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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)

    • The Grotta del Onda opens at 708 m a.s.l. on the slopes of Monte Matanna, in the territory of Camaiore. The cave has a large entrance, the morphology of the upper edge of the external vault being reminiscent of a large wave at its maximum extension. From 1996 onwards the Archaeological Museum of Camaiore has undertaken excavations which have identified both the stratigraphic sequence relating to human occupation in various periods, and the succession of natural events which determined the cave’s present physiognomy.
      A sequence of five deposits was identified above the base stalagmite (dated using the Uranium/Torio method to 174.030±550 B.P). These were both natural and anthropological with occupation phases from the Middle Palaeolithic, early Upper Palaeolithic, late Epigravattian, late Neolithic and metal ages.
      During the Middle Palaeolithic period the cave was occupied by Homo Neandertalensis in the final phase of the Musterian culture. Evidence for the working of flint and jasper was constituted by scrapers, points and denticulated implements. The faunal remains saw a predominance of Ursus spelaeus and evidence for Capra ibex, Rupicapra Rupicapra, Cervus elaphus, Capreolus capreolus, Panthera leo, Panthera pardus, Crocuta crocuta, Meles meles, Marmota marmota, various species of rodent and birds.
      The research relating to the earliest phase of the Upper Palaeolithic, begun in 2002, showed that the cave was also sporadically occupied in the climatic phase preceding the height of the last ice age. The final phase of the Upper Palaeolithic, relating to the late Epigravettian, was documented by a hearth, rich in burnt faunal remains and flint artefacts, below the stalagmatic deposit dated to 10.710±550 B.P.
      The late Neolithic layer produced personal ornaments of shell, teeth, steatite and marble, abundant evidence of bone working, implements of Sardinian obsidian and flint, also imported from the north (Provence and the Monti Lessini) and finds linked to everyday agro-pastoral activities: millstones, spindle whorls and pottery artefacts, mainly of the Chassey-Lagozza culture and with decorations similar to the Sardinian Ozieri culture.
      The Copper Age phase was represented by large pottery containers decorated with impressed finger marks and clay applications. No copper artefacts were found, only the waste products from the fusion process.
      During the 2008-2009 campaigns the investigation looked at an area adjacent to the cave named “Riparo sud-est”, situated in proximity to the entrance, below a projecting section of the external rock vault. The exposed stratigraphy revealed an area of late Epigravettian occupation with lithic and microlithic industry, constituted by numerous nuclei and worked material. The implements were characterised by short and sub-circular scrapers, microliths, by truncations and a good number of backs. The abundance of stone tools, which showed all phases of the débitage process, from the nucleus to the finished artefact, suggests that the area of the “Riparo Sud-Est” was chosen to be specifically used as an atelier-workshop for flint working.
      Sequence of deposits:

      Middle Palaeolithic (Deposit sequence 1):
      37.139±530 B.P.; 36.996±565 B.P.

      Beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic (Deposit sequence 3):
      35.130±550 B.P.; 33.326±640 B.P.

      Late Upper Palaeolithic (Deposit sequence 4):
      12.485 ±100 B.P.; 10.194±40 B.P.
      Neolithic/Eneolithic (Deposit sequence 5):
      4.920 ±65 B.P.; 4.865±65 B.P.

    • Civico Museo Archeologico di Camaiore 

    Director

    • Francesco Mallegni - Università degli Studi di Pisa, Dipartimento di Biologia
    • Stefania Campetti - Civico Museo Archeologico di Camaiore

    Team

    • Pier Francesco Fabbri - Università degli Studi del Salento, Lecce
    • Alessandra Berton - Civico Museo Archeologico di Camaiore
    • Mario Dini - Università di Pisa, Dipartimento di Scienze Archeologiche
    • Marzia Bonato - Civico Museo Archeologico di Camaiore
    • Gianluca Ferrini - Università degli Studi dell’Aquila
    • Monica Bini - Università degli Studi di Pisa

    Research Body

    • Università degli Studi di Pisa, Dipartimento di Biologia
    • Università degli Studi di Pisa, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra

    Funding Body

    • Comune di Camaiore

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