Aggiornamento 04/03/2023

  Problems with Paranthropus, di M. Sponheimer, D. J. Daegling, P. S. Ungar, R. Bobe, O. C. C. Paine, "Quaternary International", Volume 650, 20 March 2023, Pages 40-51 - open access -

Carbon isotopic analysis has been challenging our ideas about hominin diet for nearly 30 years. The first study in 1994 revealed that Paranthropus robustus from South Africa consumed principally C3 foods (e.g., tree fruits and leaves) but also about 25% C4/CAM resources (e.g., tropical grasses and sedges). This result was largely consistent with morphological and dental microwear evidence suggesting P. robustus had a diet which included hard objects like nuts and seeds. Decades later, however, P. boisei from eastern Africa was shown to have eaten nearly 80% C4/CAM plants like the contemporaneous grass-eating primate Theropithecus. Moreover, dental microwear revealed no evidence of hard object consumption in P. boisei, suggesting a diet of tough foods such as grass or sedge leaf and stem. (...)


Dental tissue proportions and linear dimensions of Sima de los Huesos lower incisors, di A. L. Lockey et alii, Volume 180, Issue 3, March 2023, Pages 472-487

To assess the phenotypic affinities of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) mandibular incisors dental tissue proportions, and radicular dimensions, relative to Neandertals, recent modern humans (RMH), and a large comparative sample of Pleistocene hominins. (...)


Unusual pubic bone morphology in A.L. 288-1 (Australopithecus afarensis) and MH2 (Australopithecus sediba), di J. Eyre, J. M. DeSilva, S. Semaw, S. A. Williams, Volume 180, Issue 3, March 2023, Pages 573-582

We describe a novel pelvic feature, the “ventral sulcus,” located on the pubic bone ventrolateral to the pubic symphysis, which is present in A.L. 288-1 (Australopithecus afarensis) and MH2 (Australopithecus sediba). We determine how widespread the appearance of the ventral sulcus is in fossil hominins, modern humans, and other extant hominoids. (...)

  Using GIS and Geostatistical Techniques to Identify Neanderthal Campsites at archaeolevel Ob at Abric Romaní, di M. J. Gabucio, A. Bargalló, P. Saladié, F. Romagnoli, M. G. Chacón, J. Vallverdú, M. Vaquero, "Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences", Volume 15, issue 3, March 2023 - open access -

Although intra-site spatial approaches are considered a key factor when interpreting archaeological assemblages, these are often based on descriptive, qualitative, and subjective observations. Currently, within the framework of research into spatial taphonomy and palimpsest dissection, several studies have begun to employ more quantitative and objective techniques, implementing tools such as geostatistics and geographic information system (GIS) methods. This is precisely the approach that the Abric Romaní team is following. In this work, we present GIS and geostatistics methods applied to the faunal and lithic assemblages from archaeolevel Ob, including an analysis of the spatial structure, the identification of clusters and sectors, size and fabric analyses, the projection of vertical profiles, and the reconstruction of a digital elevation model of the paleosurface. The results obtained indicate a clustered distribution, primarily concentrated into four dense accumulations. (...)

  Dietary traits of the ungulates from the Middle Pleistocene sequence of Lazaret Cave: palaeoecological and archaeological implications, di F. Rivals, J. Cohen, E. Desclaux, "Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences", Volume 15, issue 3, March 2023 - open access -

Dietary traits in ungulates from Lazaret Cave were analysed for possible changes in ecological niches throughout the marine isotopic stage (MIS) 6 sequence of the site and to investigate the duration of the occupations corresponding to the accumulation of ungulate remains by human groups. The analysis revealed changes in dietary diversity throughout the sequence related to the climatic and environmental changes of the MIS 6. These changes affected the availability of vegetal resources, competition among species, and the distribution and movement of the ungulates in the territory. Human groups were also affected by these changes, as the archaeological record of Lazaret Cave in the duration of occupations at the different levels shows. (...)

  Oral Storytelling and Knowledge Transmission in Upper Paleolithic Children and Adolescents, di A. Nowell, "Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory", Volume 30, issue 1, March 2023

The ways in which children learn in foraging societies differ from the classroom-based style of learning and teaching typical of industrialized societies in the West. This difference, however, has often been mischaracterized by anthropologists as an absence or rarity of direct teaching in foraging societies. In this paper, following Scalise Sugiyama (Evolution and Human Behavior 22:221–240, 2001), I argue that oral storytelling is a form of pedagogy in foraging societies that shares all of the key features of direct teaching including the signaling of an intention to share information (...)


Learning by Doing: Investigating Skill Through Techno-Functional Study of Recycled Lithic Items from Qesem Cave (Israel), di E. Assaf, S. Nunziante-Cesaro, A. Gopher, F. Venditti, "Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory", Volume 30, issue 1, March 2023

In this study, we discuss learning aspects related to the production of prehistoric stone tools and their use as a holistic process, with a case study from the late Lower Paleolithic Levant—recycled items from the site of Qesem Cave (420–200,000 bp), Israel. Qesem Cave is a central and well-studied Acheuleo-Yabrudian site. Among the set of distinct behaviors documented in this site, the use of small flakes systematically produced from old-discarded flakes (i.e., lithic recycling) stands out. We will present an exploratory techno-functional study of the recycled items from the Amudian context of the southern area of the cave. Previous observations highlighted some unique features characterizing the lithic assemblages of this area, including the possibility that inexperienced knappers in the process of learning had been practicing there. (...)


To Err Is Human: Knapping Expertise and Technological Variability at the Middle Palaeolithic Site of Nesher Ramla, Israel, di L. Centi, F. Valletta, Y. Zaidner, "Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory", Volume 30, issue 1, March 2023

One important aspect affecting variability in core reduction technology is the degree of expertise of knappers. In the present paper, we show that, at the Middle Palaeolithic open-air site of Nesher Ramla, the degree of expertise of ancient knappers played a major role in shaping the composition of the lithic assemblage. Using robust markers of knapping skill, such as the frequency and reiteration of decision mistakes in the knapping process, allowed us to establish that a clear relationship exists between the degree of structuring of core technologies and the degree of expertise of the knapper at Nesher Ramla. Simple core technologies (e.g. pebble and multiple surface cores) can be linked to the work of novices, while more structured technologies (e.g. Levallois) are linked to the work of more experienced individuals. (...)


Revealing Evolutionary Patterns Behind Homogeneity: the Case of the Palaeolithic Assemblages from Notarchirico (Southern Italy), di V. Rineau, M. H. Moncel, V. Zeitoun, "Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory", Volume 30, issue 1, March 2023

Notarchirico is at a nodal point in time and space for understanding the settlement of Europe in terms of migration or in situ evolution. Former technological analyses have not shown significant differences between the different lithic assemblages at Notarchirico. Our approach here is to produce a phylogenetic analysis of the lithic assemblages taken as the terminal of the analysis and interpreted as cultural units. In the cladistic framework, characters are hypotheses of relationships between lithic assemblages, and homologies are hypotheses of relationships between lithic objects: cores, flakes, nodules. To effectively grasp informative lithic innovations in the assemblages, we formalise cladistic hypotheses as hierarchical characters in the framework of three-item analysis and propose a new algorithm to remove the high number of repeated terminals among trees inherent to a cladistic analysis of assemblages. (...)


Catching a Glimpse of Mesolithic Settlement Patterns and Site Re-occupation Through Lithic Refitting, Raw Material Characterizations and Absolute Dating, di H. Vandendriessche, E. Van Maldegem, P. Crombé,  "Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory", Volume 30, issue 1, March 2023

Contemporaneity of spatially distinct activity areas at prehistoric sites is often inferred based on lithic refit connections alone. These connections are, in addition, only rarely discussed in detail, nor are they explicitly subjected to any form of critical assessment. In this paper, we present a combined use of Bayesian modeling of 14C-dates, raw material characterizations and lithic refitting to investigate the occurrence of interconnected artefact clusters at the Belgian Mesolithic site of Kerkhove (...)


