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  • Atella
  • Atella
  • Italy
  • Basilicate
  • Provincia di Potenza
  • Atella



  • The Italian Database is the result of a collaboration between:

    MIBAC (Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali - Direzione Generale per i Beni Archeologici),

    ICCD (Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione) and

    AIAC (Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica).

  • AIAC_logo logo

Summary (English)

  • The exploration of the Atella Basin, begun in 1971, revealed the presence of prehistoric remains dating from the Lower Paleolithic until the Iron Age, with a gap in the Uper Paleolithic period. The paleo-ethnological research was associated with geological and paleo-ecological investigations aimed at reconstructing the ancient lake environment characterising the Atella Basin between 600,000 and 500,000 years ago. Following the reconstruction of the ancient banks of the lake in 1990 a Pleistocene deposit was discovered close to the cemetery of Atella.

    The deposit contained numerous artefacts and animal bones. In the same year stratigraphic excavations began which brought to light the original hunting methods used by Homo antecessor (or erectus) for the great pachyderms (Palaeoloxodon antiquus). Most of the finds were left in situ and are protected by a metallic structure covering an area of circa 100 m2: artefacts and elephant tusks together with a river bank surface with elephant footprints are visible. Other finds removed for study are housed in the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Potenza, the Archaeological Museum of Venosa, the University of Florence and the Archaeological Superintendency of Basilicata.

    In 2009 investigations concentrated on the study of the evidence for the behaviour of “Atella Man”, in particular the technology and type of lithic artefacts and hunting methods. With the aim of saving Layer I which preserves a number of interesting elephant footprints, the ground surface was restored and consolidated. Research was undertaken in the area of the Atella Basin in order to take a number of paleo-climatic and geo-morphological readings and excavate any prehistoric remains.

    For 2010 the investigation of the final active phases of the Vulture is foreseen. The volcano is linked to the vicissitudes of the ancient lake and thus to the prehistoric hunters.

  • Edoardo Borzatti von Löwenstern - Università degli Studi di Firenze 
  • Marzia Fabiano - Università degli Studi di Firenze 


  • Edoardo Borzatti von Löwenstern - Università degli Studi di Firenze


  • A. Sannazaro - Scuola di Specializzazione di Matera
  • L. Pollarolo - Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • M. Zucchelli - Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Edoardo Borzatti von Löwenstern - Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • M. Sozzi - Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Marzia Fabiano - Università degli Studi di Firenze

Research Body

  • Museo Archeologico Provinciale (PZ)

Funding Body

  • Provincia di Potenza


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