Fumane cave, Verona, Italy

Fumane cave is located at 350 [m] a.s.l. in the Western Monti Lessini, one of the high-plateaux of the Veneto Pre-Alps, in the northeast of Italy. Systematic excavations during the last three decades exposed a stratigraphic sequence covering the Middle and Early Upper Palaeolithic with identification of Mousterian, Uluzzian and Aurignacian cultural complexes.

Unit A8-A9 (>47.6 ky cal BP), is a complex of layers with a total thickness of 15-20 cm, due to the overlapping of thin layers and lenses. These are composed of frost-shattered stones, aeolian silt and sands, and dark sediments, which are widely distributed as a result of intense anthropic accumulation. Dwelling structures with hearths and possible toss-zones were identified within the area of investigation. It has produced 50 structures, most of which are hearths distributed at the cave entrance, near the present-day drip line. The latest Mousterian occurrences are in the stratigraphic complex of levels A5-A6 (44.8-42.2 ky cal BP) which were excavated over the whole entrance area, providing evidence of a well-structured use of the living spaces. Areas with combustion structures, close to dumps of combustion debris, are adjacent to areas used for Levallois flake manufacture, tool shaping and curation, use of bone tools, and butchering of ungulates and birds. All these units, extensively excavated, are the result of an intense anthropic accumulation as attested by bone fragments (A9: 111,841; A5-A6: 171,257), lithic, charcoals and hearth structures.

More about