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Bilancino (Italy)

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Definition:

Bilancino is an Upper Paleolithic (Gravettian) open air site located in the Mugallo region of central Italy. The site includes an area of at least 120 square meters and, on the basis of paleoecological data, appears to have been occupied during the summer near a marsh or wetland some 25,000 years ago.

The site is remarkable for its large lithic component, including nearly 15,000 artifacts, 1600 of which are burins of the Noialles facies, a type of stone tool associated with Gravettian occupations. Also included in the site assemblage is a grinding stone and grinder. Starch grains discovered on the surface of these artifacts suggest to researchers that Bilancino's residents were grinding cattails (Typha spp) into flour.

Bilancino was discovered in the early 1990s during the construction of an artificial lake; it was excavated under the direction of Biancamaria Aranguren and Anna Revedin at the Archaeology Department of Tuscany.

Sources

Aranguren, Biancamaria, Roberto Becattini, Marta Mariotti Lippi, and Anna Revedin 2007 Grinding flour in Upper Palaeolithic Europe (25 000 years bp). Antiquity 81:845–855.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

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