Bovid Bone Accumulation in Late Middle Palaeolithic Poland, di A. Wiśniewski, J. Wilczyński, B.Przybylski, M. Ciombor, K. Stefaniak, "Journal of Field Archaeology", Volume 48, 2023 - Issue 3

The hunting activities of Neanderthals inhabiting the European Lowlands during the Weichsel glaciation are poorly understood due to the scarcity of faunal remains. This work concerns the puzzling accumulation of mammalian remains at the Middle Palaeolithic site Haller Av. in Wrocław, southwestern Poland. The site yielded lithic artifacts in two levels and numerous bone remains typical for steppe-tundra fauna, dominated by steppe bison (Bison priscus). As the site was transformed by fluvial processes, the question arose whether the accumulation of faunal bones was the result of human activity. To resolve this question, we used a multiproxy approach, including spatial analysis with GIS, as well as taphonomic and paleozoological analyses. (...)


A Techno-Functional Analysis of Acheulean Backed Knives from Wonderboom, South Africa, di M. V. Caruana, M. G. Lotter, M. Lombard, "Journal of Field Archaeology", Volume 48, 2023 - Issue 3

We present the first techno-functional examination of backed knives from the southern African Acheulean. Our results suggest that they were opportunistically produced, although they demonstrate a unique ergonomic design that may have increased their efficiency in subsistence activities. Moreover, the frequency of backed knives at Wonderboom may be associated with possible meat harvesting at a nearby gap (...)

  Paléolithique de l'Europe, "L'Anthropologie", Volume 127, Issue 1, January–March 2023:

- The Technological Multiplicity of the Acheulean of the Southern Iberian Peninsula, di F. J. García-Vadillo et alii

- À propos de l’éclairage à la Grotte du Bison, Arcy-sur-Cure, Yonne, France, di M. Hardy

- Les silex et autres matières premières comme preuves de contacts entre les groupes de chasseurs-cueilleurs pendant le Paléolithique supérieur de la région cantabrique (nord de l’Espagne): synthèse de l’information disponible, di S. Martín-Jarque et alii

- Pigment spectroscopy analyses in Maltravieso cave, Spain, di P. Rosina et alii

- Le Jas d’en Biel 2, nouveau site gravettien du piémont est-méditerranéen des Pyrénées, di H. Baills

- A Botanical Classroom of the Early Upper Paleolithic: The vault fragments of the Grotta di Fumane depict geophytes, di R. Jürgen Koch, L. Grützmacher, N. Friesen

- Re-dating the Early Upper Paleolithic Levels of Le Trou Magrite (Pont-à-Lesse, Belgium), di L. Guy Straus, M. Otte, J. Southon, T. W. Stafford

- Chronostratigraphy and the Palaeoenvironment of the Bistrița Valley. New Interpretations and a Critical Retrospective Evaluation, di M. Cârciumaru et alii

- A new Palaeolithic female figurine from Piatra Neamț, Romania, di E. C. Nițu et alii

- Armes de chasse dans l’Épipaléolithique du Caucase du Nord, di L. Golovanova et alii

- Le Mésolithique. Continuité et développement métaphysique, di D. Delnoÿ

  Palaeogenomics of Upper Palaeolithic to Neolithic European hunter-gatherers, di C. Posth et alii, "Nature", Volume 615 Issue 7950, 2 March 2023 - open access -

Modern humans have populated Europe for more than 45,000 years1,2. Our knowledge of the genetic relatedness and structure of ancient hunter-gatherers is however limited, owing to the scarceness and poor molecular preservation of human remains from that period3. Here we analyse 356 ancient hunter-gatherer genomes, including new genomic data for 116 individuals from 14 countries in western and central Eurasia, spanning between 35,000 and 5,000 years ago. We identify a genetic ancestry profile in individuals associated with Upper Palaeolithic Gravettian assemblages from western Europe that is distinct from contemporaneous groups related to this archaeological culture in central and southern Europe4, but resembles that of preceding individuals associated with the Aurignacian culture. (...)


Were Neanderthals and Homo sapiens ‘good species’? di A. Meneganzin, M. Bernardi, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 303, 1 March 2023, 107975 - open access -

Prior to the advent of whole-genome sequencing in ancient humans, the likelihood that Homo sapiens and Neanderthals admixed has long been debated, mostly on the basis of phenotypic assessments alone. Today, evidence for archaic hominin admixture is being documented in an increasing number of studies, expanding the evidential basis of the debate on whether Homo sapiens and Neanderthals merit separate specific taxonomic status. (...)


