Mangano, G., Bonfiglio, L. & Petruso, D.
Excavations of 2003 at the S. Teodoro Cave (North-Eastern Sicily, Italy): preliminary faunistic and stratigraphic data

Geo.Alp 2, 2005, p. 71–76

Systematic excavations have been carried out at the S. Teodoro Cave since 1998. Two trenches have been excavated on the eastern side of the cave. The "1998 trench", located between 9 and 13 meters from the entrance, covers an area of 25 m2. The "2002 trench" was located between 30 and 32 meters from the entrance and covers an area of 9 m2.
The 2003 excavations included the 2002 trench, which has been deepened for 1 m and enlarged by adding new squares. Remains of Cervus elaphus siciliae, Bos primigenius siciliae, Elephas mnaidriensis, Crocuta crocuta spelaea, Equus hydruntinus, small mammals, birds, reptiles, invertebrates and plant remains have been recovered. The composition of the faunal assemblage and the lithologic features of the deposit, which is composed of clayey sands and gravels, are similar to those recognized in the 1998 trench. Fragmentation of remains, damages on almost all large mammal bones and abundant hyena coprolites testify an intense hyena activity. Complete and not damaged remains of elephant and deer have also been collected and actually represent a taphonomic novelty. A new sedimentary unit of clayey sands and gravels which does not contain fossil remains has been detected in the southern part of the trench. The age and the environmental significance of this new sedimentary unit are to be clarified.

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