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  • Grotta San Biagio
  • Ostuni
  • Italy
  • Apulia
  • Province of Brindisi
  • Ostuni



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Summary (English)

  • This campaign continued work on the grotto floor.
    Inside an enclosure of large collapsed blocks, arranged so as to contain the red earth, at least two new sub-circular hearths about 1 m in diameter were identified (US 237 in J15, I15, US 239 in J124, J15), together with faunal remains. The hearths were not structured but consisted of small, reddened stones, probably representing two fires used over a short period of time, with respect to the two large hearths present in the same area (US 231, US 212). However, there was an abundance of charcoal and ash in some areas adjacent to the hearths, covering up to 2 m2 (US 238 in K16, L16, US 234 in K17, L17). Numerous vases were deposited around them. These containers were of Eneolithic type, decorated with grooves, applied bands in relief and handles with vertical grooves or lug handles. Relief cordon decoration below the rim and decorations formed by rows of finger impressions was also attested.

    A new excavation area was opened in front of the present entrance to the cave, denominated trench 2_cave entrance. The area covered 25 m2 (L35 – L31, P35 – P31) with a deeper section of 4 m2 in a niche constituted by large collapsed masses. This area was noticed during inspections undertaken in the 1970s, as the site of a probable combustion structure given the presence of a vast area (over 10 m2) showing ashy remains (US 1002 in L35, L32 e N35, N32). Following the removal of stones and clearing of the area, the excavation exposed a large structured circular hearth with a diameter of 1.20 m (US 1003 in M33, M32). It was slightly sunken and made up of medium sized stones laid in three courses. The interior contained faunal remains, pottery and abundant charcoal. The pottery was of the Eneolithic type already found inside the grotto.

    Based on the discoveries made in previous campaigns below several large collapsed boulders, it was decided to extend the new excavation area in order to investigate the archaeological deposit situated below, and partially covered by, a series of large rocks. Numerous fragments from painted vases of the Serra d’Alto type were recovered, one of which completely reconstructable. The discovery of these refined vessels documents the practice of depositing valuable vases and objects in the most restricted spaces within the grotto, a practice widespread during the Neolithic period, and which can probably be associated with groups of the Serra d’Alto Culture, as documented at other sites of this type.

  • Francesco Genchi - Università degli Studi di Bologna, Dipartimento di Archeologia 
  • Antonio Curci - Università degli Studi di Bologna 


  • Antonio Curci - Università degli Studi di Bologna
  • Donato Coppola - Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”


  • Letizia Carra - Università degli Studi di Bologna
  • Francesca Romana Del Fattore - Matrix 96 Società Cooperativa
  • Elena Maini - ArcheoLaBio, Dipartimento di Archeologia, Università di Bologna
  • Antonio Curci - Università degli Studi di Bologna
  • Francesco Genchi - Università degli Studi di Bologna, Dipartimento di Archeologia

Research Body

  • Università degli Studi di Bologna "Alma Mater Studiorum", Dipartimento di Archeologia

Funding Body

  • Fondazione Flaminia, Ravenna
  • Università degli Studi di Bologna "Alma Mater Studiorum", Dipartimento di Archeologia


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