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Fireplace and holy altar in Curiceta at Apuan Alps, Italy

Natalia Tarabella**, Paolo Debertolis*, Daniele Gullà**, Lorenzo Marcuccetti**


*Department of Medical Sciences, University of Trieste and SBRG, Italy

   **Super Brain Research Group, Italy


Abstract - The Apuan Alps, High Versilia and Garfagnana are part of the Apuan Alps Park, and are rich in petroglyphs and archaeological finds which are, in part, unknown and not precisely datable. These areas have been inhabited since Neolithic times but, the meaning and the reason for signs engraved on stone, is unclear. The Apuan Alps were chosen as a dwelling by people who left many ancestral and Christianity signs including sacred altars, thrones and artefacts carved in stone. This area acts like a stone atlas revealing our past and our roots. The Curiceta site is located inside a thick forest of chestnut trees, in an area where dried stone terraces are perfectly preserved. The first building approached along the path, is the so-called “fireplace”, a large flat stone that protrudes from the ground and surrounded by a series of aligned stones where, most probably, a fire was lit. Behind the big stone, is a cavity where the smoke could emerge. The lower part of the flat stone features a ”handle” carved in the rock, its function is still unknown. Along a short stretch of the uphill path protected by a high dry stone wall, lies the sacred stone altar. This enigmatic structure has revealed many surprises during the tests performed with electronic instruments. This altar is carved from a single block of stone and consists of a backrest and a horizontal supporting surface. From the left side, there are inclined planes which climb down, below these one can find a vertical groove. The altar features the same carved handle found on the ''fireplace''. Rock altars are very common around the world, for example throughout Southern Italy and the Middle East but, in High Versilia this is the only one example. Archaeoacoustic analysis of the altar found a dominant and powerful frequency present of between -47 and -50db at 25 – 28Hz. A second peak of infrasound at 15-16Hz was also found. This inaudible acoustic characteristic is commonly found at sacred sites, such as the Neolithic temples of Malta (Tarxien – Xaghra Stone Circle). These same vibrations are present near the altar but at a much lower volume. In this case the loudest volume was found directly under the altar decreasing as one walks away from it. In both cases, the most likely source of this frequency is from underground water. The emotional state of eight volunteers was analysed using a TRV camera. 7/8 felt emotionally uncomfortable or uneasy. Based on these results, a hypothesis was formulated on the function of the Curiceta’s site. The two stone structures are connected. On the altar, sacrifices were probably, made, with blood flowing along the left side to the groove on the floor. The fireplace, could have been used to burn the bodies or maybe just some organs.

 Keywords: archaeoacoustics, Apuan Alps, dolmen, altar, low frequency sound, infrasound, SBRG, Super Brain Research Group.


Proceedings of International Conference "Archaeoacoustics III”, Tomar (Portugal), October 5-8, 2017: pp. 209-219.

(ISBN: 978-0965625258)


The original article in English language is here.


You can find the web site of the Conference here.


The video of the presentation in Maçao, October 7, 2017, is here.









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