A scientific excavation of the Caves occurred in 2016, from October 24 to October 31, under the auspices of the University of Siena, Department of Physical, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, Research Unit of Prehistory and Anthropology, in collaboration with the Archeology Superintendents of Campania.
Its purpose was dedicated to cleaning and restoring an area previously investigated by the same University of Siena between 1975 and 1988, under the direction of Prof. Paolo Gambassini. The mouth of the cave traces the arrival of our direct ancestors [Homo Sapiens], who replaced the last Neanderthals.
This particular activity occurs rarely, in few Italian sites, mainly concentrated in southern Italy. Two are Castelcivita and the Grotta della Cala (Marina di Camerota), located in Cilento. One day was dedicated to Castelcivita middle-school students, who visited the cave and attended a lecture on the evolution of Man, given by the University’s Ph.D. students.
Nel corso delle indagini, una giornata è stata dedicata alle scuole medie di Castelcivita. Gli studenti hanno visitato gli scavi ed hanno assistito ad una lezione tenuta da dottorandi dell’Università di Siena sull’evoluzione dell’Uomo e sui modi di vita dei gruppi Paleolitici. In particolare hanno avuto notevole successo l’accensione del fuoco con le metodologie in uso nella Preistoria e la possibilità di osservare, direttamente sui calchi dei rispettivi crani, le differenze fra i Neandertaliani e gli Uomini moderni.
In particular, the doctoral candidates covered the ways of life of Paleolithic groups, including fire-lighting methods during prehistoric times. They also showed Castelcivita students casts of skulls, showing differences between Neanderthals and modern Man. The next excavation is scheduled for July 2016.