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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)

  • From the 6th-26th September 2009 investigations recommenced on the Middle Paleolithic deposit in the Riparo l’Oscurusciuto in the ravine of Ginosa. During the first few days the excavation of US9, squares E-F/11-12, was completed, with the definitive exploration of hearth US 43. On the basis of results from previous campaigns, in an excavated area of circa 10 m2, US 9 produced a complex of small circular and ellipsoid hearths concentrated in two distinct areas, each about half a square metre in size. The succession of a number of structures, some overlying and displaced, was seen.

    Below US 9 another interesting group of hearths came to light, situated at the top of the layer and within the underlying US 11. As in the preceding phase, the hearths were in small, mainly circular, hollows with a maximum depth of 5 cm. A particular concentration of these hearths was uncovered in an area of 2 m2 (q F-G/11), during excavation 19 were identified, partially cut by the successive excavations to a maximum depth of 20 cm. The average diameter of the hearths varied between 40 and 50 cm. The fill of these features was constantly of a blackish-brown colour; in some cases plates of concretionary light coloured sediment was present at the top, probably mixed with ash. Burnt bones were often present in the fill, partially concentrated at the base of the hollows.

    In the circa 10 m2 also investigated for this US other isolated hearths in hollows were also found. Of particular interest the presence of a pair of small hearths, very slightly overlapping which attests the fact that they were built and used in two successive phases. The diameter of these two structures (25 cm), clearly smaller than the others, suggests they had a different use.
    A preliminary examination of the faunal remains showed that mainly aurochs were hunted in an environment characterised by extensive areas of meadowland with trees.

    The lithic industry, still abundant, showed no marked differences to what had been seen in the overlying layers. The Levallois method was recurrent, mainly unipolar, producing flat, elongated or triangular artefacts. The presence was confirmed, although minor, of a different debitage method, unipolar direct percussion characteristic of the exploitation of cores by volume (and not by surfaces), anticipating the production typical of the Upper Paleolithic and was aimed at the production of flakes. Among the retouched implements together with the numerous scrapers, were a number of very regular points and two graters. As the excavation intercepted numerous burnt areas many of the lithics had been damaged by fire. It was possible to recognise the provenance from a single core for some.
    A fragment of burnt bone from the bottom of US 1 gave a C14 date of 38.500±900 BP.

  • Paolo Boscato - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali “G. Sarfatti” 
  • Annamaria Ronchitelli - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali “G. Sarfatti”, Sezione di Ecologia Preistorica 



  • Filomena Ranaldo - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali “G. Sarfatti”
  • Jacopo Crezzini - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali “G. Sarfatti”
  • Francesco Berna - Department of Archeology, Boston University (USA)
  • Helena Klempererova - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali “G. Sarfatti”

Research Body

  • Università degli Studi di Siena

Funding Body


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