17 Works

Rilevare, analizzare e interpretare le orme umane fossili

Adolfo Panarello
Il potere delle impronte di registrare e descrivere la complessit  dei movimenti e della struttura corporea degli esseri viventi   ben noto. Le tecniche di rilevamento, analisi e interpretazione bidimensionale e tridimensionale dei dati icnologici sono sempre pi  numerose e complesse, ma non si sono ancora svincolate del tutto dalla loro dipendenza da una variet  di convenzioni, diverse fra loro, che possono influenzare il loro livello di attendibilit . Particolarmente interessanti per i paleoantropologi sono le...

L’icnosito della località “Foresta” di Tora e Piccilli e le impronte umane fossili

Adolfo Panarello, Gennaro Farinaro & Paolo Mietto
This report provides a complete description of the general “Ciampate del diavolo” palaeontological site (Tora e Piccilli, Central-Southern Italy) and each of the human ichnites there found so far. This description is integrated and completed with the tables, graphs, and pictures given in Supplements 1, 2, and 3 of this volume [Panarello et al., 2022a;b;c]. We think that this huge amount of both numeric and visual data will be very useful for any other human...

Segni umani recenti sulla pendice delle orme preistoriche

Paolo Mietto & Adolfo Panarello
The various on-field activities which have been carried out by researchers in the “Devil’s Trails” palaeontological site from 2005 to 2010 and the subsequent Ph.D. researches on the site that took place until 2016 have allowed us to identify - in addition to the various ichnological evidence of prehistoric times - also a series of anthropic cuts made in various historical times. These cuts sometimes overlap the prehistoric traces, or partially alter them, so creating...

Atlante visuale delle “Ciampate del diavolo”

Adolfo Panarello, Gennaro Farinaro & Paolo Mietto
This supplementary paper provides the complete visual atlas of some of the oldest human footprints (~350 ka) up to now known in the world which are known as “Ciampate del diavolo” or “Devil’s Trails” and are preserved on the Brown Leucitic Tuff created by the Roccamonfina volcano (Tora e Piccilli, Central-Southern Italy). High detailed planimetric maps (1 mm steps), depth maps, oblique quoted views, photographic and light controlled images created from photogrammetric 3D-models give a...

Storia della scoperta e breve cronistoria delle ricerche

Paolo Mietto & Adolfo Panarello
The traditional tale, which later became a legend, told of mysterious footprints imprinted “in the rock” or “in the lava”, left by a mysterious, supernatural being, perhaps “the devil”, who was able to walk on the burning volcanic deposit without damage. Over time, this legend has been gradually replaced first by a series of unfounded assumptions and finally by an even more fascinating scientific reality: the “Devil's Trails” (“Ciampate del diavolo”) are fossilized footprints of...

Una prima datazione lichenometrica per la determinazione dell’epoca di riesposizione del paleostrato impresso

Adolfo Panarello, Giuseppe Pandolfo & Paolo Mietto
A first determination of the value of the annual growth factor (0.766 mm/yr) of Aspicilia cinerea has been done through the application of a lichenometric system calibrated in the surroundings of the “Devil’s Trails” palaeontological site (Roccamonfina volcano). The application of this parameter to some samples within this site allowed researchers to know that the re-exposure of the surface preserving fossil human and animal footprints did not start before the early 1800s. This seems perfectly...

Osservazioni preliminari sulla frequentazione umana preistorica dell’areale del Roccamonfina

Italo Biddittu & Adolfo Panarello
Attributing a fossil footprint to a specific human species is always a challenging task, especially when no other archaeological evidence is available in addition to the age of the trampled layer. In the Foresta ichnosite only recently some rare Levallois lithic tools have been found and they are still under study. For this reason, the precise attribution of the so-called “Devil’s Trails” to a specific human trackmaker remains very hard. Moreover, the rekindling of the...

Osservazioni sui meccanismi di locomozione dell’autore della Pista A delle “Ciampate del diavolo”

Alessandro Mondanaro, Adolfo Panarello, Maria Modafferi, Marina Melchionna, Carmela Serio, Francesco Carotenuto, Stefano Tavani, Paolo Mietto & Pasquale Raia
The world-famous Roccamonfina site represents one among the very few opportunities to investigate about the evolution of bipedal locomotion of Middle Pleistocene humans. The site includes at least 80, finely preserved human footprints in anatomical position, divided into four trackways. We applied a biomechanical model to verify if the Roccamonfina’s individuals minimized energy expenditure during locomotion, moving downhill along an oblique route cutting the slope in order to avoid the steepest gradient. In keeping with...

Riscontri archivistici sull'origine del toponimo “Ciampate del diavolo”

Marco De Angelis
This study investigates the origins of the toponym “Devil's trails”, which is the name used by the inhabitants of Tora and Piccilli to identify the prehistoric footprints of the Foresta site. The results of this research, mainly carried out in the archival collections of the Caserta State Archives, demonstrate how apparently distant methodological approaches, such as archival researches and lichenometric, can converge towards a common synthesis.

