After the discovery of the cave, all the sherds and bones on the surface, more than 500, were collected and are now being processed. A 3D scan of the cave was made with the kind collaboration of C. Tamburri, to enable the high-quality spatial localization of artifacts. Two joint excavations by the University of Groningen and Roma Tor Vergata took place in the summer of 2016 and in summer 2017. Another campaign is already planned for the summer of 2018.
The research is also part of the Avellino Project, led by Groningen and Leiden universities, which aims to trace the possible presence of a Campanian refugee population fleeing from the EBA (Avellino) eruption of Mount Vesuvius. For this purpose, radiocarbon and strontium (Sr) isotope analysis on human bones are planned.
Video – the entrance
The archaeological excavation at La Sassa is a joint project between the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (L. Alessandri) and the University of Rome Tor Vergata (M. F. Rolfo).
Oxford University (C. Capelli) – DNA analysis.
Istituto Nazionale Geofisica e Vulcanologia (M. Di Vito, I. Arienzo) – geochemical analysis, Sr isotope analysis
Tamburri S.r.l – 3D scan
The excavation is funded by the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO), the Groningen Institute of Archaeology and the University of Rome Tor Vergata.
We wish to acknowledge the mayor of Sonnino, Luciano De Angelis, and the municipal councilors Gianni Carroccia and Gianni Celani for their support. We are also grateful to the landowners, Mariano and Marilena Manicone and Massimo Manicone, who kindly gave us the permit to enter their field.