Life on the edge or living in the middle? New perspectives on southern Africa's Middle Stone Age, di D. S. G. Thomas, R. Bynoe, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 303, 1 March 2023, 107965 - open access -

Much archaeological research is conducted within the environments, locational and cultural, that archaeologists are familiar and comfortable with. But that which is marginal and difficult today, and that which is central and convenient, may not have been so in the past. To answer new and pressing questions about human evolution, less familiar and less comfortable environments therefore require systematic and prolonged multidisciplinary investigation. With a focus on the extensive Makgadikgadi salt pans of the Middle Kalahari Desert, Botswana, six papers represent the output of systematic investigations and excavations of, predominantly, Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeology. (...)

  A 23,000-year-old southern Iberian individual links human groups that lived in Western Europe before and after the Last Glacial Maximum, di V. Villalba-Mouco et alii, "Nature Ecology & Evolution", 01 March 2023 - open access -

Human populations underwent range contractions during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) which had lasting and dramatic effects on their genetic variation. The genetic ancestry of individuals associated with the post-LGM Magdalenian technocomplex has been interpreted as being derived from groups associated with the pre-LGM Aurignacian. However, both these ancestries differ from that of central European individuals associated with the chronologically intermediate Gravettian. Thus, the genomic transition from pre- to post-LGM remains unclear also in western Europe, where we lack genomic data associated with the intermediate Solutrean, which spans the height of the LGM. Here we present genome-wide data from sites in Andalusia in southern Spain, including from a Solutrean-associated individual from Cueva del Malalmuerzo, directly dated to ~23,000 cal yr BP. (...)

  Defining paleoclimatic routes and opportunities for hominin dispersals across Iran, di M. Javad Shoaee et alii, 1 March 2023, doi: - open access -

Fossil and archaeological evidence indicates that hominin dispersals into Southwest Asia occurred throughout the Pleistocene, including the expansion of Homo sapiens populations out of Africa. While there is evidence for hominin occupations in the Pleistocene in Iran, as evidenced by the presence of Lower to Upper Paleolithic archaeological sites, the extent to which humid periods facilitated population expansions into western Asia has remained unclear. To test the role of humid periods on hominin dispersals here we assess Paleolithic site distributions and paleoenvironmental records across Iran. We developed the first spatially comprehensive, high-resolution paleohydrological model for Iran in order to assess water availability and its influence on hominin dispersals. (...)

  Evidence for Earlier Stone Age ‘coastal use’: The site of Dungo IV, Benguela Province, Angola, di I. Mesfin et alii, 24 February 2023, doi: - open access -

The relationship between Earlier Stone Age (ESA) hominins and the southern African coastal environment has been poorly investigated, despite the high concentration of open-air sites in marine and fluvial terraces of the coastal plain from c. 1Ma onward during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition. Southern Africa provides some of the earliest evidence of coastal subsistence strategies since the end of the Middle Pleistocene, during the Middle Stone Age (MSA). These coastal MSA sites showcase the role of coastal environments in the emergence and development of modern human behaviors. Given the high prevalence of coastal ESA sites throughout the region, we seek to question the relationship between hominins and coastal landscapes much earlier in time. In this regard, the +100 m raised beaches of the Benguela Province, Angola, are key areas as they are well-preserved and contain a dense record of prehistoric occupation from the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, including sites like Dungo, Mormolo, Sombreiro, Macaca and Punta das Vacas. (...)

  Bow-and-arrow, technology of the first modern humans in Europe 54,000 years ago at Mandrin, France, di L. Metz, J. E. Lewis, L. Slimak, Volume 9, Issue 8, 22 Feb 2023 - open access -

Consensus in archaeology has posited that mechanically propelled weapons, such as bow-and-arrow or spear-thrower-and-dart combinations, appeared abruptly in the Eurasian record with the arrival of anatomically and behaviorally modern humans and the Upper Paleolithic (UP) after 45,000 to 42,000 years (ka) ago, while evidence for weapon use during the preceding Middle Paleolithic (MP) in Eurasia remains sparse. The ballistic features of MP points suggest that they were used on hand-cast spears, whereas UP lithic weapons are focused on microlithic technologies commonly interpreted as mechanically propelled projectiles, a crucial innovation distinguishing UP societies from preceding ones. (...)

