Progetti di Ricerca Internazionali - GEO01


TITOLO: A multidisciplinary approach to a unique human ichnological record form the Grotta della Basura (Toirano, Savona, Italy)
ENTE FINANZIATORE: National Geographic 

One of the most fascinating aspects of European prehistory is the occurrence of hypogeal complexes with parietal art between 30,000 and 13,000 years B.P. In many of these cavities human footprints, constituting a powerful but virtually unexplored tool to infer the nature and social structure of the Paleolithic populations, are preserved. Within this panorama, the exploration of the inner rooms of the Grotta della Basura (Toirano, Savona, Italy) represented one of the most spectacular events of the Italian prehistoric research of the twentieth century. Recently, a new multidisciplinary research program, involving a careful re-analysis of the taphonomy and chronology of the cave, has been launched. A preliminary re-analysis of the Grotta della Basura hypogeal environment showed a truly unexpected abundance of human footprints and tracks referable to large mammals. However, to date no evidence are available about both the structure of human groups and individuals or collective behaviors in environments characterized by physical constraints, like deep caves are. The here proposed multidisciplinary project is conceived to show how the integrated study of footprints, and track association, preserved in a cavity frequented around 12ka B.P., will provide highly confidential information about the anatomy and instant behavior of human subjects, on their social inter-relationships and on the mode of exploration of the hypogeum environment. Based on preliminary analysis, the new project will confirm that children were ubiquitous in the daily lives of the Pleistocene people following adults also in non-utilitarian, challenging and risky activities.

© Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma