Palaeolithic mollusc exploitation at Riparo Mochi (Balzi Rossi, Italy): Food and ornaments from the Aurignacian through Epigravettian

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This study considers exploitation of marine molluscs at Riparo Mochi (Italy) in cultural and ecological context. Five shell assemblages from this site represent the early Upper Palaeolithic (c. 36,000 BP) through Late Epigravettian (c. 9000 BP) periods. Taphonomic analysis reveals four kinds of shell debris: ornaments, food refuse, marine sponge inclusions, and land snails. While human foraging agendas at Riparo Mochi shifted over the five Palaeolithic phases, the kinds of marine shells favoured as ornaments remained nearly constant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-754
Number of pages20
Issue number282
StatePublished - Dec 1999



  • Aurignacian
  • Balzi Rossi
  • Epigravettian
  • Gravettian
  • Grimaldi caves
  • Italy
  • Marine molluscs
  • Palaeolithic ornaments
  • Riparo Mochi
  • Taphonomy
  • Zooarchaeology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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