The Paleolithic park of Atella is located in the heart of Basilicata, a short distance from the cemetery of the small town of Atella, whose foundation dates back to the third century BC.
The naturalistic scenery in this area is wonderful, green hills frame the site, along with vineyards and olive groves. Atella, in fact, is right in a basin formed by an ancient extinct volcano, the Vulture.
This region is among the most important in Italy for the presence of prehistoric settlements. The Paleolithic Park of Atella, in particular, is the testimony of a human settlement dating back to about 600.000 years ago. The remains and footprints of an elephant made it possible to discover that a lake once stood there, so that both humans and animals lived close by, despite the presence of the volcano. Nomadic hunters were able to take down large mammals such as bison or elephants, separating them from their flocks and making them get bogged down on the muddy banks of the lake.
Other findings have made it possible to establish that in Atella, as well as in Notarchirico and elsewhere in the area, stone working was very active in the lower Paleolithic, in fact several flint stones or pebbles were skillfully worked to form weapons or other tools. A peculiarity that makes the Paleolithic Park of Atella even more unique and interesting is that small flint tools have been found here, that have never been found elsewhere.