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Radiocarbon Dating the Exploitation Phases of the Grotta Della Monaca Cave in Calabria, Southern Italy: A Prehistoric Mine for the Extraction of Iron and Copper

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

Gianluca Quarta*
Affiliation:
CEDAD-Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Felice Larocca
Affiliation:
Centro Regionale di Speleologia “Enzo dei Medici,” via Lucania 3, Roseto Capo Spulico (CS), Italy
Marisa D'Elia
Affiliation:
CEDAD-Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Valentina Gaballo
Affiliation:
CEDAD-Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Maria Macchia
Affiliation:
CEDAD-Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Giuseppe Palestra
Affiliation:
CEDAD-Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Lucio Calcagnile
Affiliation:
CEDAD-Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
*
2Corresponding author. Email: gianluca.quarta@unisalento.it.

Abstract

Grotta della Monaca is a karstic cave in Calabria (southern Italy) that plays an important role in reconstructing the oldest strategies for the acquisition of mineral resources in the Mediterranean. In fact, systematic archaeological excavations carried out by the University of Bari allowed the identification of intense prehistoric mining activities aimed at the exploitation of iron and copper ores. Archaeological evidence suggests different phases of frequentation of the cave spanning from the Upper Paleolithic, Neolithic, Copper and Bronze ages up to the Middle Ages. In order to establish an absolute timeframe for the different phases, a radiocarbon dating campaign was carried out and the results presented in this paper.

Type
Archaeology of Eurasia and Africa
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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