The cave after the 2016 campaign. The test pits are showed.
In February 2014, mr. Gianni Carroccia led a team of speleologists at the entrance of the La Sassa cave. The cave is located few meters from the La Sassa stream, in the municipality of Sonnino. The explorations were carried out by the Gruppo Grotte Castelli Romani and the Speleo Club Roma, with the help of the Associazione Vivere Sonnino.
The archaeological finds
Just after the entrance, there was a very large room in which modern and contemporary artifacts can be seen, just on the surface. Artificial steps, terraces and stone walls were present. Information collected on the site confirmed the use of the cave as a shelter during the Second World War. A big portion of the chamber is occupied by rock debris. On the surface, an impasto decorated bowl has been collected.
During subsequent exploration survey, in a small lateral branch, a very large quantity of impasto potsherds and animal bones were found, together with several fragments of a human parietal bone. The impasto sherds can be dated to the Middle Bronze Age 2 (around 1550-1400 BCE).
Other human bones, two distal femoral epiphysis, left and right, were collected in another small chamber. These data would confirm the use of the cave as a burial place.
In the inner portion of the cave, an almost complete skeleton of a bear (Ursus arctos) has been found, completely covered by concretions. A radiocarbon date gives 30210±180 BP (GrA-64830). No potsherds have been found in this area.
Alessandri L. e Rolfo M. F. – 2015, L’utilizzo delle cavità naturali nella media età del Bronzo: nuovi dati dal Lazio meridionale, in Bollettino della Unione Storia e Arte 10: 109-126