The La Polledrara deposit is located about 20 km north-west of Rome, between the via Aurelia and Boccea and constitutes one of the richest paleontological deposits in existence. The deposit, belonging to the Middle Pleistocene, has been dated to 325-310,000 years ago. Discovered in 1984, the site was object of an excavation which ended in 2014.
In an area of about 1200 square meters, both a wide stretch of the ancient river bed and an area with a marshy environment have been unearthed, in which many wildlife finds have been preserved. The river bed of the water course measures approximately 35-40 m in width and 1.5 in depth.Thanks to the discovery of numerous fossil remains belonging to the species of the ancient elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), primeval ox (Bos primigenius) and elapse deer (Cervus elaphus), but also of the European water buffalo, the rhinoceros and the hare, it was possible to hypothesize an intense animal presence in the area. Among these, particularly interesting is the skeleton of an elephant trapped in the mud, between whose vertebrae the skull of a wolf was found.
In addition to these fossil remains, more than 500 lithic artifacts were found consisting of small pebbles of flint and siliceous limestone, not originating in the marshy environment of the deposit and therefore certainly transported by man. The presence of the latter is also evidenced by the traces of slaughtering and fracturing of the bones of the animals.The deposit is protected by a 900 square meter museum structure; through an elevated walkway the visitor can visit the archaeological excavation.
Photo: Courtesy of Soprintendenza Speciale di Roma
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