with impressed parallel lines and the foot of a tripod 8.8 cm long, belonging to the Ozieri Culture).
    Only a small part of this context was excavated. Based on the finds it can be said that this deposit is well-sealed by intermediate Context 2 and, therefore, protected from the disturbance seen in Context 1.
    However, the decorated pottery from Context 4 was similar to that in Context 2, therefore, some disturbance and mixing of the two contexts seems possible.

    A bone sample from the upper part of the deposit taken in 2010 produced a radiocarbon date of circa 3800-3700 cal B.C., which falls within the late/final Neolithic, Ozieri Culture, as was the pottery from this context.

  • Robin Skeates - Departmment of Archaeology, University of Durham 

Director

  • Robin Skeates - Departmment of Archaeology, University of Durham

Team

  • Robin Skeates - Departmment of Archaeology, University of Durham
  • M.A. Gradoli - COMET: Valorizzazione Risorse Territoriali

Research Body

  • University of Durham

Funding Body

  • Fondazione Banco di Sardegna
  • The British Academy
  • The Prehistoric Society

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