Riparo Mochi is one of the sites that are part of the important Balzi Rossi
complex. Because of his low depth (Caving) nature, Riparo Mochi was archaologically individuated only in 1983, differently from the other cavities, which were mostly explored and “empied” between the end of ‘800 and the beginning of the last century.
The site’s discovery was made by Gian Alberto Blanc who, in (the occasion of) a survey the 9 april 1938 and in company with Carlo Alberto B├▓anc and Luigi Cardini (in the meanwhile busy with the excavation of Barma Grande), ascertained/certified the existance of a new powerful prehistoric deposit at the feet of the big giurassic limestone rockwall between the Caves of Florestano (explored since 1846) and of Caviglione (taken over by the railway works in 1870 for the Ventimiglia-Nizza’s line construction). The new deposit was “baptized” Riparo Monchi in the honour of the (then) dead prof. Aldobrandino Mochi, first director of the Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana (Italian Institute of Human Paleontology). Since then, different exacavation campains followed one another in Riparo Monchi that, despite the numerous interruptions caused by second World War, ecomic scarcity, mournings and various organisational difficulties, carry on up till now.
After the first excavating works in 1938 directed mostly by Gian Alberto and Alberto Carlo Blanc, followed the campains of 1941, 1942, 1949 and 1959, directed mostly by the latter and by Luigi Cardin. The two researchers of the Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana(Italian Institute of Human Paleontology) examined the filling for a depth of about 10m, yet not reaching the base. After a thirty-years interruption-with the only exception of some sampling activities finalized to the study of the deposits and of the microfauna and made respectively in 1990 by Mauro Cremaschi and in 1993 by the ├ęquipe of henry de Lumley- it was decided to intervene, in the autumn of 1995, with a series of new research campains, coordinated by Soprintendenza Archeologica della Liguria (in the person of dott. Angiolo Del Lucchese) in collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana (Italian Institute of Human Paleontology) in the person of prof. Amilcare Bietti (University of Rome). The researchs, aimed at the acquisition of new data and at the revision of the data from the previous excavations, were continued until 2006, year of prof. A. Bietti’s passing.
Since 2007, the researchs directed by Soprintendenza Archeologica della Liguria (dott. Angiolo Del Lucchese) have been resumed in collaboration with prof. Stefano Grimaldi, member of the Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana(Italian Institute of Human Paleontology) and researcher in the University of Trento. The purposes of this new research’s fase are to study the lithic and faunistic material of the Upper Paleolithic from the “old excavations”, make new datations on all the stratigraphical sequences, highlight new sections in order to reconstruct the stratigraphic measurements of volume that are present in the already excavated deposit part, complete the geomorphological, sedimentological and pedological studies.