Grotta della Cala

Grotta della Cala di Marina di Camerota


Useful Information

Location: Via Lentiscella, 3, 84059 Marina di Camerota SA.
(40.000955, 15.381176)
Open: All year Mon-Fri after appointment.
[2023]
Fee:  
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
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Address: Grotta della Cala, Via Lentiscella, 3, 84059 Marina di Camerota SA, Tel: +39-349-5524095. E-mail:
Assessorato alla Cultura e al Turismo del Comune Di Camerota, Località Poggio, Camerota, Tel: +39-370-112-5516. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

1960s excavations revealed remains of Neanderthal man and Homo sapiens.
2019 dioramas with mannequins installed by experts from the University of Siena in cooperation with the Superintendence and management of the Virtual Museum of the Paleolithic of Camerota.
2021 cave reopened after Covid closure.

Description

The Grotta della Cala is an archaeological cave which was excavated for years, then equipped with trails and electric light. After being closed as a result of the Covid pandemic, it is now reopened again. It has no actual open hours, it is open only after reservation. But as far as we know the cave is shown even to small groups by staff members of the municipality, so tours are possible all year Monday to Friday during the open hours of the town hall.

The cave is a huge cave portal above sea level in the cliff face. It is located only 500 m east of the city center and the harbour, easily reached by car or on a short walk along the beach. A flight of stairs leads up into the mouth of the cave. There is a round course through the huge chamber, with elevated trails, railings and electric light. Numerous finds are on display along the trail. The parts of the cave floor which are already excavated were used to reenact scenes of the daily life of the prehistoric people with mannequins. The dioramas were installed by experts from the University of Siena in cooperation with the Superintendence and management of the Virtual Museum of the Paleolithic of Camerota. It's also possible to have a look at the part of the cave where the excavations are still going on. The cave has a floor shaped like an hourglass, in other words there is a huge entrance with a camber which narrows, and after a narrow passage it widens again for a second chamber.

The cave was inhabited from 30,000 years BP, but during the last Glacial Maximum between between 24,000 and 16,000 years ago it was not inhabited. The sediment layers contained a wide variety of stone tools. Splinter instruments are characterized by a frontal margin, which was retouched, convex, sometimes semicircular or circular. Seashells were used as ornaments. Bone artifacts of deer, the main prey, were found in abundance, also several hearths. Some highlights are a painted pebble from the Mesolithic and a child burial from the Neolithic. Also some ceramic containers and bone hooks from the Copper Age.