Il sentiero più antico del mondo

Adolfo Panarello & Paolo Mietto
The details and in-depth descriptions provided in this careful report give a complete description of what is considered the oldest human pathway up to now know in the world. The so-called “P1 Pathway” has the same direction of the ledge overlooking the slope on which the so-called "Ciampate del diavolo" are preserved and some fossil footprints have been recognized also inside its space. People and animals walked along this path during prehistoric times. In the...

Il dataset dimensionale completo delle “Ciampate del diavolo”

Adolfo Panarello, Gennaro Farinaro & Paolo Mietto
This supplementary paper provides the complete dimensional dataset of the fossil human footprints well known as “Ciampate del diavolo” or “Devil’s Trails”, which are preserved on the Brown Leucitic Tuff of the Roccamonfina volcano (Central-Southern Italy). All these data have been recorded through direct surveys and a careful analysis of 3D models created from high-detailed photogrammetry. We think that this rich dataset will be useful for each morphometric analysis of human fossil footprints.

Atlante visuale del sentiero preistorico P1 di Tora e Piccilli

Adolfo Panarello & Paolo Mietto
This supplementary paper provides the complete visual atlas of what is considered the oldest fossil human pathway known so far in the world (~350 ka). This structure, called “P1 Pathway” is located inside the “Devil’s Trails” (“Ciampate del diavolo”) palaeontological site (Tora e Piccilli, Roccamonfina volcano, Central-Southern Italy). High detailed planimetric maps (1 mm steps), depth maps, oblique views, photographic and light controlled images created from photogrammetric 3D-models give a complete view of each part...

2001 - 2021: Vent’anni di ricerche sulle “Ciampate del diavolo”. Dalla leggenda alla realtà scientifica

Paolo Mietto, Adolfo Panarello &
This book gives a detailed report of twenty years of scientific research, investigations and studies on the site with Middle Pleistocene fossil footprints, known as “Devil's Trails" paleontological site, which is located on the north-eastern slopes of the Roccamonfina volcano, in the locality of Foresta (municipality of Tora e Piccilli, Central-Southern Italy). The fossilised human and animal footprints, radiometrically dated to 349 3 ka years ago, are described here in detail and contextualised in the worldwide...

Il valore dell’Icnologia umana

Adolfo Panarello
Seguire le impronte   una delle attivit  umane pi  antiche. Dal suo valore pratico nell'inseguimento delle prede, si   gradualmente evoluta in un'attivit  simbolica e poi anche in un'astrazione artistica, mistica e magica. Oggi, l'analisi delle impronte (soprattutto di quelle umane)   diventata una scienza a s  stante, e viene applicata per diversi scopi in contesti paleontologici, archeologici e forensi. In questo articolo, ripercorriamo le tappe essenziali della crescente dignit  dell’icnologia, evidenziando il suo enorme...

Il tocco del “diavolo”: un’istantanea fotografica sulla preistoria

Adolfo Panarello, Luigi Mazzardo & Paolo Mietto
Here we report about a fossil handprint located in the "Ciampate del diavolo" palaeontological site (Tora e Piccilli, central-southern Italy). Radiometrically dated at ~350 ka, it is the only fossilized Middle-Pleistocene human handprint up to know known in the world and the oldest so far. This handprint, called TP_M1, cannot be compared with anything similar at present, either in hypogeal or subaerial environments and is completely unrelated to any cultural purpose. Since it can only...

Una sfida al “diavolo”: il problema della conservazione e della valorizzazione

Adolfo Panarello, Gennaro Farinaro & Paolo Mietto
Fossil human footprints are among the rarest and most precious finds for the study of antiquity. Their value lies in their power to describe body structures, actions, and behaviours. Their rarity is because - almost always - they are preserved on deposits that have turned into soft rocks which are easily eroded by natural agents and damaged by human wrong actions and management. Considering human ichnites as any other archaeological find to be preserved is...

Costruzioni geometriche per la creazione del dataset dimensionale completo delle “Ciampate del diavolo”

Adolfo Panarello, Gennaro Farinaro & Paolo Mietto
This supplementary paper provides graphical schemes of all the geometric constructions carried out to apply the selected mensural conventions to the fossil human footprints widely known as “Ciampate del diavolo” or “Devil’s Trails” (Tora e Piccilli, Roccamonfina volcano, Central-Southern Italy). These graphical schemes help to complete the final dimensional dataset and provide further data very useful in any other morphometric and human gait-analysis comparations. Moreover, the dimensional values obtained through these geometric elaborations, if compared...

Registration Year

  • 2022

Resource Types

  • Text


  • University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (UniCAS)
  • University of Padua (UniPD)
  • University of Naples Federico II
  • Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV)