Zaffani, Mariachiara (2011) Lo scavo paleontologico: il caso del sito delle "Ciampate del Diavolo"Â€a Roccamonfina (Ce). [Laurea triennale]
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The paleontological site of â€śCiampate del Diavoloâ€ť (which means â€śDevilâ€™s trailsâ€ť) is located on the northwestern slope of the Roccamonfina volcano, at the boundary between Campania and Lazio provinces, in Southern Italy. It preserved several human footprints impressed over a volcanic surface, particularly on an ignimbrite flow deposit known as the â€śBrown Leucitic Tuffâ€ť or BLT, dated at 385-325 ka (Luhr & Giannetti, 1987), Middle Pleistocene. The impressive preservation of these footprints was possible thanks to the lithification process due to zeolites formation. These zeolites belong to the chabazite and phillipsite groups. From a legislative point of view, paleontological sites are considered â€śbeni culturaliâ€ť (which means â€ścultural heritageâ€ť), so they are considered as any other archeological site and excavation. Despite the regulations, â€śCiampate del Diavoloâ€ť paleontological site did not follow the standard procedure for the concession of excavation: the â€śTora e Piccilliâ€ť municipality asked directly to â€śSoprintendenza dei beni culturaliâ€ť the authorization, who allowed it directly, without asking to â€śMinistero dei Beni Culturaliâ€ť. The footprints are short and very broad; they are entaxonic, plantigrade, with an average length of 24 cm and an average width of 10 cm. They are articulated into three main trackways: trackway A, B and C (Avanzini et al., 2008). The three main trackways show us the different choices of way of the hominids. These tracks provide unique insight into the activities and the way of thinking of some of the earliest known Europeans (Mietto et al., 2003). Reconstructions of the Roccamonfina hominid suggest that this presapiens was 156 cm tall and his velocity was calculated with Alexander method (1984) and it results 1,09 m/s (Avanzini et al.,2008). Actually, the methods applied during the cleaning of the site consist of squaring, sieving, data interpretation and hard work! During the last cleaning of the site on October 2010, we found out different evidences, including animal and maybe human trackways on the surface near the catwalk and anthropic remains of a quarry activity. Nowadays, researches on â€śCiampate del Diavoloâ€ť keep on in order to preserve and exploit this amazing paleontological site.
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