Materials and Tools across Volcanoes: Exploitation of Georesources in Piano dei Cardoni (Ustica, Italy) during Prehistory

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Claudia Speciale
Roberta Mentesana
Giuseppe Montana
Vincenza Forgia
Filippo Mantia
Giuseppina Battaglia
Mauro Antonio Di Vito
Stefano Vassallo
Sandro de Vita



 The paper aims at merging the first results from the analyses of the georesources exploited in the site of Piano dei Cardoni (Ustica island, Italy) during the Neolithic phases of its occupation (Middle-Late Neolithic, 4.7-4.2 ka cal BC). Grinding tools consist of a very varied typology of local volcanic rocks, easy to collect and available very close to the investigated site. A selection of shapes and lithology is applied to reach the best performance of the tools. The elevated number of grinders, pestles, mortars testify to an intense activity of food/plant processing in the site. The absence of chert or obsidian resources on the island pushed the human communities to import such raw materials from the Aeolian islands and probably from the north-western area of Palermo. Pumice is collected on the same island, probably due to the local availability and its good quality. Similarly, local clay resources are used for the manufacture of ceramics, mostly burnished and incised wares. Ustica was therefore almost autonomous for the exploitation of resources, with volcanic rocks readily available in abundance and with the most significant exception being chert and obsidian. This last one probably imported and worked on the island and then moved towards North-Western Sicily. 

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How to Cite
Speciale, C., Mentesana, R., Montana, G. ., Forgia, V. ., Mantia, F., Battaglia, G., Di Vito, M. A., Vassallo, S. and de Vita, S. (2021) “Materials and Tools across Volcanoes: Exploitation of Georesources in Piano dei Cardoni (Ustica, Italy) during Prehistory”, Annals of Geophysics, 64(5), p. VO552. doi: 10.4401/ag-8684.

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