The aim of the 2013 research was to enlarge the excavated area at the level of the late Mousterian sequence and to explore the stratigraphic sequence below the oldest archaeological level known. A pit dug under the rockshelter outside the tunnel in squares H11 and H12 has exposed for 1.5m stony sediment intensively reworked by burrowers but stopped on large boulders. Behind the entrance of the cave, the archaeological excavation concerned layers 5top, 7, 5 and 8 which yielded several well preserved bones and flaked stones. Thickness varies between 50 and 15 cm, due to local disturbance produced from burrowing animals. In some squares, layer 8 shows concentration of bones of large herbivores (Bison priscus, Bos primigenius, Megaloceros giganteus), bear (Ursus spelaeus) and other common ungulates like Cervus elaphus and Capreolus capreolus. In all layers the prevalence of cave bear and marmot was confirmed, the latter however showing no signs of anthropological activity. The exploitation of faunal ungulates of various sizes and of bear is documented by cut marks, burnt remains, and impact trauma on the shafts of large ungulates, documenting the removal of the bone marrow. Bone of particular interest due to the presence of butchery marks and other traces resulted from the removal of the meat and skin are those of bear (Ursus sp.) and cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) found in layers 7 and 5top. An exceptional finding is represented by a rare cut-marked pedal phalanx of cfr. Aquila chrysaetos found in proximity of layer 7 bears. The ensemble of human modification traces suggests the intentional removal of the claw from the footh of this very large raptor. Other cultural findings are few retouchers made of fragmented bone shafts both of herbivores and bears. The lithic artefacts shed new lights on the Middle Paleolithic occupations. The Mousterian assemblage comprises flakes associated with the discoid and Levallois methods. The choice of raw materials confirmed the surrounding river basins to be the main source. Layers 5top, 7 and 8 yielded small side, bilateral and convergent scrapers among the retouched tools. In addition, layer 8 has yielded scrapers thinned on the lower face. The cave confirms a potential evidence of human mobility and exploitation of lithic and faunal resources in this strategic area between the plain and the alpine region. Continuation of the project will provide evidence about the latest presence of Neanderthals.

L’Ultimo Neandertal in Friuli. Tra Ricerca, Tutela e Valorizzazione, un Laboratorio Archeologico permanente: Grotta del Rio Secco, Altopiano di Pradis.

Marco Peresani
Conceptualization
2013

Abstract

The aim of the 2013 research was to enlarge the excavated area at the level of the late Mousterian sequence and to explore the stratigraphic sequence below the oldest archaeological level known. A pit dug under the rockshelter outside the tunnel in squares H11 and H12 has exposed for 1.5m stony sediment intensively reworked by burrowers but stopped on large boulders. Behind the entrance of the cave, the archaeological excavation concerned layers 5top, 7, 5 and 8 which yielded several well preserved bones and flaked stones. Thickness varies between 50 and 15 cm, due to local disturbance produced from burrowing animals. In some squares, layer 8 shows concentration of bones of large herbivores (Bison priscus, Bos primigenius, Megaloceros giganteus), bear (Ursus spelaeus) and other common ungulates like Cervus elaphus and Capreolus capreolus. In all layers the prevalence of cave bear and marmot was confirmed, the latter however showing no signs of anthropological activity. The exploitation of faunal ungulates of various sizes and of bear is documented by cut marks, burnt remains, and impact trauma on the shafts of large ungulates, documenting the removal of the bone marrow. Bone of particular interest due to the presence of butchery marks and other traces resulted from the removal of the meat and skin are those of bear (Ursus sp.) and cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) found in layers 7 and 5top. An exceptional finding is represented by a rare cut-marked pedal phalanx of cfr. Aquila chrysaetos found in proximity of layer 7 bears. The ensemble of human modification traces suggests the intentional removal of the claw from the footh of this very large raptor. Other cultural findings are few retouchers made of fragmented bone shafts both of herbivores and bears. The lithic artefacts shed new lights on the Middle Paleolithic occupations. The Mousterian assemblage comprises flakes associated with the discoid and Levallois methods. The choice of raw materials confirmed the surrounding river basins to be the main source. Layers 5top, 7 and 8 yielded small side, bilateral and convergent scrapers among the retouched tools. In addition, layer 8 has yielded scrapers thinned on the lower face. The cave confirms a potential evidence of human mobility and exploitation of lithic and faunal resources in this strategic area between the plain and the alpine region. Continuation of the project will provide evidence about the latest presence of Neanderthals.
2013
Regionale
Coordinatore
UNIFE - FAR 2013
Peresani, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2381250
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