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A STELLAR REPRESENTATION IN THE PALEOLITHIC?

M. Mazzoni, F. Minellono
  • F. Minellono
    Department of Phisics, University of Florence, Italy

Abstract

In the early 70's, an extended archaeological campaign was carried out in Maremma, Tuscany, by researchers of the University of Florence. There, to the south of the Colline Metallifere, it lies a vast region, which is very rich in prehistoric remains and extends as far as the Tyrrhenian coast, westward, and Grosseto city, southward. Most archaeological finds date back to Iron Age, some thousand years b. C., and are due to the Villanovan culture and to the Etrurian civilization. The names of some among such sites are very well known, like Baratti, Vetulonia or Roselle. In the present case, the place of interest is almost unknown and it is situated in a country fea- tured by Karst formations. At the mentioned time, one of the authors (FM), as a member of archaeological team, was exploring the territory around a spot called Vado all’Arancio and discovered a natural cavity which turned out to have been inhabited in prehistoric times. Luckily, the small cave has remained sealed until then because of a landslide and therefore a large stone was, and still is, almost completely blocking the entrance. The survey work could be performed only by slithering along the ground. The following excavations conducted by FM revealed very interesting findings. First of all, there were two human burials, one adult male and one child, with the skeleton well preserved and almost complete. The graves were at different depths, not far below ground level, however. It is important to stress this aspect, because the skeletons were still composed and therefore, very probably, there had been no intrusions in the inner part of the cave ever since. Moreover they were also found various worked items, mainly stone tools and several animal bones dressed with wildlife engravings. Among these are the typical depictions of symbolic male and female, namely horse and bison, respectively. It is believed that all the worked stuff in the cave was intended to represent something observed in nature.

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Submitted: 2012-05-16 15:22:47
Published: 2012-05-16 16:48:32
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Copyright (c) 2012 M. Mazzoni, F. Minellono

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