Petriolo Project

Petriolo, 1975-87, survey and excavation of Paleolithic period settlements along the river banks in this geothermal area, directed originally by Joseph Chartkoff of Michigan State University, then jointly by Chartkoff and Randolph Donahue of Michigan State, and finally by Randolph Donahue, now of Sheffield University, England. The careful flotation of every inch of excavated soil produced many microliths and a range of stone tools, which testify to the extent and character of habitation in this area 14,000 to 16,000 years ago. During these late stages of the last glaciation in southern Tuscany, the society was economically diverse and seasonally transhumant, following browsing-mammal migration patterns. Excavations in the Petriolo III area have been published in J.L. Chartkoff and R.E. Donahue, “Petriolo III, an Epigravettian Occupation in Southern Tuscany: First Season,” Current Anthropology 22.5 (1981) 575-6; Donahue and Chartkoff, “Petriolo III: Second Season,” Current Anthropology 24.1 (1983) 104-5; and R.E. Donahue, “Petriolo III South: Implications for the Transition to Agriculture in Tuscany,” Current Anthropology 33.3 (June 1992).