Arene Candide is a large cave system accessed 90 m above current sea level on the slopes of Monte Caprazoppa, Finale Ligure, Italy. The site has been renowned since the latter half of the 19th century for the archaeological richness of its Holocene layers but it was only from the 1940s that its Pleistocene sequence came under investigation. Under the direction of Luigi Cardini and Luigi Bernabò Brea, several excavations occurred during 1940-42, 1948-50, and 1970-72. More recently, a series of excavation campaigns took place between 2008 and 2011 under the direction of J. Riel-Salvatore and R. Maggi.
During the 1940-1942 excavation, several Late Upper Paleolithic burials and secondary deposits of human bones were unearthed. An additional burial was found in 1970, and, in 2011, a human bone (a talus) was found. Arene Candide now represents one of the most important sites for the understanding of the peopling of the Mediterranean in the Pleistocene and early Holocene.
Our study aimed to gain new insights into Late Upper Paleolithic funerary behavior through the osteological and spatial analysis of those skeletal elements (Sparacello et al., 2018). We cataloged the entire assemblage, and performed surface 3D scans of several skeletal elements, including all elements in secondary deposit. This will allow researchers to verify the attributions based on articulation, size and morphology of the skeletal elements in secondary deposit. Surface scans were taken using the structured light scanner DAVID® SLS-2 (DAVID Group 2007-2015).
Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la città metropolitana di Genova e le province di Imperia, La Spezia e Savona authorized this study on skeletal material belonging to the Italian State.
Data collection took place in three museums: Museo di Archeologia Ligure (Genova), Museo Archeologico del Finale (Finale Ligure), and Museo di Antropologia e Etnologia - Sistema Museale dell' Università di Firenze (Firenze). The collaboration of these institutions was fundamental for the success of the research.
Sparacello VS, Rossi S, Pettitt P, Roberts CA, Riel-Salvatore J, Formicola V. 2018. New insights on Final Epigravettian funerary behavior at Arene Candide Cave (Western Liguria, Italy). J Anthropol Sci 96:1-24.