From Season to Season:
a Revision of the Functional Status of Sauveterrian Sites
in the North Eastern Sector of the Italian Peninsula
and Implications for the Mobility of Human Groups
In this paper, I reconsider the “classic” occupation model for the north eastern sector of the Italian peninsula during the Sauveterrian based on a re-evaluation of the functional status of the known sites. The analysis is based on research conducted with the goal of defining the notion of a hunting camp in order to revise the archaeological data available in this territory. As a result, two categories of organised occupations could be defined: 1) the numerous sites of the alpine sector located in varying topographical and altimetric situations (in valley bottoms, and in the mid and high mountain zones) and often characterised by restricted occupation areas, the frequency of the habitation structures and economic activities with a strong hunting bias, and 2) the rare sites on the plains, which cover larger occupation areas and for which we have almost no economic data. This context suggests, at the least, a nomadic system within the alpine territory involving small groups based in different valleys and who moved to higher ground during the summer in connection with hunting activities. It is also possible that these groups belonged to communities with varying compositions that moved within a larger territory extending towards the Adriatic, with the installation of aggregation camps on the plain in the winter.