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  • Grotta all’Onda
  • Casoli
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    Monuments

    Periods

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    Chronology

    • 40590 BC - 39750 BC
    • 39590 BC - 35600 BC
    • 13050 BC - 12200 BC
    • 10120 BC - 9800 BC
    • 3950 BC - 3650 BC

    Season

      • Grotta dell’Onda opens at 708 m a.s.l. on the slopes of Monte Matanna, in the territory of Camaiore. The grotto has a large opening, the morphology of the upper edge of the external vault appearing as a great wave at its point of maximum expansion. Inside, in the north and west sectors, the cavity terminates with a series of ravines at the bottom of which several shafts open, are now almost completely blocked. A sequence of five deposits, both natural and anthropological, were identified, with occupation phases from the Middle Paleolithic, early Upper Paleolithic, late Epigravetian, late Neolithic and the Metal ages. The first archaeological exploration was undertaken by Carlo Regnoli in 1867, subsequently more accurate investigations were made in the 1900s. In 1996 the Archaeological Museum of Camaiore began excavations identified the stratigrafic sequence relating to the cave’s occupation in various periods and the succession of natural events which determined its present physiognomy. At present the levels relating to Neanderthal man’s occupation of the cavern are being excavated. These levels date to the Middle Paleolithic, more precisely to the end of the Musterian culture and the working of flint and jasper with the production of scrapers, graters, points and toothed implements. The faunal remains are constituted by deer, badger, rodents and a prevalence of _Ursus spelaeus_ (the cave bear). The research, which began in 2002, relating to the earliest phase of the Upper Paleolithic has demonstrated that, contrary to what was believed to date, the cavern was even sporadically inhabited during the climactic phase that preceded the height of the last ice age. The final phase of the Upper Paleolithic, relating to the late Epigravetian culture, is attested by a hearth found below a stalagmite deposit dating to nearly 10,000 years ago, rich in animal bones and flint artefacts. The late Neolithic layer produced finds linked to day to day agro-pastoral activities: cereal mills, spindle whorls, indicating the practice of spinning, and pottery whose forms and decorations attest cultural influences from Neolithic groups in France, Liguria and Lombardy (Chassey-Lagozza culture), southern Italy and Sardinia (Ozieri culture). These are fine ware truncated-cone shaped bowls and carenated bowls with pierced bosses, numerous levigated bone punches, obsidian and flint implements. In the Copper Age period some typical Neolithic elements were found, such as lithic manufacturing (blades and arrow heads) in Sardinian obsidian and flint imported from the northern area, large pottery containers decorated with motives made with finger impressions or pointed implements. No finished copper artefacts were found, only slag from the fusion process.
      • 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.

    Bibliography

      • A. Berton, M. Bonato, S. Campetti, P.F. Fabbri, F. Mallegni, L. Perrini, 2005, Camaiore (LU), Nuove indagini del deposito preistorico di Grotta all'Onda, in Notiziario della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana I: 348-350.
      • A. Berton, M. Bonato, A. Borsato, S. Campetti, M. Dini, P.F. Fabbri, F. Mallegni, A. Sagramoni, c.s., Grotta All’onda (Camaiore (Lu), Nuove Indagini Nel Deposito dell’Epigravettiano finale, in Notiziario della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana IV.
      • A. Berton, M. Bonato, S. Campetti, M. Dini, A.M. De Francesco, L. Perrini, 2004, L’industria in ossidiana sarda di Grotta all’Onda (Camaiore, Lucca), Atti del 2° Convegno Internazionale di Pau “L’ossidiana del Monte Arci nel Mediterraneo”, Pau, Edizioni AV, Cagliari.
      • A. Berton, M. Bonato, A. Borsato, S. Campetti, P.F. Fabbri, F. Mallegni, L. Perrini, L. Piccini, 2003, Nuove datazioni radiometriche con il metodo U/Th sulle formazioni stalagmitiche di Grotta all’Onda, Rivista di Scienze Preistoriche LIII, Firenze.
      • A. Berton, M. Bonato, S. Campetti, E. Carnieri, L. Perrini, 2002, La malacofauna e gli ornamenti del Neolitico-Eneolitico di Grotta all’Onda, Rassegna di Archeologia, 19A, Firenze.
      • S. Campetti, S. Dodaro, G. Ferrini, G.M. Crisci, F.M. De Francesco, C. Montanari, M. Guido, M. Cozzani, L. Perrini, A. Berton, I. Bigini, R. Turini, 2001, Risultati preliminari di nuove indagini nel deposito preistorico di Grotta all’Onda, Camaiore (LU), Atti della XXXIV Riunione Scientifica IIPP, Firenze: 349-366.