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  • Incaldana, Roccia S. Sebastiano
  • Mondragone
  • Tusculum

    Credits

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    • AIAC_logo logo

    Periods

    • No period data has been added yet

    Chronology

    • 29000 BC - 20000 BC
    • 300 AD - 700 AD

    Season

      • The Grotta di Mondragone opens at the base of Monte Massico in the locality of Rocce San Sebastiano. The excavation results were presented in May 2006 during a round-table organized at “La Sapienza” University of Rome. They were also illustrated at the XV Congresso dell\'Unione Internazionale delle Scienze Preistoriche e Protostoriche in Lisbon. The main aim of the 2006 campaign was the removal of the secondary deposit in order to free as much as possible of the cave that was visible, whose extension in plan appeared quite limited. During the removal of the surface layers evidence of paleolithic industry appeared in secondary deposit with pottery and metals of various dates from late Roman to early medieval, and stone artefacts of the Gravettian period (earliest phase of the Upper Paleolithic) which covered the first levels of primary deposit. At the base of this deposit an extensive stalagmitic crust was uncovered, which partially covered the deposit. The material recovered consisted of several thousand artefacts and waste products from flint working, faunal remains in various states of preservation, pottery fragments and iron objects. (MiBAC)
      • Surface survey in the territory of Mondragone began in 1994 as part of a project promoted by the Dept. of Prehistory, Naples “Federico II” University and continued by Rome “La Sapienza” University, in collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency for Naples and Caserta and the town of Mondragone. The materials discovered in 1993, out of context in a quarry in the locality of Incaldana, date to a final phase of the Upper Palaeolithic. The lithic industry can be attributed to the final Epigravettian period. The first palaeontological studies identified the presence of fauna characterised by equids, bovines and, in smaller numbers, deer. A C14 date on the faunal remains (Mondragone R-2447=11.495±143 BP, calibrated 13,595-13,249 BP) dates this deposit to about 13,500 years ago. In 1999, during subsequent surveys, a grotto was found in the locality of Roccia San Sebastiano, at the foot of the southern slopes of Monte Massico, completely blocked by a partly disturbed deposit and detritus from a nearby limestone quarry. Annual excavations undertook a limited investigation covering a few square metres of a significant deposit attributable to a final phase of the Gravettian period. C14 dating on burnt bones, undertaken at “La Sapienza” attributed a date of c. 23,000 years ago (19.570±210 BP, calibrated 23.660 – 22.770 BP) and an underlying Mousterian deposit dated to c. 40,000 years ago. Georadar survey and a control core sample taken in 2005, indicate that the prehistoric deposit is c. 3 m thick. The lithic industry recovered during the various campaigns, constituted by tens of thousands of artefacts and waste, seems mainly linked to the production of _microgravettes_ and backed blades, while the Mousterian materials belonged to a final _facies_. The faunal remains included horse, ‘idruntino’ horse, deer, aurochs, chamois, and rarer boar, wolf, and fox. Some human remains belonging to an individual aged between 8 and 10 years, and an adult molar were found in the superficial part of the Gravettian deposit. A deciduous molar from a child approximately 10 years old was found at the base of the Mousterian level in 2009. Prof. David Caramelli at Florence University is carrying out research on the DNA from this find. During recent years, the removal of the large boulders on top of and within the deposit has revealed a much larger area of the prehistoric deposit, which has been explored on several occasions, in particular the Gravettian and, in limited areas, Mousterian levels. As regards the Mousterian deposit, it was possible to further define knowledge of the earliest occupation and uncover several layers that were previously unknown. These were characterised by the presence of a small lithic industry using flint and jasper cobblestones, with evidence of the Levallois method and flaking. These levels overlay the already known base levels, characterised, among other things, by Mousterian artefacts made from limestone. Above these levels, the sequence continues with a phase of Aurignacian occupation, which is in turn covered by the aforementioned long Gravettian occupation sealing the deposit. Lastly, a substantial part of the research was dedicated to the progressive 3D survey of the grotto and the more sophisticated recording of possible manifestations of incised rock art on the grotto walls. The removal of large boulders and a substantial part of the disturbed deposit during the last year has made it possible to gain a better idea of the extension of the grotto itself.

