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The Archaeology of Grotta Scaloria: Ritual in Neolithic Southeast Italy

Edited by Ernestine S. Elster
Edited by Eugenia Isetti
Edited by John Robb
Edited by Antonella Traverso

Grotta Scaloria, a cave in Apulia, was first discovered and explored in 1931, excavated briefly in 1967, and then excavated extensively from 1978 to 1980 by a joint UCLA–University of Genoa team, but it was never fully published. The Save Scaloria Project was organized to locate this legacy data and to enhance that information by application of the newest methods of archaeological and scientific analysis.

This significant site is finally published in one comprehensive volume (and in an online archive of additional data and photographs) that gathers together the archaeological data from the upper and lower chambers of the cave. These data indicate intense ritual and quotidian use during the Neolithic period (circa 5600–5300 BCE). The Grotta Scaloria project is also important as historiography, since it illustrates a changing trajectory of research spanning three generations of European and American archaeology.


Ernestine S. Elster is a visiting assistant professor at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

John Robb is a professor in the Department of Archaeology at Cambridge University.

Eugenia Isetti is the president of the Istituto Italiano di Archeologia Sperimentale in Genoa.

Antonella Traverso is with the Soprintendenza Archeologia della Liguria.

Published By The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press

8.5 x 11 in. 450 pages 124 color photos, 129 halftones, 122 tables