Monte Avena (1450 m a.s.l., Belluno, Italy) is located at the western extremity of the Dolomiti Bellunesi. Near its summit, in the locality Campon (1430 m a.s.l.), close to a chert outcrop, a well-known archaeological site was investigated through several excavation campaigns conducted during the ‘80s and in 2016. Numerous lithic artefacts, linked to knapping activities, were unearthed. This anthropic evidence attests human exploitation and activity in the Middle Palaeolithic and mostly during the early Upper Palaeolithic. The stratigraphic position of the findings, located on a palaeosoil intercalated between two loess covers, would indicate that human frequentations occurred during MIS 3. The detailed study of the lithic assemblages from cuts 5-7 of the 1980s and of cut IV (concentration I and II) documented during the 2016 excavation campaign, allowed to reconstruct a spatial organization of the work activities within the site. Nearby the outcrop, areas dedicated to the extraction and configuration of blocks were documented together with some knapping workshops placed further away from the outcrop. Techno-typological studies related the period of the most intense occupation to the early stages of the Upper Palaeolithic (Aurignacian latu sensu), thus underlining the importance of Campon di Monte Avena as a high-altitude quarry site for the first Homo sapiens.
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