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Excavation

  • Sasso delle donne (Strada per Spergolaia)
  • Alberese - Grosseto
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    Summary (English)

    • A short excavation campaign was undertaken by the University of Siena on the site of Sasso delle Donne (Alberese, GR), in the Maremma Regional Park. Students from the University of Florence also participated. The site is situated on the inland side of the northern foothills of the Monti dell’Uccellina, overlooking the Grosseto plain. It is characterised by two terraces sloping down towards the plain. In terms of geology, the site is at the base of a rock formation attributed to the Lower Jurassic period, but the existing geological map of the area (Carta Geologica Regionale 1:10000, sheet 331100) does not provide any more detail. Furthermore, there is a lack of geo-pedological studies for this coastal and sub-coastal area and therefore the attribution of the terrain containing the prehistoric level to the so-called “sabbie di Donoratico” remains a hypothesis. These “sands”, known in the area north of Follonica towards Livorno, are attributed to various phases of the lower-middle and upper Pleistocene periods. The site lies in a recently planted, but at present unused, olive-grove.

      An area of 30 × 30 m was divided into a grid of 1 × 1 m squares. Several stone outcrops were present within the grid, of a lithotype that has yet to be precisely defined but is certainly describable as a quartz-rich silicate varying in colour from yellow to deep red. The outcrops were situated on the terraces and a number of concentrations of flaked stone artefacts were found around them. These were made from the same rock as the outcrops. Three sondages (2 × 3 m) were dug within the grid area. The one furthest downhill was dug from a small section formed by an agricultural cut. No traces of any structures or other occupation evidence was present, apart from a few flaked stone implements found within an orange-red layer of compact sandy-clay.

      Two trenches were dug uphill from the first, close to two outcrops of the typical siliceous-quartz rock. Below the ground surface, at the base of a first layer of sandy reddish-orange clays, there was a concentration of flaked stone implements laying on a sub-horizontal surface including flaked striking platforms, cores and debris.
      Generally, the terrain showed signs of substantial soil evolution and only slight differences in colour were visible.

      With the exception of the lithic industry, no archaeological evidence was found. The manufacture of the stone artefacts appeared to be archaic in date; some showed centripetal working of the nucleuses and some were bifacial.

    • Nicoletta Volante - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle Arti  

    Director

    • Gabriella Piccinni

    Team

    • Nicoletta Volante - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia delle Arti
    • Giovanni Pizziolo
    • Fabrizio Mazzarocchi
    • Carlo Tessaro - Università degli Studi di Firenze

    Research Body

    • Università degli Studi di Siena

    Funding Body

    • Università degli Studi di Siena

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