Rignano Garganico (FG) - Puglia

This site, a cornerstone of Italian prehistory, was discovered by Raffaello Battaglia (1953) and excavated by Francesco Zorzi (1961-1963), Arturo Palma Cesnola of University of Siena (1971-2001), Annamaria Ronchitelli (in progress).
Together with the adjacent outdoor shelter, the cave contains a powerful stratigraphic sequence with the lower and middle Paleolithic evidence in the Shelter and with a sequence of the Mousterian and the Upper Paleolithic in the cave.

Historical framework
Upper Paleolithic

Coinciding with the arrival of the species Homo sapiens in Europe was the most recent phase of the Paleolithic (between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago). Here, we see a break with the previous cultural traditions of the Neanderthals, and the beginning of a series of utilitarian and symbolic practices which developed in the millennia leading up to the arrival of the Neolithic. The presence of strategically located settlements, subsistence practices based on hunting and gathering, the modality of funerary rites and the beginning of the figurative art allow us to follow the transformation of the earliest sapiens cultures.


Ancient Epigravettian
Evolved Epigravettian

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