From the Guajira Desert to the Apennines, and from Mediterranean Microplates to the Mexican Killer Asteroid: Honoring the Career of Walter Alvarez
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
This volume pays tribute to the great career and extensive and varied scientific accomplishments of Walter Alvarez, on the occasion of his 80th birthday in 2020, with a series of papers related to the many topics he covered in the past 60 years: Tectonics of microplates, structural geology, paleomagnetics, Apennine sedimentary sequences, geoarchaeology and Roman volcanics, Big History, and most famously the discovery of evidence for a large asteroidal impact event at the Cretaceous–Tertiary (now Cretaceous–Paleogene) boundary site in Gubbio, Italy, 40 years ago, which started a debate about the connection between meteorite impact and mass extinction. The manuscripts in this special volume were written by many of Walter’s close collaborators and friends, who have worked with him over the years and participated in many projects he carried out. The papers highlight specific aspects of the research and/or provide a summary of the current advances in the field.
The Bottaccione Gorge and Gubbio: Hypotheses for a history of the city
Published:June 21, 2022
Ettore A. Sannipoli*, Corrado Cencetti*, 2022. "The Bottaccione Gorge and Gubbio: Hypotheses for a history of the city", From the Guajira Desert to the Apennines, and from Mediterranean Microplates to the Mexican Killer Asteroid: Honoring the Career of Walter Alvarez, Christian Koeberl, Philippe Claeys, Alessandro Montanari
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The Bottaccione Gorge at Gubbio, in central Italy, has been an important source of information about Cretaceous and Paleogene Earth history. At the much younger end of the historical continuum, it is also important for understanding the early history of Gubbio itself, for which the only written, although somewhat ambiguous, evidence comes from the Tavole eugubine, the unique bronze tablets which are a kind of Rosetta Stone for the Umbrian language. The role of the Bottaccione Gorge is debated in the history of Gubbio. The road through the gorge, crossing the Monti di Gubbio, is an important element for explaining the location of the city. One of the first settlements (late Bronze Age) is recognized from archaeological evidence at the top of a morphological fault scarp on the slope of Monte Ingino. In the Iron Age, the city described in the Tavole eugubine developed, in which Okri (fortress), Tota (city), and three sacred gates are mentioned. The locations of Okri, Tota, and the gates are still under study. According to the most likely hypothesis, Tota would have developed in the plain, on the right bank of the Torrente Camignano, while the initial settlement would have been transformed into Okri, to which the sacred gates would belong. Another gate may have been placed at the entrance to the Bottaccione Gorge. When the Eugubini (the people of Gubbio) built the new, post-Roman Gubbio in the twelfth century, they still identified, as the most suitable place for a fortified city, the location above the scarp on the slope of Monte Ingino, and they built two new gates at its lateral ends. The city was likely equipped with a third gate that faced the Bottaccione Gorge. In the thirteenth century, the Bottaccione Aqueduct was built to bring water to the highest point of Gubbio. Thus, two waterways—one natural (Torrente Camignano) and the other artificial—still branch off from Bottaccione to reach Gubbio at two different points that determine the lowest and highest levels of the city.