Prehistoric Lampedusa report by Thomas Ashby year 1912

In "Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology " issued by the University of Liverpool in 1912 (vol.4) we can find a very interesting mono-graphic study of Lampedusa produced by the British archaeologist Thomas Ashby (1874-1931). Ashby was the first archeologist to visit Lampedusa and in very short stay of 2 days on the island he could find enough evidence of prehistoric settlement settlement to conclude that the island was relatively well populated. He was shown the small Stone Circle of Lampedusa and he suggested that they could be prehistoric huts (he had not a chance to see the large stone circles and comment on them).

"The hut foundations are in all cases formed of orthostatic blocks, quite unworked, not as a rule more than one metre high or long. In the best preserved specimens we see that the plan was slightly oval rather than round, and that the wall consisted of two concentric lines of blocks, with a packing of earth and stones between them ; above this, in two cases, we see the beginning of coursed masonry of thin slabs, very rough, with wide intervals between them. We thus get, in a rudimentary form, the combination of orthostatic slabs and ashlar masonry characteristic of the ' tombs of the giants ' of Sardinia, and other prehistoric buildings of the Western Mediterranean and in the British Isles"

Ashby concluded his report with this important statement:

"The prehistoric remains of Lampedusa, at any rate, merit further exploration, for which a certain amount of clearing and excavation is indispensable; and this, as I have said, must be left to the Italian authorities, to whose attention I confidently commend this brief record of our journey."

The first Archaeological Map of Lampedusa produced by T. Ashby, 1912  has prepared an e-book with the original paperwork of Thomas Ashby about Lampedusa and it is sharing it with its users and visitors for free in order to stimulate the study and research about the prehistoric origins of Lampedusa. You can download a free copy here: