In 1999, Marcello Piperno became responsible of the Italian Archaeological Mission at Melka Kunture and since then he organized the fieldwork and laboratory studies with an Italian and French team necessary to prepare an exhaustive publication and to organize an Open Air Museum in the site.
An accurate re-analysis of the geomorphological, sedimentological, lithological and volcanological aspects of the site has been also carried out together with the study of the mandible of the Homo erectus child recovered in the 1982 test trench in Level E at Garba IV, the archaeozoological study of the materials from the Garba IV site, the completion of the typological study and the revision of the photographic and graphic documentation of the materials from the Oldowan sites.
In 2004 Chavaillon and Piperno published the first monograph on the Oldowan sites of Melka Kunture “Studies on the Early Paleolithic site of Melka Kunture, Ethiopia”.
Between 2001 and 2004 the Open Air Museum was realized at the Gombore II locality.
In 2005 a new series of excavation of Levels E and F at Garba IV site and of the obsidian level at Simbiro III have been carried out.
Finally, during the 2006 campaign the new museum of Melka Kunture was also organized.
Excavation at Garba IVE-2005
The Italian Archaeological Mission conducts its researches at Melka Kunture and Balchit thanks to:
Since 1999 many researchers and technicians participated to the Italian Archaeological Mission and to the publications on Melka Kunture:
Alemu Admessu, Guillaume Bardin, Kassaye Begashaw, Arlette Berthelet, Grazia Maria Bulgarelli, Jean Chavaillon, Nicole Chavaillon, Carmine Collina, Silvana Condemi, Paolo Conti, Roberto Conti, Yves Coppens, Andrea D'Andrea, Sarah Delerue, Lorenzo De Masi, Véra Eisenmann, Ivana Fiore, Rosalia Gallotti, Denis Geraads, Giulia Gruppioni, Marianne Hirbec-Raynal, Guy Kieffer, François-Xavier Le Bourdonnec, Sante Martin, Andy Milton, Genevieve Papy, Massimo Pennacchioni, Germaine Petter, Marcello Piperno, Gérard Poupeau, Jean-Paul Raynal, Stefano Ricci, Riccardo Salvini, Patricia Smith, Antonio Tagliacozzo, Uri Zilberman.
In different years and for different periods some students took part to the Mission:
Leonardo Carmignani, Ornella Cuomo, Carolina Maestro, Maria Cristina Salvi, Carmen Santagata, Teresa Varricchio.
The Open Air Museum
A great part of the activities related to the Open Air Museum and to the construction of the new Museum was due to the capacity, technical ability and deep friendship of Giorgio Greco, to whom the Italian Archaeological Mission is particularly grateful.
The Open Air Museum-Internal view