    Bibliography

      • G. Belluomini, A. Federico, D. Lavino, M. Miraglia, 2002, Recenti scoperte preistoriche nel comune di Mondragone, in L. Crimaco-F. Sogliani (a cura di), Culture del Passato. La Campania tra Preistoria e Medioevo, Napoli: 1-5.
      • D. Lavino, M. Pennacchioni, 2003, La preistoria del territorio di Mondragone, in F. Di Gennaro, U. Di Girolamo (a cura di), Le Radici e il Futuro, 1, 3, Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane: 211-228.
      • M. Piperno, E. Pellegrini, 2005, Preistoria e protostoria della Campania, Atlante delle Grotte della Campania, Avellino: 117-139.
      • C. Collina, I. Fiore, R. Gallotti, M. Pennacchioni, M. Piperno M., C. Santagata, N. Santangelo, A. Santo, A. Tagliacozzo, 2005, Scavi nella grotta in località Roccia San Sebastiano (Mondragone), Atti della XLI Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria (Nov-Dic 2005): 1-34.
      • M. Piperno (a cura di), 2006, I cacciatori di cavalli di Roccia San Sebastiano, Mondragone.
      • G. Belluomini, G. Calderoni, C. Collina, M. Fedi, I. Fiore, R. Gallotti, B. Garofalo, M. Pennacchioni, M. Piperno, L. Salvadei, N. Santangelo, A. Santo, A. Tagliacozzo, 2006, La Grotta di Roccia San Sebastiano (Mondragone, CE), Atti della XL Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, Firenze, cds.
      • C. Collina, R. Gallotti, 2006, Les microgravettes du site gravettien de Roccia San Sebastiano (Mondragone, Sa). Comportements techniques et chaines operatoires, in Atti XV Congresso Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques/International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric, Lisbona, c.s.
      • Collina C., Gallotti R., 2007, L’industria litica di Grotta di Roccia San Sebastiano (Mondragone, Caserta). Risultati dello studio tecnologico, XL Riunione Scientifica IIPP, Firenze, p. 331-347.
      • C. Collina, I. Fiore, R. Gallotti, M. Pennacchioni, M. Piperno, L. Salvadei, A. Tagliacozzo, 2008, Il Gravettiano di Roccia San Sebastiano (Mondragone, Caserta),in M. Mussi (a cura di), Il Tardiglaciale in Italia. Lavori in corso, BAR 1859, p. 133-143.
      • C. Collina, I. Fiore, R. Gallotti, M. Pennacchioni, M. Piperno, L. Salvadei, A. Tagliacozzo, 2008, Il Gravettiano di Roccia San Sebastiano (Mondragone, Caserta),in M. Mussi (a cura di), Il Tardiglaciale in Italia. Lavori in corso, BAR 1859, p. 133-143.
      • F. D. Ruiu, I. Fiore, M. Gala, C. Collina, M. Pennacchioni, M. Piperno, G. Calderoni, A. Tagliacozzo, 2010, The fauna from the Gravettian levels of Roccia San Sebastiano Cave (Mondragone, Caserta, Italy), in C. Lefevre (a cura di), Proceedings of ICAZ 2010, General Session, BAR, Oxford, England.
      • C. Collina, M. Piperno, 2011, 40000 anni di Preistoria a Mondragone, Reventino, Mondragone.
      • E. Luzi, F. D. Ruiu, C. Berto, J.M. Lopez-Garcia, B. Sala, C. Collina, M. Piperno, A. Tagliacozzo, c.d.s., Paleoenvirnomental and climatic reconstruction for the Late Pleistocene sequence of Roccia S. Sebastiano Cave (Mondragone, Caserta), Southern Italy.