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Book Chapter

Marine geological and archaeological evidence of a possible pre-Neolithic site in Pantelleria Island, Central Mediterranean Sea

By
Leonardo Abelli
Leonardo Abelli
Università degli Studi di Sassari, Piazza D’Armi, 17, 07100 Sassari, Italy
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Maria Vittoria Agosto
Maria Vittoria Agosto
Pantelleria Ricerche, Pantelleria, Italy
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Daniele Casalbore
Daniele Casalbore
IGAG-CNR, Roma, Italy
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Claudia Romagnoli
Claudia Romagnoli
Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
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Alessandro Bosman
Alessandro Bosman
IGAG-CNR, Roma, Italy
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Fabrizio Antonioli
Fabrizio Antonioli
ENEA Casaccia Research Centre, 00060 Rome, Italy
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Martina Pierdomenico
Martina Pierdomenico
Dipartamento Scienze della Terra, Università Sapienza, Roma, Italy
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Andrea Sposato
Andrea Sposato
IGAG-CNR, Roma, Italy
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Francesco Latino Chiocci
Francesco Latino Chiocci
Dipartamento Scienze della Terra, Università Sapienza, Roma, Italy
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Published:
January 01, 2016

Abstract

Recent underwater archaeological surveys recovered hundreds of flint artefacts between depths of 18 and 21 m at Cala Tramontana, a small bay located in the eastern part of Pantelleria Island. Most of the flint artefacts indicate debitage, and are characterized by cores and flakes without any specific morphology. Different lithic tools were also identified, such as fragments of blades, truncations, end-scrapers, points and crested blades. An initial hypothesis is that this lithic industry represents the oldest traces of human visitation to the island, possibly related to the exploitation of the nearby obsidian source, and favoured because of the sheltered coastal configuration of Cala Tramontana and Cala Levante with respect to the dominant winds and related storms. However, the present-day coastal setting in the bay is rather inhospitable, with high cliffs and difficult marine access. In contrast, palaeo-landscape reconstructions by means of high-resolution multibeam bathymetry reveal the possible presence of a small palaeo-beach in the inner part of the bay when the sea level was 15 m lower than at present. By comparing this palaeo-sea level with the eustatic curve (and by excluding possible vertical movements), we roughly estimate an age of the lithic industry of 9.6–7.7 cal ka BP.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Geology and Archaeology: Submerged Landscapes of the Continental Shelf

J. Harff
J. Harff
University of Szczecin, Poland
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G. Bailey
G. Bailey
University of York, UK
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F. Lüth
F. Lüth
German Archaeological Institute, Germany
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Geological Society of London
Volume
411
ISBN electronic:
9781862396999
Publication date:
January 01, 2016

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