Chasseurs épigravettiens dans le territoire de l’ours des cavernes : le cas du Covolo Fortificato di Trene (Vicenza, Italie)Epigravettians hunters in the territory of the bear of caves: The case of Covolo Fortificato di Trene (Vicenza, Italy)


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January 2012


The Covolo Fortificato di Trene site is located on the eastern slope of the Berici hills, Vicenza, in the middle of the great Po-venetian plain in Northern Italy, at a height of 360 m.asl The cavity was the object of systematic excavations made by the University of Ferrara in 1956, which yielded a 1.14 m-thick deposit, subdivided into seven stratigraphic units. The lithic industry, associated with macromammals remains, bird bones and charcoal, ascribe the anthropic frequentation of the archeological layers to the early Epigravettian. This is confirmed by two dates obtained on bone (17.640 ± 140 AMS 14 C BP and 18.630 ± 150 AMS 14C BP). This work presents a taxonomic revision and zooarchaeological analysis of already published faunal remains, whose spectrum shows a clear dominance of Ursus spelaeus over the other determined taxa . During human frequentation, the site was in a predominantly forest environment under cold-temperate climate conditions with wetland areas on the underlying plain, as shown by the presence of elk, deer, wild boar and fish vertebrae. The taphonomic analysis has shown anthropic traces on the remains of elk and cave-bear, which used the cave as den during wintering. The study focused on Ursidaeremains, affected by butchering marks due to fur extraction, mostly from young individuals. Moreover, a limited comparison (Berici hills) with contemporary sites (Paina cave, Buso Doppio cave), associates cave-bear presence with shouldered points.


Northern Italy, Ancient Epigravettian, Ursus Spelaeus, Taphonomy

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L'Anthropologie, Vol. 116, no. 1 (2012).