From sepulchre to butchery-cooking: Facies analysis, taphonomy andstratigraphy of the Upper Palaeolithic post burial layer from the SanTeodoro Cave (NE Sicily) reveal change in the use of the site

Luca Sineo, Vittorio Garilli

Risultato della ricerca: Article


of Sicily from the Italian continent. Furthermore the site is a paradigmatic horizon in the Pleistocene faunalrecord, demonstrating a progressive transition from mega faunas to smaller-sized, Boreal, faunas. The site hasbeen repeatedly studied and excavated, with different aims and approaches, leading to an interpretation ofEpigravettian burial site and daily attendance. Here we propose a reappraisal of the study of the stratigraphy ofthe site, and in particular of the bone-rich layer (PAL) accumulated over the red ochre layer that apparentlysealed all the different burials, with the exception of one. The study has been conducted starting from a new,consistent collection of materials from the PAL layer previously identified by Bonfiglio and co-authors, andmoved from the morphological and microscopical identification of faunal remains and their taphonomy, to theaccurate geological, petrographical and pedological definition of the sediments by stereomicroscope (SM), polarizedlight microscope (PLM) and X-Ray diffractometry (XRD) analyses.We propose the first 14C AMS dating of the layer PAL, performed on a Bos primigenius sample that has beendated to 12624 ± 59 BC, 15224–14708 cal yr BP. This date does not differ much from the dates obtained withanalogous methodology on buried human remains. Despite the difficulty of a reconstruction of biological timesand human behaviours that are not chronologically traceable, we can nonetheless state that the site had at leasttwo main moments of attendance in the late Upper Palaeolithic: one linked to burials, excavated in a cave stillsporadically visited by humans, and a second period of intense attendance, industrial production of quartzarenite lithics and rare flint, intensive slaughter of late-glacial Boreal fauna and presence of many combustionresidues.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-14
Numero di pagine14
RivistaJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020


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