Riparo Madonna Bianca (TN)

The shelter of Madonna Bianca (Trento) *

September of 1985. Some guys from Towers 4 in Madonna Bianca, in the hilly area between the former Villa Taxis and the valley bottom, on the left side of the Adige, playing in the rocky ravines, discovered a concentration of lithic industry. The materials, typologically attributable to the Mesolithic and Eneolithic, were later delivered by Mr. Nino Gasperi and his son at the Trento Museum of Natural Sciences.

In agreement with the Office for the Protection of the Archaeological, the Trento Museum of Natural Sciences immediately thus promoted a series of prospecting in the area of the discovery coordinated by B. Bagolini in collaboration with B. Angelini and T. Pasquali ended the following year with the opening of a small exploratory survey under a rocky overhang. The research also participated M. Avanzini, G. Mezzena, I. Mosna, V. Rosà and some of the guys discoverers of the site.Exploration , carried out in an area , very narrow , near a small shelter formed by a large outcrop of rock , have allowed the recovery of artifacts attributable to the Iron Age to the Late Bronze Age , Copper Age , Neolithic , Mesolithic and Mesoltico old .

Particularly significant was the finding , along the escarpment , near the shelter, some fragments of the skull and a dagger in hand patinated gray flint type , defined by De Marinis , a bay leaf to the base truncated ( De Marinis , Pedrotti , 1997 5 Fig. 1d ) and by him ascribed to the Copper Age . Similar examples in the region are known as elements of kit in the burials found in the cave at La Cosina Stravino ( TN) ( Roberti , 1913 Fig.4 ; Mottes , 1996) and Latsch – Goldrein as Exhibit sporadic (From Rì , Tecchiati , 1995 Abb.17 ) .

The opening of the survey conducted in 1986 brought to light a stratigraphic sequence , seriously compromised by a series of burglaries carried out for the construction of a small cabin , which documents the attendance of the shelter in the Mesolithic , Neolithic and Copper Age . At the levels of the Copper can be attributed to the finding in a niche, always within the shelter of a burial documented by some teeth, bones and fragments of skull. From the same area comes a large arrowhead, flint coated type Remedellian with broken stalk and a thin rod-shaped pendant made ​​of bone also known as button type Montgomery. This item is traditionally interpreted as belonging to the cultural background of the Campaniforme ( Nicolis , Pedrotti , 1997 p.407 ) . In Trentino is present in support of the female burial Sailing Valbusa attributed to an early phase of the Bronze Age ( Fasani , 1991) and Romagnano Loc III (Perini , 1971 Fig.32 , 11 and 49) . Further samples are reported in Ledro , Colombo Moors and Nogarole Mezzocorona ( Mottes , Nicolis , pp. 74-76 ) .

Unfortunately , given the mode of discovery and the frequent use of use , during the Copper Age , spaces bounded by boulders as burial chambers for collective burials ( Barfield , Buteux , Bocchio , 1995, pp. 36-39 ) , it is not possible interpret the pendant rod-shaped , arrowhead remedelliana and flint dagger as a kit for a single burial. Also difficult to propose a specific cultural attribution of the numerous fragments of pottery decorated with smooth weld that typologically could be attributed both to the Copper Age ( horizon Isera V) to the Bronze Age


Barfield L., Buteux S., Bocchio G., 1995 – Monte Covolo: una montagna e il suo passato. Ricerche archeologiche 1972-1994. Birmingham University Field Archeology Unit.

Dal Rì, Tecchiati, 1995 – Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte in Kastelbell-Tschars und Umgebung. Zur Vor-und Frühgeschichte des mittleren und unteren Vinschgaues, Artigianelli, Trento

De Marinis R, Pedrotti A, 1997 – L’età del Rame nel versante italiano delle Alpi centro-occidentali, Atti della XXXI Riunione Scientifica dell’I.I.P.P., “La Valle d’Aosta nel quadro della Preistoria e Protostoria dell’arco alpino centro-occidentale.” Courmayer, 2-5 giugno 1994

Mottes E., Nicolis F., 1998 – Aspetti culturali del bicchiere campaniforme in Trentino, in Nicolis F., Mottes E. ( a cura di), Simbolo ed enigma. Il bicchiere campaniforme e l’Italia nella preistoria europea del III millennio a. C., Catalogo della mostra tenuta a Riva nel 1998. Provincia autonoma di Trento, pp.73-76

Nicolis F., Pedrotti A., 1997 – Gli oggetti d’ornamento del Trentino Alto Adige di età Neolitica ed Eneolitica, in L. Endrizzi, F. Marzatico (a cura di) “Gli ori nelle Alpi” Catalogo della mostra Castello del Buonconsiglio 20 giugno- 9 novembre 1997, Quaderni del Castello del Buonconsiglio 6, Trento, pp.405-408

Perini R, 1971 – I depositi preistorici di Romagnano-Loc, Preistoria Alpina, VII, Trento, pp.7-106

Roberti, 1913 – La grotta sepolcrale detta “la Cosina” a Stravino (Trentino), BPI, XXXIX, pp. 1-16.

(*) og Bruno ANGELINI, Tullio PASQUALI, Annaluisa PEDROTTI – Poster presentated at the XXXIII Scentific  dell’I.I.P.P. – 21-24 October 1997