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Excavation

  • Grotta all’Onda
  • Casoli
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    Credits

    • 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)

    • Grotta dell’Onda opens at 708 m a.s.l. on the slopes of Monte Matanna, in the territory of Camaiore. The grotto has a large opening, the morphology of the upper edge of the external vault appearing as a great wave at its point of maximum expansion. Inside, in the north and west sectors, the cavity terminates with a series of ravines at the bottom of which several shafts open, are now almost completely blocked. A sequence of five deposits, both natural and anthropological, were identified, with occupation phases from the Middle Paleolithic, early Upper Paleolithic, late Epigravetian, late Neolithic and the Metal ages.

      The first archaeological exploration was undertaken by Carlo Regnoli in 1867, subsequently more accurate investigations were made in the 1900s. In 1996 the Archaeological Museum of Camaiore began excavations identified the stratigrafic sequence relating to the cave’s occupation in various periods and the succession of natural events which determined its present physiognomy.

      At present the levels relating to Neanderthal man’s occupation of the cavern are being excavated. These levels date to the Middle Paleolithic, more precisely to the end of the Musterian culture and the working of flint and jasper with the production of scrapers, graters, points and toothed implements. The faunal remains are constituted by deer, badger, rodents and a prevalence of Ursus spelaeus (the cave bear). The research, which began in 2002, relating to the earliest phase of the Upper Paleolithic has demonstrated that, contrary to what was believed to date, the cavern was even sporadically inhabited during the climactic phase that preceded the height of the last ice age. The final phase of the Upper Paleolithic, relating to the late Epigravetian culture, is attested by a hearth found below a stalagmite deposit dating to nearly 10,000 years ago, rich in animal bones and flint artefacts. The late Neolithic layer produced finds linked to day to day agro-pastoral activities: cereal mills, spindle whorls, indicating the practice of spinning, and pottery whose forms and decorations attest cultural influences from Neolithic groups in France, Liguria and Lombardy (Chassey-Lagozza culture), southern Italy and Sardinia (Ozieri culture). These are fine ware truncated-cone shaped bowls and carenated bowls with pierced bosses, numerous levigated bone punches, obsidian and flint implements. In the Copper Age period some typical Neolithic elements were found, such as lithic manufacturing (blades and arrow heads) in Sardinian obsidian and flint imported from the northern area, large pottery containers decorated with motives made with finger impressions or pointed implements. No finished copper artefacts were found, only slag from the fusion process.

    • MiBAC 

    Director

    • Francesco Mallegni - Università degli Studi di Pisa, Dipartimento di Biologia

    Team

    • Emanuela Paribeni - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana
    • Stefania Campetti - Civico Museo Archeologico di Camaiore

    Research Body

    • Comune di Camaiore
    • Università degli Studi di Pisa, Dipartimento di Biologia

    Funding Body

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