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Journal Article

Grotta Reali, the first multilayered mousterian evidences in the Upper Volturno Basin (Rocchetta a Volturno, Molise, Italy)


Talamo,  Sahra       
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Peretto, C., Arzarello, M., Coltorti, M., Bertolini, M., Cui, Q.-Y., De Curtis, O., et al. (2020). Grotta Reali, the first multilayered mousterian evidences in the Upper Volturno Basin (Rocchetta a Volturno, Molise, Italy). Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 12(3). doi:10.1007/s12520-020-01015-3.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-BC87-F
The Mousterian site of Grotta Reali (Rocchetta a Volturno, Molise, southern Italy), dated from between 50,940 and 40,370 cal BP, provides detailed information on the depositional dynamic and human occupation in southern Italy, and contributes to the international debate on technical behaviour at the end of the Mousterian. The site was discovered in 2001 and it was located in a small cave/shelter now partially quarried, on the backside of a tufa waterfall, at the edge of a large alluvial terrace, in correspondence of the major spring of the Volturno River. Pollen and faunal assemblages record the persistence of wooded environments with large open areas as indicated by the presence of horse, aurochs and spotted hyena. Humans settled occasionally for hunting, processing game and performing related activities. Anthropic occupation was followed by carnivores, particularly in the upper part of the stratigraphy where the evidences of their activities prevail decisively rather than those left by humans. The chronological attribution of Grotta Reali to the MIS 3 allows placing the settlement in the last phase of Neanderthals presence in Europe. The technology of knapping stone does not deviate from the range of methods used during the Mousterian. However, the large presence of a laminar volumetric method may attest a new necessity related to activities differentiation. This paper offers for the first time a comprehensive and detailed illustration of this site with a unique set of environmental data and human occupation layers.