  Modelling Neanderthals’ dispersal routes from Caucasus towards east, di E. Ghasidian, A. Kafash, M. Kehl, M. Yousefi, S. Heydari-Guran,  23 February 2023, doi: - open access -

The study of the cultural materials associated with the Neanderthal physical remains from the sites in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Siberian Altai and adjacent areas documents two distinct techno-complexes of Micoquian and Mousterian. These findings potentially outline two dispersal routes for the Neanderthals out of Europe. Using data on topography and Palaeoclimate, we generated computer-based least-cost-path modelling for the Neanderthal dispersal routes from Caucasus towards the east. In this regard, two dispersal routes have been identified: A northern route from Greater Caucasus associated with Micoquian techno-complex towards Siberian Altai and a southern route from Lesser Caucasus associated with Mousterian towards Siberian Altai via the Southern Caspian Corridor. Based on archaeological, bio- and physio-geographical data, our model hypothesises that during climatic deterioration phases (e.g. MIS 4) the connection between Greater and Lesser Caucasus was limited. (...)

  Back to the future: The advantage of studying key events in human evolution using a new high resolution radiocarbon method, di S. Talamo, B. Kromer, M. P. Richards, L. Wacker, 15 February 2023, doi: - open access -

Radiocarbon dating is the most widely applied dating method in archaeology, especially in human evolution studies, where it is used to determine the chronology of key events, such as the replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans in Europe. However, the method does not always provide precise and accurate enough ages to understand the important processes of human evolution. Here we review the newest method developments in radiocarbon dating (‘Radiocarbon 3.0’), which can lead us to much better chronologies and understanding of the major events in recent human evolution. As an example, we apply these new methods to discuss the dating of the important Palaeolithic site of Bacho Kiro (Bulgaria). (...)

  An integrative paleobiological study of woolly mammoths from the Upper Paleolithic site Kostenki 14 (European Russia), di E. A. Petrova, L. L. Voyta, A. A. Bessudnov, A. A. Sinitsyn, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 302, 15 February 2023, 107948 - open access -

This paper presents a thought-out protocol for an integrative analysis of woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) bone accumulation in the upper (I) cultural layer of the famous Upper Paleolithic site Kostenki 14 (Markina gora) using Haynes’ concept of a “demographic health measure,” the advanced concept of the “last glacial body size decrease,” and precise taphonomic analysis. We apply linear regression analysis to further reveal the complex structure of mammoth size variation, complementary to univariate measures of body size used in previous studies: body size variation in woolly mammoths is predominantly accounted for by sexual dimorphism, size differences between smaller “East” and larger “West” mammoth populations, and two types of allometry (ontogenetic and static). (...)

  Archaic hominins maiden voyage in the Mediterranean Sea, di G. Ferentinos, M. Gkion, M. Prevenios, M. Geraga, G. Papatheodorou, "Quaternary International", Volume 646, 10 February 2023, Pages 11-21 - open access -

When archaic hominins started sea-crossings and whether or not seas were barriers to their dispersal, is highly debated. This paper attempts to provide insights into these issues, focusing on the Aegean Sea. The study shows that the Central Aegean Island Chain was insular from the surrounding landmasses over the last 450 ka and contests previously available Aegean Sea palaeo-geography. This, in association with the spatiotemporal patterning of Lower and Middle Paleolithic assemblages in the margin of the Mediterranean Sea, implies that pre-sapiens, as early as 450 ka BP: (a) were sea-crossing the Aegean Sea; (b) were encouraged by the favorable land/seascape configuration to attempt sea-crossings and (c) spread to the Circum-Mediterranean basin sourcing from the Levant, following two converging routes, the one via the Aegean Sea and/or the Bosporus land-bridge and the other via the Gibraltar straits. (...)

