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  • Riparo Tagliente
  • Grezzana
  •  
  • Italy
  • Veneto
  • Provincia di Verona
  • Grezzana

Credits

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  • AIAC_logo logo

Monuments

Periods

  • No period data has been added yet

Chronology

  • 58000 BC - 28000 BC
  • 14300 BC - 11000 BC

Season

    • Only the Epigravettian levels of the deposit were investigated. Two separate areas were looked at. In the area outside the shelter the stratigraphic unit which was uncovered in 2001 was removed. This was constituted by a substantial mass of stone objects associated with faunal remains and other types of finds (a fragmentary nodule of hematite, several cobbles used as percussion tools). The stone objects were almost all the by-products of flaking, in particular the waste produced by the shaping, sizing and abandonment of flaked nodules (cores). The second excavation area was in the zone directly below the shelter’s overhang, where the medieval “break in” had destroyed most of the internal deposit. Here, research involved the upper part of the Epigravettian sequence. (MiBAC)
    • The pleistocene inheritance of Riparo Tagliente, identified in 1958 and the object of investigations from 1962, represents one of the main reference points for the series of the phases of the Paleolithic in north eastern Italy. The series consists of two different contexts which, together have a thickness of over 4.5 metres: the lower deposit, relating to the Glacial event known as Würm (ancient and middle phases, dating to between circa 60.000 and 30.000 years ago), contains Mousterian finds (the Neanderthal man, middle Palaeolithic) and, in the uppermost levels, aurignaziani (modern man, Palaeolithic superiore antico); the final upper level dated to the Late Glacial Würmianao (between circa 17.000 – 11.500 years ago) is characterized by the industries of the recent Epigravettiano (Paleolitico superiore finale). The two series are separated by a lacuna caused by a erosion due torrent. The site is located a few kilometres from the entrance of the Valpantena, on Monti Lessini, about 250 metres above sea level, below a small rock face at the foot of Monte Tregago. It is in a strategic position compared to the surrounding territory, rich in mineral and natural resources, which has favoured the intense occupation. The only absolute dates available at present relate to the epigravettiani levels and cover the period between 13,430±180, 14,600-13,280 cal. B.C. (levels 15-16) and 12,040±170 BP, 12,520-11,500 cal. B.C. (levels 10-8), including il Dryas antico and part of the intermediate late glacial period. During the 2009 season excavations concentrated exclusively on the epigravettiani levels. In particular, the research focused on two areas: - in the northern sector, the area outside the overhang of the shelter where planning continued along with the removal of a great pile of lithic wasters covering an area of circa 8 sq.m (context 356), belonging to the lower part of the epigravettiana series. In order to better understand the formation processes of these deposits the excavation continued using _décapage_ photographic plans and the removal of individual finds through the recording of the coordinates. - in the southern sector the investigations the upper levels of the epigravettiana series in the transition area between the interior and the exterior of the shelter, beginning on the right side of the trench up to the section which delimits the deposits towards the south. Soil levels relating to habitation were brought to light, characterized by the remains of meals and artefacts in a _sub-planare_ position (US 616 and 617) and a part of a hollow for a hearth (US 615), which had been partially destroyed by medieval and later interventions. This area is also of notable interest for the reconstruction of the natural formation processes, in the phases following the abandonment of the site with the deposition of sediments and collapses which have sealed and in part disturbed the upper portion of the epigravettiani deposits.
    • The 2010 campaign of excavation in the rock shelter Riparo Tagliente (Stallavena di Grezzana, Verona) took place between the 10th September and 8th October. The levels from the Epigravettian (final Upper Palaeolithic) and Mousterian (Middle Palaeolithic) were investigated. Three areas of the Epigravettian deposit were explored: - in the north sector (external area) the removal of US 356 continued (large mass of waste from lithic working belonging to the lower part of the Epigravettian series). The surfaces were documented with geophotos and the finds coordinates registered. - In the outermost corridor, between the collapsed boulders and section, excavation continued of a substantial clastic level (US 365 II), formed by the collapse from the rock face. The large rocks present in the area in front of the shelter probably resulted from the same collapse. Above this collapse, a new level was identified (US 366) within a limited area, characterised by a concentration of flints of the Scaglia Variegata type. - In the north sector (internal area) an Epigravettian surface uncovered in the early 1990s was cleaned back. This presumably belonged to one of the first late Palaeolithic occupation phases of the site and developed around two hearths (US 250 and US 311), the first of which was excavated in the 1990s, (the negative interface was visible) and the second still to be excavated. The two hearths (US 250 e US 311) and related occupation surface were photographed. The excavation of the Epigravettian surface then resumed in the area at the bottom of the rock face, in direct contact with the Mousterian level. Investigations also resumed in the strip of quadrants corresponding with the line of the shelter’s maximum projection. These quadrants are significant for the understanding of the stratigraphic relationships existing between the internal and external areas of the shelter, as they are characterised by the development of levels continuing, respectively, in the two areas mentioned above. In the south sector, hearth US 615, partially destroyed by a medieval cut, was excavated together with layer US 616 overlying the occupation surface around the hearths. In particular, cut 1 was removed which was characterized by artefacts in sub-planar position and disturbed by small animal burrows. Next, the second cut (US 616II) was exposed, characterized by a decrease in the number of artefacts and bones. Finally, a series of levels were removed in the same sector, with the aim of uncovering the continuation of US 9. This flat layer contained bones and flint, corresponded with an ancient palaeo-surface, a portion of which was uncovered in the 1970s. The layers in this zone appeared partially cut by a large deep burrow, while in the outer zone (US 617) they were “homogenized” by probable post-depositional disturbance of an unknown nature.
    • The campaign took place between the 12th September and 14th October. Both Epigravettian (Upper Palaeolithic) and Mousterian (Middle Palaeolithic) levels were investigated. Two areas of the Epigravettian deposit were investigated: - In the north sector (external area) the removal of spit IVof US 356 continued (large mass of lithic working waste belonging to the lower part of the Epigravettian series). In quadrants 64-65 where US 356 was covered by substantial concretions, where it was not possible to remove the finds individually, excavation was undertaken by squares. The removal of US 356 in this zone revealed two new layers, one with abundant flints (US 373), the other characterised by a skeleton rich in clasts (US 374). Work began on uncovering the V spit of the same US with the removal, by 20 cm squares, of the sediment on which spit IV rested, starting from the quadrants next to the trench (QQ. 21, 22, 36, 37, 38 e 52). - In the outermost corridor, between the collapsed rock and the section, excavation of US 366 continued. This layer comprised a concretionary mass of platforms/flint working residue, mainly Scaglia Variegata type SV3, rapidly deposited within US 365 (collapsed material from the rock face in a loess matrix). Excavation continued of spit III of US 365 in quadrants 64-65 e 79-80. During the next campaign one of the main aims will be to clarify the relationships between the US 365 III, 356, 373 and 374. - In the north sector (internal area) excavation resumed of the strip of quadrants along the line of the shelter’s maximum projection (QQ. 23, 38, 53, 68, 83), removing residual patches of a series of layers already identified and excavated in the internal area during the 1980s and 90s. These comprised a series of silty-ash layers containing flints and bone, interpretable as an occupation surfaces (US 13 internal, 367, 368, 369, 300), accumulations of waste from working (US 358) and dumps of ash emptied from the hearths (US 367). Part of a combustion structure/dump of combustion residue was identified, which continued within the north section (US 308). At the end of the campaign two layers attributable to the basal part of the Epigravettian series (UUSS 301 and 359) were uncovered. As well as being present in these quadrants, they extended into the adjacent squares towards the shelter’s interior (QQ. 24, 39, 54, 69 e 84). As regards the Mousterian (Middle Palaeolithic) deposits, the excavation involved the interior area with particular attention to the quadrants by the rock face (QQ. 42, 57, 72 e 87). Work begun in 2010 continued with the removal of US 35 α in the latter quadrants and US 810 in quadrant 72 squares 3, 5, 6. The sediment was increasingly clayey with a varying silt-sand content. The underlying US 36 was exposed. All of these levels contained jumbled-together Moustarian and Epigravettian material, attesting the heavy disturbance of the upper part of the Mousterian sequence in this sector.
    • The 2012 excavation on the deposits of Riparo Tagliente (Stallavena di Grezzana, Verona) worked on both the Epigravettian (Upper Paleolithic) and Musterian (Middle Paleolithic) levels. The Epigravettian levels were investigated in two areas: - North sector – external area. Work continued on the removal of the base of spit IV of US 356, a concentration of lithic waste materials in a thin matrix. The excavation was carried out in 20 x 20 cm squares in QQ. 21-22, 34-38, 49-50 and 52 in order to expose spit V. Once the latter’s roof was reached in QQ. 20-22 and 36-37 it was cleaned with water and photographs were taken for the first part of the composite photographic plan. Removal of spit V then began, starting from find No. 1, reaching, by the end of the season find No. 1051. - North sector – transition area between interior and exterior of the shelter (QQ. 38-39, 53-54, 68, 69, 83-84). The excavations concentrated on a surface levelled by the interventions undertaken in the preceding season, aimed at lowering the highest “step” extending across QQ. 38, 53, 68, 83. Diverse partially overlying layers of limited extension were present, corresponding to various events occurring over a more or less restricted period of time. These layers were mainly accumulations of ash and patches of surfaces with an abundance of occupation evidence of various types (flints, macro and micro fauna, ochre), numerous stone and bone implements and ornaments attesting the domestic use of this zone. In general, the layers present in this area can be linked to the cave’s interior stratigraphy. The external stratigraphy where the waste from tool-making and butchery was concentrated, seemed to “link” to the preceding one in correspondence with an accumulation of collapsed boulders situated immediately outside the shelter, more or less along the section line corresponding with the transition between QQ. 52-53. As regards the Mousterian deposits (Middle Paleolithic), the excavations concentrated on the external trench (QQ. 6-7), investigated in the 1970s, and subsequently extended during the 1997-98 campaigns. Work began on the recovery of faunal remains to be used for C14 dating. As in the 1970s, the excavation was done in 10 cm spits due to the greater thickness of the deposit towards the shelter’s exterior. The finds were collected according to the methodology established in 1998, through the mapping of their coordinates (X, Y, Z).

Bibliography

    • F. Fontana, C. Cilli, M.G. Cremona, G. Giacobini, F. Gurioli, J. Liagre, G. Malerba, A. Rocci Ris, C. Veronese, A. Guerreschi, 2009, Recent data on the Late Epigravettian occupation at Riparo Tagliente, Monti Lessini (Grezzana, Verona): a multidisciplinary perspective, in Preistoria Alpina, 44: 49-58.
    • F. Fontana, Guerreschi A., Bertola S., Bonci F., Cilli C., Liagre J., Longo L., Pizziolo G., Thun Hohenstein U., 2008, The first occupation of the Southern Alps in the Late Glacial at Riparo Tagliente (Verona, Italy). Detecting the organisation of living-floors through a G.I.S. integrated analysis of technological, functional, palaeoeconomic and spatial attributes, in Grimaldi S., Perrin T., (Eds) Mountain environments in prehistoric Europe: settlement and mobility strategies from Palaeolithic to the early Bronze age. Proceedings of the XV U.I.S.P.P. Congress, Lisbona,3-9 settembre 2006, Session C31, (Series Editor L. Oosterbeek), vol. 26, B.A.R. International Series: 71-80.
    • M. Arzarello, S. Bertola, F. Fontana, A. Guerreschi, U. Thun Hohenstein, J. Liagre, C. Peretto, A. Rocci Ris, 2007, Aires d’approvisionnement en matières premières lithiques et en ressources alimentaires dans les niveaux mousteriens et épigravettiens de l’Abri Tagliente (Verone, Italie) : une dimension « locale », in M.H. Moncel, A.-M. Moigne, M. Arzarello, C. Peretto (Eds.) Aires d’approvisionnement en matières premières et aires d’approvisionnement en ressources alimentaires. Approche intégrées des comportements, Proceedings of the XV U.I.S.P.P. Congress, Lisbona,3-9 settembre 2006, B.A.R. International Series, 1725: 161-169.
    • M.G. Cremona, F. Fontana, 2007, Analisi tecno-economica di una concentrazione di scarti litici (US 411) dai livelli epigravettiani di Riparo Tagliente (Stallavena di Grezzana, Verona). In Thun Hohenstein U. (Ed.) Atti del I Convegno Nazionale degli Studenti di Antropologia, Preistoria e Protostoria, Ferrara, 8-10 Maggio 2004, Annali dell’Università di Ferrara, Volume Speciale 2007: 59-62.
    • F. Fontana, S. Bertola, F. Bonci, C. Cilli, U. Thun Hohenstein, J. Liagre, L. Longo, G. Pizziolo, 2007, L’Unità Stratigrafica 11 nei depositi epigravettiani di Riparo Tagliente (Stallavena di Grezzana, Verona). Analisi integrata di attributi tecnologici, funzionali, paleoeconomici e spaziali. In Thun Hohenstein U. (Ed.) Atti del I Convegno Nazionale degli Studenti di Antropologia, Preistoria e Protostoria, Ferrara, 8-10 Maggio 2004, Annali dell’Università di Ferrara, Volume Speciale 2007: 95-98.
    • M. Arzarello, S. Bertola, F. Fontana, A. Guerreschi., J. Liagre, C. Peretto, 2006, Modalità di approvvigionamento delle materie prime nel sito di Riparo Tagliente (Stallavena di Grezzana, Verona). Quali differenze nei comportamenti tecno-economici tra Musteriano ed Epigravettiano? Materie Prime e scambi nella Preistoria Italiana. Atti della XXXIX Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, Firenze I: 357-361.
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    • A. Bietti, G. Boschian, G. Mirocle Crisci, E. Danese, A.M. De Francesco, M. Dini, F. Fontana, A. Giampietri, R. Grifoni, A. Guerreschi, J. Liagre, F. Negrino, G. Radi, C. Tozzi, R. Tykot, 2004, Inorganic raw materials economy and provenance of chipped industry in some stone age sites of Northern and Central Italy. (Guerreschi A., Fontana F., Liagre J.: Epigravettian and Mesolithic sites of the Veneto area. Riparo Tagliente. Mondeval de Sora.). Collegium Anthropologicum, Zagreb (Croatia), 28,1: 41-54.