Grotta Vittorio Vecchi (Sezze)

Chronology: EBA, MBA 1/2
UTM WGS84 33N: 340714E 4599838N 

The Vittorio Vecchi Cave has been found in 1987 by the speleologists of the Associazione Speleologi Romani and, in 1988 and 1989 has been excavated by the Soprintendenza Archeologica del Lazio (Guidi 1992; Rosini 2007). Ceramic sherds, metal objects and bones have been found in almost all the cave, both on the surface and in three niches, in the north-west wall of the long corridor Strettoia degli Scheletri. Three trences have been dug. In the trench A1, a layer with human and animal bones, many ceramic sherds and charcoal has been found. Near the cave wall the dispersion of the sherds was lower, thus many vessels could have been reconstructed. In the eastern part of the trench, there was an upside down bowl covered some skull bones, partially connected (a child and some adults, Rubini et al. 1990). Also a fireplace was identified. The vessels mostly belog to open vessels, often decorated and to middle size jars.
In the trench A2, near the old entrance and below a republican rockslide, an organic, blackish layer has been found, with charcoal, human and animal bones and many ceramic sherds, mostly belonging to large vessels. In the lower part of the trench, a pit filled with burnt seeds has been found. The blackish, organic layer hes been found also in the trench A3.
A small amount of ceramic sherds can be dated to the Copper Age or to the beginning of the EBA, but the bulk of the vessels belongs to the MBA. Among the metallic objects: a little dagger, a chisel, a roll-headed pin (capocchia a riccio), a ring-headed pin (capocchia ad anello), an arrow head and two bronze decorated rings (fascette ad anello di lamina --- decorate all’esterno con costolature orizzontali) (Guidi et al. 2002). Two glassy faïence conical buttons, with V shaped perforation, have also been found (Bellintani 2000). According to A. Guidi, the Sala dei Sette and the inner room were used as necropoleis, the area south-west of the old entrance was used only for offerings. Indeed, mostly of the human bones comes from the trench A1 and only one fragment from the trench A2, where burnt seeds and large vessels prevailed.

Map of the Vittorio Vecchi Cave and some EBA (A) and MBA1 (B) ceramic sherds (after Rosini 2007)
Map of the Vittorio Vecchi Cave and some EBA (A) and MBA1 (B) ceramic sherds (after Rosini 2007)


Bellintani, P., 2000. I bottoni conici ed altri materiali vetrosi delle fasi non avanzate della media età del Bronzo, dell’Italia settentrionale e centrale, Padusa XXXVI, 95–110
Guidi, A., 1992. Recenti ritrovamenti in grotta nel Lazio: un riesame critico del problema dell’utilizzazione delle cavità naturali, Rassegna di Archeologia X, 427–37
Guidi, A., P. Pascucci & A. Zarattini, 2002. Confini geografici e confini culturali: le facies della preistoria e della protostoria nel Lazio meridionale, Latium 19, 5–21
Rosini, L., 2007. I materiali della Grotta Vittorio Vecchi (Sezze, LT), in Atti della XL Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria, Strategie di insediamento fra Lazio e Campania in età preistorica e protostorica, 695–703
Rubini, M., L. Andreini & A. Coppa, 1990. Gli inumati della Grotta Vittorio Vecchi di Monte Fulcino (Sezze, Latina; media età del Bronzo, XVII-XIV sec. a.C.), Rivista di Antropologia LXVIII, 141–62

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The southern island

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