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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 excavation continued of the north baulk in which quadrants C11-C15 extend, which were investigated during the previous three campaigns. There was no sign of any infraction in the area, while during the course of the year, rodent, reptile, and vegetal activity in the baulk sediments seemed to have intensified. Initially, the excavation concentrated on US 8 characterised by a scarce quantity of lithics and faunal material. The looser sediment in quadrants C12-C13 facilitated the recovery of the finds, while part of quadrant 14 and in quadrant 15 the excavation was harder due to the sediment concretion. The removal of US 8 revealed US 9, which was removed in two spits each 5 cm thick. In addition to containing a greater number of finds, US 9 was distinguished by the presence of hearths. In particular, contexts US 92 (fig. 2) and 94 were identified in quadrant C14. Both were hearths in depressions, constituted by levels of ash and charcoal. In the same quadrant US 93 was identified as a circumscribed concentration of charcoally material.

    Like some of the layers above it, in this area of the excavation US 9 also presented a system of animal burrows (US 90), constituted by very loose soil that was easily recognisable. The sediment disturbed by the rodent activity (and further modified by geckos, lizards and roots) was present in quadrants C11, C12 and, marginally, in C13.

    Most of the faunal remains in US 9 were from aurochs, although some elements from horse and deer were identified. The commonest fragments were those from the diaphyses of long bones (fractured to recover the marrow) and teeth.

    In some areas, especially in the vicinity of the shelter’s rock face, the finds were often in a vertical position or obliquely immersed in the sediment, attesting possible disturbance of the original deposition. Further spatial analyses will clarify whether the Neanderthal groups occupying the shelter could have caused a random accumulation of waste materials. The removal of US 9 in quadrants C12-15 exposed the top of US 11. US 9 was not excavated in quadrant C11, heavily disturbed by the burrow system US 90, in order to maintain the stability of the baulk.
    Lastly, in quadrant C14 two more hearths were excavated (US 10 and US 95), both at the top of US 11 and considered in phase with it. Both hearths were in small pits about 25-30 cm in diameter, and made up of a layer of charcoal remains covered by a crust of hardened ash. The top of another hearth emerged at the base of pit US 95, denominated US 96.
    Small blocks of sediment for micro-stratigraphic analyses were removed from the excavated hearths (US 10, 92, 93, 94 and 95).

    The natural radioactivity of the site was measured in correspondence with US 26, 20-21 and 11 in order to calibrate the OSL dating carried out on the sediments sampled the previous year.
    At the end of the excavation the state of the north baulk was the following: US 90 in C11 I-II and C12 II; US 9/1 in C11; top of US 11 in C12, C13, C14, C15; top of US 96 in C14 IV. There were no fundamental differences with regard to the modes of production/transformation of the lithic artefacts. The cores and products indicate the presence of the integral Levallois system, above all flakes parallel to the plane of percussion alongside supplementary systems, all aimed at obtaining generally elongated products. Neither was any change seen in the relationship between the retouched objects: scrapers usually on a laminar support, followed by points. Among the latter, there were morphologies similar to tools for shaping wood. As in previous campaigns several cobblestones were found that may represent hammerstones or retouching tools. Two cores were also found.

  • Annamaria Ronchitelli - Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell'Ambiente 
  • Francesco Boschin - Unità di Ricerca di Preistoria e Antropologia - Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell’Ambiente – Università dei 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
  • Giulia Marciani– Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, Università di Bologna.
  • Simona Arrighi- Unità di Ricerca di Preistoria e Antropologia - Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell’Ambiente – Università dei Siena
  • Vincenzo Spagnolo- Università degli Studi di Siena
  • Stefano Ricci- Unità di Ricerca Preistoria e Antropologia - Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell'Ambiente - 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.


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