The excavation campaigns undertaken on the paleolithic site of La Pineta, Isernia, was a collaboration between the Archaeological Superintendency of Molise, the University of Ferrara and the European Centre for Prehistoric Research at Isernia who for many years have been active in various fields of research regarding this site.
Many Italian and foreign researchers and undergraduate students have taken part in the excavations making a valid contribution to the diverse research activities. The aim has been to extend the area situated inside the excavation pavilion, which was the natural continuation of previous years excavations.
The stratigraphy showed a sequence of fluvial, silt, clay and gravel deposits within which were the ancient surfaces respectively identified as 3c, 3a and 3S10 of sector I and 3a of sector II. All were characterised by heavy concentrations of paleontological remains and of lithic industry, which recent dating has placed between 700.000 e 600.000 years BP.
The excavation involved an area of circa 20 m2 adjacent to ancient surface 3a, where the levels overlying the surfaces, denominated respectively 3colluvium and 3S6-9, were removed.
Throughout the excavation produced abundant archaeological material. In fact numerous bone finds were recovered including single teeth, fragments of mandible, vertebra, humerus, phalanges, mainly of bison, as well as fragments of diaphises, including a large fragment of diaphisis attributable to an elephant, an elephant tusk and a complete and well preserved megaceros antler.
The paleontological study of the materials identified new faunal species which add to the spectrum of fauna present at Isernia in a specific period of the middle Pleistocene.
These were single fragments attributable to leopard ( Panthera pardus ), the hyena ( Hyaena cfr. Hyaena brunnea ), the beaver ( Castor fiber ) and macaque ( Macaca sylvanus ).
As regards the lithic industry, flint elements were predominant over limestone and travertine. Among the flint finds the most common type was the flake followed by cores and debris. The most common limestone element were unmodified cobbles, followed by choppers and flakes. Small to medium blocks were the commonest travertine elements.
- Antonella Minelli - Università degli Studi del Molise
- Carlo Peretto - Università degli Studi di Ferrara - Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
- Cristiana Terzani - Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Molise
- Annarosa Di Nucci - Centro Europeo di Ricerche Preistoriche di Isernia
- Ursula Thun Hohenstein - Università di Ferrara - Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici
- Rosalia Gallotti - Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”
- Carmela Vaccaro - Università degli Studi di Ferrara
- Giuseppe Lembo - Centro Europeo di Ricerche Preistoriche di Isernia
- Maria Angela Rufo - Università degli Studi di Ferrara
- Marta Arzarello - Università degli Studi di Ferrara
- Benedetto Sala - Università degli Studi di Ferrara
- Christophe Falguéres - Consiglio Nazionale della Ricerca Scientifica, Muséum National d’Histoire naturelle, Paris
- Jean-Jacque Bahain - Consiglio Nazionale della Ricerca Scientifica, Museum national d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris
- Ciro Tartarini - Università degli Studi di Ferrara
- Centro Europeo di Ricerche Preistoriche
- Muséum National d’Histoire naturelle, Paris
- Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Molise
- Università di Ferrara, Dipartimento di Biologia ed Evoluzione
- Università degli Studi di Ferrara, fondi di ateneo e PRIN
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