Grotta Maggiore di San Bernardino is located in the Berici Hills, in northeastern Italy, at about 135 m above sea level. The cavity was subject of systematic excavations carried out by the University of Ferrara in 1959-1964 and between 1986-1993. Field investigations explored a stratigraphic series of about 4 m thickness, which includes 8 main units dating from MIS 7 to MIS 3. The focus of this work is the zooarchaelogical analysis of Unit II (MIS3). It records an intense human occupation attested by hearths, temperate type associated faunal remains and Mousterian lithic implements. Bone assemblage shows a prevalence of medium and large sized ungulates: the most frequent species are roe deer, red deer, wild boar, moose and giant deer, followed by bovids and caprids. Carnivores are less numerous, represented by different species and the cave bear is the most represented. Were recovered also rhinoceros and beaver remains. The presence of Castor fiber together with waterfowl (duck, geese) and fishes indicates the existence of humid environments and watercourses in the surroundings. Bone taphonomy has identified high incidence of burned remains and of anthropic actions ascribable to different stages of the butchering process like skinning, dismembering and filleting. Several fragmentary bone shafts show typical stigmata due to their use as retouchers for flint tools. As Faunal assemblages similar to Grotta San Bernardino unit II can be observed in the Mousterian levels of other sites of the Berici Hills (Grotta di Paina, Grotta del Col della Stria, Grotta de Nadale) and Lessini Mountains (Grotta di Fumane, Riparo Tagliente). Grotta di San Bernardino represents a further case of Neanderthal behavior in terms of subsistence. Additional faunal analyses, will cast new light on the site and clarify its relationship with the territory, the organization of the site itself, the activities, the hunting areas and the chronology of the occupation.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.