  Expanded geographic distribution and dietary strategies of the earliest Oldowan hominins and Paranthropus, di T. W. Plummer et alii, "Science", 9 Feb 2023, Vol 379, Issue 6632, pp. 561-566

The oldest Oldowan tool sites, from around 2.6 million years ago, have previously been confined to Ethiopia’s Afar Triangle. We describe sites at Nyayanga, Kenya, dated to 3.032 to 2.581 million years ago and expand this distribution by over 1300 kilometers. Furthermore, we found two hippopotamid butchery sites associated with mosaic vegetation and a C4 grazer–dominated fauna. Tool flaking proficiency was comparable with that of younger Oldowan assemblages, but pounding activities were more common. Tool use-wear and bone damage indicate plant and animal tissue processing. Paranthropus sp. teeth, the first from southwestern Kenya, possessed carbon isotopic values indicative of a diet rich in C4 foods. (...)

· 2.9-million-year-old butchery site reopens case of who made first stone tools, "EurekAlert!", 9 feb. 2023

· 2.9-million-year-old butchery site reopens case of who made first stone tools, "ScienceDaily", 9 February 2023

· Des hippopotames des outils et des paranthropes, "Hominides", 19 février 2023


Neanderthals lived in groups big enough to eat giant elephants, di A. Curry, "Science news", 1 feb 2023

On the muddy shores of a lake in east-central Germany, Neanderthals gathered some 125,000 years ago to butcher massive elephants. With sharp stone tools, they harvested up to 4 tons of flesh from each animal, according to a new study that is casting these ancient human relatives in a new light. The degree of organization required to carry out the butchery—and the sheer quantity of food it provided—suggests Neanderthals could form much larger social groups than previously thought.
The find comes from a trove of animal bones and stone tools uncovered in the 1980s by coal miners near the town of Neumark-Nord. Beginning in 1985, archaeologists spent a decade observing the mining work, recovering animal bones and stone tools from a sprawling site. Dating to a relatively warm period in Europe known as the Eemian interglacial, 75,000 years before modern humans arrived in Western Europe, the discoveries include the bones and tusks of more than 70 mostly adult male straight-tusked elephants (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), an extinct species almost twice the size of modern African elephants that stood nearly 4 meters tall at the shoulder. Most had been left in dozens of piles along the ancient lakeshore over the course of about 300 years.
“We wondered, ‘What the hell are 70 elephants doing there?’” says Lutz Kindler, an archaeozoologist at the MONREPOS Archaeological Research Center. (...)

  The Acheulean is a temporally cohesive tradition, di A. Key, "World Archaeology", 01 Feb 2023, doi: - open access -

The Acheulean has long been considered a single, unified tradition. Decades of morphometric and technological evidence supports such an understanding by demonstrating that a single fundamental Bauplan was followed for more than 1.6 million years. What remains unknown is whether sites assigned to the Acheulean represent multiple socially-independent iterations of the same technological solution to shared ecological (functional) and ergonomic demands. Here, using the ‘surprise test’, the temporal cohesion of the Acheulean record is statistically assessed for the first time. (...)

  Hunting and processing of straight-tusked elephants 125.000 years ago: Implications for Neanderthal behavior, di S. Gaudzinski-Windheuser, L. Kindler, K. Macdonald, W. Roebroeks, "Science Advances", volume 9, Issue 5, 1 feb 2023 - open access -

Straight-tusked elephants (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) were the largest terrestrial mammals of the Pleistocene, present in Eurasian landscapes between 800,000 and 100,000 years ago. The occasional co-occurrence of their skeletal remains with stone tools has generated rich speculation about the nature of interactions between these elephants and Pleistocene humans: Did hominins scavenge on elephants that died a natural death or maybe even hunt some individuals? Our archaeozoological study of the largest P. antiquus assemblage known, excavated from 125,000-year-old lake deposits in Germany, shows that hunting of elephants weighing up to 13 metric tons was part of the cultural repertoire of Last Interglacial Neanderthals there, over >2000 years, many dozens of generations. (...)


