Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 - 40124 Bologna

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Collections / Sections / Bologna in prehistory

Tools millimeter-sized. The Mesolithic

About 120,000 years ago, a new hominid species became established in Europe, the Neanderthal, whose traces in the Bologna area are rather scarce and come chiefly from the deposits filling the karstic cavities of the Gessi Bolognesi. There are few artefacts, sometimes associated with the remains of fauna from arid-cold areas, including species that are now extinct, which penetrated Italy from Eastern Europe.
With the Upper Palaeolithic (35,000–10,000 years ago), so-called “modern” man (Homo Sapiens) arrived from Africa and rapidly colonized all of Europe. Nevertheless, settlement of the Bologna area seems to have been sporadic, until the end of the Last Glacial Period (11,600 years ago).
It 's just the beginning of the post-glacial period, characterized by a rise in temperatures and a change in the vegetation and fauna, that are found remains of camps of hunter-gatherers , the protagonists of a new phase of human history: the Mesolithic.

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Climate change causes the formation of a new type of natural environment, characterized by the gradual spread of forest environments. Because of this the presence of small animals increases, and men hunt them with tools and weapons gradually more refined. The tools most commonly used for hunting are now the bow and arrows; arrows and harpoons are armed with flint flakes really millimeter in size, fixed in series of wooden supports through bonding of plant origin. The fragments were obtained by percussion from tiny flint cores prepared and processed for subsequent deadlifts. In the places of stone processing is possible to recover some of the fragments detached for processing, and rebuild back the transactions of Mesolithic hunters, as in the case of the prismatic core here presented. Scholars have been able to reassemble some of the flakes that were removed from this core, made of local flint, to prepare planes suitable for crafting small tools, including minuscule “reinforcements” that were mounted on organic supports (chiefly wood) to make arrowheads for hunting.

Provenance: Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna)
Datation: Sauveterriano (10.000 - 8.000 BC)
Material: Flint
Dimensions: core: mm 31 x 24 flakes: mm. 9 x 12; mm 21 x 10; mm 11 x 9
Inventory #: SBAER 222149, 222150, 222151, 222152

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Exhibition rooms | Room I - Prehistoric section