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Palaeolithic Discoveries in the Grotta Paglicci

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015


The first objective in this area was the Grotta Paglicci (FIG. I), a cave opening into the cretaceous limestone on the south side of the great karstic plateau, just below the village of Rignano. Here, in 1957, three of the author's colleagues, Professors A. Pasa and S. Ruffo, and Sig. Messena collected bone and stone artifacts of Palaeolithic date from the tip of a vast excavation which a mad treasure hunter had been carrying out in the cave for several years. When I visited the site in 1960 to make the preparations for a proper excavation, I discovered to my dismay that in the meantime this same treasure hunter, in spite of dissuasion, had been continuing his devastation with the help of explosives and had caused the fmal collapse of the entrance to the cave, completely obscuring its natural morphology. With meagre hopes of finding any part of the deposit intact, a start was made in the following April 1961 patiently to clear the mouth of the cave to see what could be saved. Fortunately an area of undisturbed deposit was found sealed below some large blocks of the fallen roof and furthermore a passage was cleared through the treasure hunter's debris towards the interior of the cave.

Research Article
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 1964

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