Italy

Dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, fossils, fossil-found places, prehistoric humans, paleontologists, Charles Darwin on stamps and postmarks of Italy

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Italy, officially the Italian Republic is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. with population of 61 million. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate or Mediterranean climate; due to its shape, it is often referred to in Italy as lo Stivale (the Boot). [R1]

As Italy was not unified until 1861, its early postal history is tied to the various kingdoms and smaller realms that ruled in the peninsula.
Following the unification of Italy during 1860 and 1861, stamps in use in each of the territories that joined Italy were withdrawn from circulation and replaced with the stamps of the Sardinian kingdom. The transition took place in Modena, Parma and Romagna on February 1, 1860, in Naples on September 15, 1862 (although local authorities had previously printed stamps depicting the coat of arms of Savoy), and in the Papal States - only in 1870. Matraire's stamps were reprinted several times, and those printed after 17 March 1861 are usually considered the first stamps of the Kingdom of Italy. [R2]



Official stamps of Italy related to Paleontology and Paleoanthropology: prehistoric animals and humans, fossils and Charles Darwin

06.02.1988 "Remains of Isernia Man" 09.09.1996 "XIII International Congress on pre- and proto-history" [1] 30.05.1998 "4th Intl. Convention on Fossils, Evolution and Environment"
Prehistoric man, Homo Aeserniensis on stamps of Italy 1988 XIII International Congress on pre- and proto-history on stamp of Italy 1996 4th Intl. Convention on Fossils, Evolution and Environment on stamp of Italy 1998
14.04.2000 "Tourism" [2] 12.02.2009 "Charles Darwin" 24.05.2021 "Treasures of the Alta Murgia National Park"
Fossilized forest of Dunarobba on turism stamp of Italy 2000 Charles Darwin and human evolution sequence on stamp of Italy 2009 Dinosaur footprints and fossil of prehistoric man from the Alta Murgia National Park on stamps of Italy 2021

Notes:
[1]
  • Prehistory means literally "before history". Human prehistory is the period from the time that behaviourally and anatomically modern humans first appear until the appearance of recorded history following the invention of writing systems. Since both the time of settlement of modern humans and the evolution of human civilizations differ from region to region, prehistory starts and ends at different moments in time, depending on the region concerned. [R8]
  • Protohistory refers to a period between prehistory and history, during which a culture or civilization has not yet developed writing but other cultures have already noted its existence in their own writings. [R9]
fossilized forest of Dunarobba on stamp of Italy 2000 [2] One of the stamps shows petrified tree stumps from the fossilized forest of Dunarobba.
The Petrified Forest is located in the village of Dunarobba, 2.5 km from the walls of Avigliano. Considered one of the most unique paleontological sites in the world, the trees remaining in this petrified forest are more than two million years old. The fossilization phenomenon that can be observed at this site is different from all other petrified forests because the trunks here were able to maintain their original consistency and erect position. The particular characteristics of this paleontological site make it a unique natural monument of great scientific importance. [R10]


Other stamps to consider

19.09.2001 "Discovery of Oetzi" [A1] 24.07.2008 "Tourism" [A2] 25.07.2015 "Dolomiti" [A2]
prehistoric man Oetzi on stamp of Italy 2001 Fossil found place Dolomites on stamps of Italy 2015 Fossil found place Dolomites on stamps of Italy 2015

Notes:
[A1] Oetzi is a nickname given to the well-preserved natural mummy of a man, Homo sapiens sapiens, who lived around 3,300 BCE, (more precisely between 3359 and 3105 BCE), with a 66% chance that he died between 3239 and 3105 BCE. The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Oetztal Alps, hence the nickname "Oetzi", near the mountain of Similaun and Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy. He is Europe's oldest known natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic Europeans. His body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy. [R6]
Dolomites mountain on stamp of Italy 2008
[A2] The Dolomites comprises a mountain range located in the northern Italian Alps.
A serial property of nine areas that present a diversity of spectacular landscapes of international significance for geomorphology marked by steeples, pinnacles and rock walls, the site also contains glacial landforms and karst systems.
It is characterized by dynamic processes with frequent landslides, floods and avalanches. The property also features one of the best examples of the preservation of Mesozoic carbonate platform systems, with fossil records. In August 2009, the Dolomites were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Commemorative postmarks related to Paleontology

