By the same authors

The mesolithic occupation at Isolidda (San Vito Lo Capo), Sicily

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Publication details

JournalPreistoria Alpina
DateAccepted/In press - 16 Nov 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Dec 2016
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)239-245
Original languageEnglish


‘Gruppo dell’Isolidda’ is a complex of five caves along a rocky cliff on the eastern side of the promontory of San Vito Lo Capo (Trapani) in NW Sicily. In 2004 archaeological excavations in the slope below the caves revealed a stratified deposit, partially in secondary position, containing levels with Late Epigravettian and Mesolithic stone tool assemblages. Early Mesolithic stone tool industries, characterized by backed microlithic tools, were distributed in two contiguous layers (SU 21 and SU 25), the lowest of which (SU 21) also contained Epigravettian tools, probably due to sediment reworking. Three AMS dates on Phorcus turbinatus shells (~9520-8990 cal. BP) are chronologically compatible with the Early Mesolithic materials and suggest that the bulk of the deposit accumulated then. A third level, lying above the previous ones, contained material culture associated to the Late Mesolithic or Early Neolithic. Faunal remains from the site represent mainly food refuse and included abundant shells of intertidal molluscs (e.g. Phorcus turbinatus and Patella sp.), along with few fragmented bones of terrestrial herbivores (e.g. Cervus elaphus and Sus scrofa). Oxygen isotope analyses on shell carbonates of Phorcus turbinatus show that, around 9520-9000 cal. BP, marine molluscs were exploited year-round, albeit more often in autumn and winter.

Bibliographical note

© 2016 MUSE - Museo delle Scienze, Trento, Italia

    Research areas

  • Sicily, Prehistory, Mesolithic

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