Since 1993 Marco Peresani coordinates research projects focused on human peopling in central Italy and the Alps during the Paleolithic and the Mesolithic. Main goals are Homo Neanderthalensis – Homo Sapiens bio-cultural substitution and Late-glacial and early Holocene hunter-gatherer settlement dynamics.
As a geoarcheologist and lithic technologist, he studies the study of depositional and post-depositional processes at several sites, sheltered and at the open, for which he is the director or a member of the research team. Using lithic technology as the most informative tool, he has revealed the existence of behavioral variability in the Mousterian and specifically during its final period, in the Epigravettian and in the Early Mesolithic.
As concerns the Mousterian, the main research involves numerous sites in the italian Alps and the Marche Appennine, among which the most relevant are Grotta di Fumane, Grotta di San Bernardino, Riparo del Broion (Veneto), Grotta del Rio Secco (Friuli), Caverna Generosa (Lombardia). Studies on the Middle Paleolithic – Upper Paleolithic transition are mostly focused on Grotta di Fumane, an important site in the North of Italy, well known for its high-resolution sedimentary succession and the extensively excavated final Mousterian, Uluzzian and Aurignacian levels. Other significant sites in course of investigation are Grotta del Rio Secco (Friuli), Caverna Generosa (Lombardia), Riparo del Broion (Veneto), Fonte delle Mattinate (Marche).
Human colonization of the Italian Alps in the Late-glacial and the evolution of this phenomenon during the post-glacial period has been approached by surveying some high-plateaux in the Venetian Pre-Alps (Asiago, Cansiglio, Pradis), field-work and investigations carried out on sites bearing distinct chronology and function (Val Lastari, Bus de La Lum, Palughetto, Grotta del Clusantin, Fosso Mergaoni, Cava Romita, sites at the open in Veneto and Trentino). Significant results have been gathered from the study of lithic industries dated to the Early (Fosso Mergaoni, Baracche, Madonna dell’Ospedale), Recent (Bus de La Lum, Val Lastari, Grotta del Clusantin) and final Epigravettian (Palughetto) through which different techno-economic and socio-economic aspects have been inferred and embedded in the evolutionary process the lithic production systems have undertaken.