195x "Sinclair" [PM] [DUN] [C1] 1971 "Open Fossil museum in Bolca" [PM]
Dinosaur on meter franking of Italy 1950th Dinosaur on meter franking of Italy 1950th Fossil of prehistoric fish on postmark of Italy 1971
09.07.1972 "Graphica'72 international philatelic show" [Sp] 1977 "Giuseppe Scarabelli - politic and paleontologist" [PM] [C2] 25.05.1980 "1st biennial international Fossil and Minerals fair" [Sp]
Mammoth skeleton on postmark of Italy 1972 Giuseppe Scarabelli - politic and palentologist on meter franking of Italy 1977 Ammonite on postmark of Italy 1980
06.09.1981 "6th philatelic trade show" [Sp] 17.10.1981 "Antonio Stoppani" [Sp] [C3] 29.11.1981 "VALPHIL'81 philately and numismatic trade show" [Sp]
Mammuthus meridionalis on poststamp of Italy 1981 Antonio Stoppani on commemorative postmark of Italy 1981 Fossil fish on postmark of Italy 1981
17.04.1982 "2nd Trade show - Minerals and Fossils" [Sp]
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26.11.1983 "7th Fossil and Minerals fair in Toscana" [Sp] 16.04.1983 "3rd Fossil and Mineral trade show" [Sp]
Fossils and minerals on postmark of Italy 1982 Cave bear, ursus spelaeus on postmark of Italy 1983 Shell fossil on postmark of Italy 1983
15.04.1984 "Philatelic show in Roma - First European" [Sp] 16.03.1985 "Philatelic show in Torino - First European" [Sp] 04.05.1985 "XIV Fossil and Mineral fair in Verona" [Sp]
Skull of prehistoric human on postmark of Italy 1984 Skull of prehistoric human on postmark of Italy 1985 Fish fossil on postmark of Italy 1985
03.05.1986 "XV Fossil and Mineral fair in Verona" [Sp] 04.10.1986 "3rd philatelic trade show - fossils and minerals" [Sp]
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1988 "ACIOM S.P.A. company" [PM]
Ammonite on postmark of Italy 1986 Fossils on postmark of Italy 1986 Dinosaur on meter franking of Italy 1988
05.02.1988 "Paleontology fair" [Sp]
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06.02.1988 "Philatelic show: Paleontology" [Sp] 06.02.1988 "Homo aeserniensis" [FDC]
Homo erectus on commemorative postmark of Italy 1988 prehistoric human on postmark of Italy 1988 Homo aeserniensis on postmark of Italy 1988
1988 "Philatelic show: Paleontology" [Sp]
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22.04.1989 "XI Fossils and Minerals trade show - Lucca'89" [Sp] 22.05.1989 "100th anniversary of Giuseppe Seguenza’s death" [Sp]
Fossil on postmark of Italy 1988 Fossil on postmark of Italy 1988 Fossils on postmark of Italy 1989
07.10.1989 "6th Fossils and Minerals trade show - A.V.I.S." [Sp] 19.05.1990 "International symposium Ancient inhabitants of Europe" [Sp] 24.04.1991 "Paleontologic show in Lucca" [Sp]
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Fossils on postmark of Italy 1989 Skull of prehistoric human on postmark of Italy 1990 Skull of prehistoric human on postmark of Italy 1990
1991 "Century of death of Antonio Stoppani" [Sp] [C3]
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12.10.1991 "Century of death of Antonio Stoppani" [Sp] [C3]
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10.12.1991 "Show the world of Dinosaurs" [Sp]
Antonio Stoppani on postmark of Italy 1991 Antonio Stoppani on postmark of Italy 1991 Dinosaur on postmark of Italy1991
12.12.1993 "Show Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park" [Sp] 22.10.1994 "8th philatelic show- Dinosaurs" [Sp] 13.05.1995 "Philatelic show in Venosa - Venosa'95" [Sp]
Dinosaur on postmark of Italy 1993 Dinosaurs on postmark of Italy 1994 Tusks and skull of prehistoric elephant on postmark of Italy 1995
25.05.1996 "Mineral and Fossils fair in Imola" [Sp]
