Prehistoric Lampedusa

In 1971 the University of Pisa examined1  and excavated the remains of a neolithic hut in Lampedusa (in Cala Pisana area): such hut had a 1.5 meters diameter and it yield incised Stentinello pottery sherds and other lithic tools at a depth of 1 meter. 

Incised Stentinello style pottery sherds from Lampedusa 

Lithic tools included obsidian blades and knives and flint blades. Petrochemical analysis revealed that the Obsidian found in Lampesa was imported from Pantelleria 2.

Neolithic hut excavated at Cala Pisana (Lampedusa) in the '70s

The neolithic hut of Cala Pisana in Lampusa was found during excavation for road constructions and therefore the site was damaged and only partially recovered, since then no more excavations and digging were performed in order to further investigate the prehistory of Lampedusa. The main consequence of the lack of interest and archaeological research is that the prehistory of this small island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea is still obscure despite very promising sign of interesting  potential for additional prehistoric research (in this website we hope to have provided the readers with ample evidence of a widespread prehistoric colonization of Lampedusa): so far we only know that the island was inhabited and agriculturally exploited at least since the sixth millennium BC.
Below we want to provide the readers with additional evidence of prehistoric sites and finds that are waiting to be studied in Lampedusa:
1- Remains of prehistoric hut in Contrada Cala Creta (not far from the hut excavated in the 70s)  yielding pottery sherds and flint tools at superficial level:

Prehistoric huts (above and below): note the awful conservation status of these interesting huts left there without any care


Flint tool
Lithic tool with imported volcanic stone from Pantelleria



2-Remains of prehistoric settlements in Contrada Sanguedolce (on the other side of the island showing that settlements were widespread):


Obsidian tool

Stone structure

Prehistoric sherds and shells 

It is worth remember here the words of Thosam Ashby (year 1906)

"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."

Since then almost nothing has been done.....this may be the only island left in the Mediterranean sea archaeologically unexploited.


Courtesy of “Isolation and Interaction Cycles” 3


Bibliografia
1G. Radi “ Tracce di un insediamento neolitico nell’ Isola di Lampedusa”
2Bigazzi, Bonadonna, Belluomini, Malipieri 1971 “ Studi sulle ossidiane Italiane)Boll. Soc. Geologica Italiana 90(4) pag 469-480
3-“Isolation and Interaction Cycles: small Mediterranean Islands from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age”” Giulia Recchia, Michelòa Danesi, Valentina Copat -
4-“The language of the Goddess” Marija Gimbutas 1989
 “The Italian Obsidian Sources” Bigazzi, Oddone, Radi - Archemetriai Muhely 2005/1
-Helen Dawson University of Kent “Unravelling the mystery and process from the prehistoric colonization and abandonment of the Mediterranean Islands” in Comparativve Island Archaeologies 2008 Oxford
Correlated article: Submerged Necropolis
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