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  • Riparo l’Oscurusciuto
  • Ginosa
  • Italy
  • Apulia
  • Province of Taranto
  • Ginosa



  • 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).

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Summary (English)

  • This season, the excavation continued of the North baulk in quadrants C11-C15 (Fig. 1). This baulk was investigated during the four previous campaigns and this season involved the last patches of US 9 in quadrants C11-C12 and US 11 across the entire excavation area. US 11 was 10-15 cm thick and rich in faunal and lithic materials. However, it also presented layers where the materials decreased, attesting the fact that it was a palimpsest made up of different occupation phases. As known from previous years, quadrants C14 and 15 presented a concretionary and strong sediment; on the contrary, the recovery of the finds became easier as the excavation moved towards the N-W corner of the shelter (quadrants C10-11).

    US 97 and 96, 98 and 99 (Fig. 2) were identified respectively in quadrants C13 and C14, all relating to hearths within small pits, which terminated the row of hearths along the north wall of the shelter found in US 11 during previous campaigns. Of interest was an area of charcoally material, perhaps the result of the cleaning of a hearth, in quadrant C14.
    The majority of the faunal remains found in US 11 are attributable to wild oxen, although elements belonging to horse and deer were also present. Diaphyses from long bones (fractured for marrow recovery) and teeth were predominant.

    The lithic industry was the same as that found in the rest of the context. The raw materials for flaking were local and seemed to be present in all phases of the production line. There were few re-touched elements.
    In the vicinity of the shelter’s rock wall, the finds were often in a vertical or heavily slanted position, attesting the possibility that they had been disturbed. Further analysis of the spatial distribution will evaluate the possibility of a random accumulation of discarded material in this area of the site that was created by the groups of Neanderthals who used the cave.

    The underlying US 13 was exposed in the areas where US 11 was completely removed (via the excavation of two artificial spits). This was characterised by a different matrix (a fraction of volcanic sand, associated with the presence of tefra in US 14, was added to the sediment originating from the decomposition of the local calcarenite).
    US 11 also presented the series of burrows and tunnels US 90 (Fig. 3), caused by the actions of roots, rodents and reptiles. The disturbed part of the deposit was extensive in quadrants C10-11 (almost covering their entirety). It decreased in quadrants C12-13 and finally disappeared in the eastern part of the deposit (C14-15). In quadrant C11, the base of the pocket of disturbed deposit was reached; it did not appear to have cut the deepest part of layer 11.
    Small blocks of sediment were taken from hearths US 96, 97, 98 and 99 for micro-stratigraphic analysis. Sediment samples were also taken from the entire sequence in the cave. The sediment analyses are part of a project financed by the National Geographic Society “The key role of cave and shelter clastic successions in defining the replacement of Neandertals by Modern Human”. In addition to the excavations, “sediment traps” were positioned along the cave walls in order to measure the natural deposition of calcarenite on the site during the course of the year. This will make it possible to evaluate the rate of sediment accumulation caused by the decomposition of the rock face and estimate the time it took for some of the levels in the archaeological deposit to form.

    At the end of the season, the stratigraphy in the North baulk was as follows: US 90 in C10 and locally in C11 and C12. The top of US 13 in C11, C12, and C13 I; US 11/2 in C13 II, C14 I-II and C15; US 11/3 in C13 III-IV and C14 III-IV (Fig. 4).

  • Francesco Boschin - Unità di Ricerca di Preistoria e Antropologia - Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell’Ambiente – Università dei Siena. 



  • Stefano Ricci- Unità di Ricerca Preistoria e Antropologia - Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell'Ambiente - Università degli Studi di Siena
  • Francesco Berna- Department of Archeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia
  • Jacopo Crezzini- Università degli Studi di Siena
  • Paolo Boscato- Università degli Studi di Siena
  • Annamaria Ronchitelli, Università degli Studi di Siena
  • Francesco Boschin- Università degli Studi di Siena
  • Giulia Marciani– Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Università di Bologna.
  • Simona Arrighi - Università degli Studi di Bologna
  • Vincenzo Spagnolo- Università degli Studi di Siena

Research Body

  • Università degli Studi di Siena

Funding Body

  • Amministrazione Comunale di Ginosa (TA)
  • Centro Studi sul Quaternario Onlus, Sansepolcro
  • Università degli Studi di Siena


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