Fossils on postmark of Italy 1996 MICHEL Dinos - whole world catalog - contain technical details and prices of stamps with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals
09.09.1996 "XIII International Congress on Pre- and Proto-history" [FDC] [1] 1996 "Fossil forest of Dunarobba - travel Umbria" [PM] [2] 25.05.1997 "Philatelic exhibit in Scuola - Fossils, Evolution, Environment" [Sp]
Prehistoric man on postmark of Italy 1996 petrified tree on postmark of Italy 1996 Ammonite on postmark of Italy 1997
22.04.1998 "Convention-seminar the Dunarobba fossil forest" [Sp] [2] 30.05.1998 "4th International Convention on Fossils, Evolution and Environment" [FDC] 12.09.1998 "Exhibition Paleontology in Philately" [Sp]
petrified forest of Dunarobba on postmark of Italy 1998 Ammonites on postmark of Italy 1998 Glycymeris shell fossil from Pliocene on postmark of Italy 1998
27.09.1998 "20th anniversary of Philatelic club in Lucca - Minerals and Paleontology" [Sp] 01.04.2000 "Salon of collecting and museums in Ancona city" [Sp] 14.04.2000 "Tourism" [FDC] [2]
Skull of Plesiadaris on postmark of Italy 1998 Dinosaur skeleton on postmark of Italy 2000 petrified forest of Dunarobba on postmark of Italy 1998
29.04.2000 "Petrified forest of Dunarobba" [Sp] [2] 06.05.2000 "29th trade show - Fossils and Minerals" [Sp] 31.03.2001 "Salon of collecting and museums in Ancona city" [Sp]
petrified forest of Dunarobba on postmark of Italy 1998 Fish fossil on postmark of Italy 2000 Fossils on postmark of Italy 2001
16.04.2001 "Olive and oil market show" [Sp] 06.07.2001 "Regional stamp competition - VASTOPHIL 2001" [Sp] 29.09.2001 "Cretaceous memories" [Sp]
Fossil of olive on postmark of Italy 2001 Dinosaur skeleton on postmark of Italy 2001 Scipionyx Samniticus on postmark of Italy 2001
31.05.2003 "Geo-Paleontology Museum of Lerici" [Sp] 2003 "7th philatelic show MOLISEPHIL 2003 in Isernia" [Sp] 08.05.2003 "Isernia La Pineta - canine of hippopotamus Paleolithic camp 736.000 years ago" [Sp]
Dinosaur on postmark of Italy 2003 Mammonth on postmark of Italy 2003 Mammonth on postmark of Italy 2003
21.08.2004 "5th philatelic show - the mountains in philately" [Sp] 05.10.2006 "Philatelic, numismatic and cartophilatelic exhibition" [Sp] 29.09.2007 "inauguration of Paleontology museum in Borgosesia" [Sp]
Dinosaur on postmark of Italy 2004 Dinosaur on postmark of Italy 2006 Fossil of cave bear on postmark ogf Italy 2007
20.10.2007 "inauguration of Geopaleontological museum Alto-Aventino in Palena" [Sp] 01.12.2007 "8th philatelic-malacological exhibition - below and above the sea " [Sp] 01.11.2008 "Freemasonry conference in Europe and the Mediterranean" [Sp]
Fossil of Prolagus apricenicus on postmark of Italy 2007 Fossils on postmark of Italy 2007 Fossils on postmark of Italy 2008
14.12.2008 "30th anniversary of Umbrian philatelic group - Mineralogy and Paleontology" [Sp] 12.02.2009 "Charles Darwin" [FDC] [C4]
Ammonite on postmark of Italy 2008 Charles Darwin on postmark of Italy 2009 Charles Darwin on postmark of Italy 2009
04.05.2009 "Charles Darwin" [Sp] [C4] 18.06.2009 "51st society symposium for the study of human biology" [Sp] 23.06.2013 "Philatelic show - EPPAN 2013" [Sp]
evolution tree on postmark of Italy 2009 Charles Darwin on postmark of Italy 2009 Ammonite on postmark of Italy 2013
05.10.2013 "20th anniversary of discovery Altamura man" [Sp] [C5] 10.12.2016 "30th anniversary of Municipal Archaeological Museum of the Toleriense Territory" [Sp] 30.03.2017 "Inaguration of Altamura Man museum" [Sp] [C5]
Ammonite on postmark of Italy 2013 Mammoth on postmark of Italy 2016 Prehistoric human on postmark of Italy 2017
04.07.2021 "Paleontologic festival in Vestananova" [Sp]
Fossil of rehistoric fish on postmark of Italy 2021

Notes:
different company address on meter franking of Sinclair company [C1] From the nineteen thirties until the fifties, the Sinclair Oil Company depicted dinosaurs on their meter franking, as well as regular advertisements to advertise their motor oil. They chose a dinosaur for a company logo as a symbol of the great length of time their oil spent in the ground.
The address of the company changed in 1957 – on the meter franking, the company replaced the street and house number with a post box number.:

"A.C.I.O.M. , C. POST. N. 1695, Genova" instead of "A.C.I.O.M., via Bozanno, 9, Genova"

Fontain Scarabelli named after Giuseppe Scarabelli on postmark of Italy 2005

[C2] Giuseppe Scarabelli (1820 - 1905) was a geologist, paleoethnologist and political Italian; he is remembered as the founder of Italian prehistoric archeology and was the first archaeologist to perform a stratigraphic excavation in Italy.
Scarabelli undertook systematic investigations concerning the position and age of the bones of some large mammals that inhabited the Imola Apennines in prehistoric times. Another innovative line of research, which gave him a leading role in the affirmation of geology and paleontology in Italy, was represented by the study of stone weapons collected there.
In 1850 he published the results of his research in the study Observations on ancient hard stone weapons that were collected in the Imola area, considered one of the first scientific contributions on Italian prehistory, with particular reference to objects of the Paleolithic and Neolithic. [R3]

 [C3] Antonio Stoppani (1824 – 1891) was an Italian Catholic priest, patriot, geologist and palaeontologist. He was among the first to propose a geological epoch dominated by human activities that altered the shape of the land. He became professor of geology in the Royal Technical Institute of Milan and was distinguished for his research on the Triassic and Liassic formations of northern Italy.
Stoppani described several species of fossil molluscs while other fossil species have been named in his honour, including Fedaiella stoppanii Marini 1896 (a snail). Most of his collections are in the Museo di Storia Naturale, Milano, where he was responsible for constructing the building while he served as Director from 1882 to 1891. [R4]

Skull of Altamura man in Altamura cave   [C4] Many stamps and postmarks issued by Postal Authorities around the world in 2009 to commemorate both the 200th Anniversary or bicentenary of the birth of the greatest naturalist in history, Charles Robert Darwin, and the 150th Anniversary of the publication of his most famous work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

 [C5] Commemorative postmark of "Altamura Man", shows reconstruction of its famous find made by Kennis & Kennis, which is on show at Altamura National Archaeological Museum, that located near the cave where the prehistoric skeleton of Altamura Man was found. The Altamura Man is a fossil of the genus Homo discovered in 1993 in a karst sinkhole in the Lamalunga Cave near the city of Altamura, Italy. Altamura Man is one of the most complete Paleolithic skeletons ever to be discovered in Europe. [R5]



Other commemorative postmarks of Italy to consider

1995 "XIII International Congress on pre- and proto-history" [Sp] [1] 06.10.2007 "Paleontologic site Ciampate del Diavolo" [Sp] [Co1] 01.10.2012 "40th anniversary of state scientific high school named Charles Darwin" [Sp]
Flint tool on postmark of Italy 1995 Fossils on postmark of Italy 1996 evolution tree on postmark of Italy 2009
25.07.2015 "Dolomiti" [FDC] [A2] 14.09.2019 "30th anniversary of football club of Carioca" [Sp]
Dolomiti mountain on postmark of Italy 2015 Dolomiti mountain on postmark of Italy 2015 Dinosaurs on postmark of Italy 2019

Notes:

[Co1] The Ciampate del Diavolo (Neapolitan: "Devil's Footprints" or "Devil's Trails") is a locality near the extinct Roccamonfina volcano in northern Campania, Italy. It is named after a set of fossilised hominid footprints preserved in pyroclastic flow deposits that have been dated to around 350,000 years ago. They have been attributed to bipedal hominids, possibly Homo heidelbergensis, which is known to have inhabited the region at the time. [R7]



References:



Acknowledgement:
  • Many thanks to Miriam Mimmi Congedo, from Italy for her assistance in finding Italian postmarks and providing information about them.
  • Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University, for the draft page review and his valuable comments.



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