Revised age and stratigraphy of the classic Homo erectus-bearing succession at Trinil (Java, Indonesia), di S. L. Hilgen et alii, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 301, 1 February 2023, 107908 - open access -

Obtaining accurate age control for fossils found on Java (Indonesia) has been and remains challenging due to geochronologic and stratigraphic uncertainties. In the 1890s, Dubois excavated numerous faunal fossils—including the first remains of Homo erectus—in sediments exposed along the Solo River at Trinil. Since then, various, and often contradictory age estimates have been proposed for the Trinil site and its fossils. However, the age of the fossil-bearing layers and the fossil assemblage remains inconclusive. This study constructs a chronostratigraphic framework for the Trinil site by documenting new stratigraphic sections and test pits, and by applying 40Ar/39Ar, paleomagnetic, and luminescence (pIRIR290) dating methods. Our study identifies two distinct, highly fossiliferous channel fills at the Trinil site. (...)


Reassessing palaeoenvironmental conditions during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in the Cantabrian region (Southwestern Europe), di M. Fernández-García, M. Vidal-Cordasco, J. R. Jones, A. B. Marín-Arroyo, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 301, 1 February 2023, 107928 - open access -

Climatic and environmental changes have been commonly proposed as driving factors behind the decline of Neanderthals in Europe. The Cantabrian region, in northern Iberia, is a key area for understanding the replacement of Neanderthals by Anatomically Modern Humans, where an early disappearance of Neanderthals in relation to other areas of Iberia has been proposed. To evaluate how climate might have influenced human behaviour during Marine Isotope Stage 3, an accurate review of palaeoecological conditions is required. For the first time, an assessment of the regional available terrestrial proxies linked to archaeo-palaeontological sites, including small vertebrate assemblages, pollen sequences, charcoal data and stable isotope studies on macromammals is undertaken in this region. In addition, records from macrofaunal assemblages and glacial records have also been considered. (...)


Making Points: The Middle Stone Age lithic industry of the Makgadikgadi Basin, Botswana, di S. Staurset, S. D. Coulson, S. Mothulatshipi, S. L. Burrough, D. J. Nash, D. S. G. Thomas, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 301, 1 February 2023, 107823 - open access -

Studies of early human occupation of Africa over recent decades have profoundly changed how we understand our early ancestors, their inventiveness and adaptability. The spread of Homo sapiens to new environmental settings, the expansion of diet breadth, the development of more complex technology and the use of personal ornaments have all been recognized at well-documented Middle Stone Age (MSA) cave and shelter sites, particularly along the South African coast. This paper addresses two under-represented aspects of MSA research: open-air sites and the African interior. We present here recent surveys and excavations in Ntwetwe Pan, Botswana, a remote, open landscape, that formerly contained a vast palaeolake. (...)


Post-depositional disturbance and spatial organization at exposed open-air sites: Examples from the Middle Stone Age of the Makgadikgadi Basin, Botswana, di S. Staurset, S. D. Coulson, S. Mothulatshipi, S. L. Burrough, D. J. Nash, D. S. G. Thomas, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 301, 1 February 2023, 107824 - open access -

The influence of natural factors such as bioturbation or sediment movement caused by wind and water is a perennial concern for Stone Age site selection and subsequent interpretation. This paper discusses the spatial artefact distribution of five recently excavated, open-air exposed Middle Stone Age (MSA) sites in Ntwetwe Pan, Botswana. The finds comprise lithic assemblages dominated by MSA points, manufactured in a variety of silcretes. The sites were examined following the assumption that archaeological sites are the product of a combination of natural and cultural factors, occurring both during and after artefacts are deposited. The results indicate that some of these exposed pan floor sites do preserve cultural artefact distribution patterns, and that the level of post-depositional disturbance varies locally. (...)

  Les lampes à graisse au paléolithique, Février 2023

La lampe à graisse ou lampe à huile est une invention humaine qui va permettre aux paléolithiques de maîtriser la lumière, en particulier pour s’enfoncer dans les grottes et les cavités. On dénombre seulement quelques 300 lampes paléolithiques recensées et identifiées. En effet, il existe un grand nombre d’objets dont l’étude ne permet pas de définir notamment s’ls ont été utilisées comme lampes à graisse. « L’invention d’un moyen d’éclairage portatif au Paléolithique a accru cette indépendance vis-à-vis du milieu et a sans doute influencé profondément la vie quotidienne de ces hommes en élargissant les limites de leur environnement» Sophie Archambault de Beaune (...)


Coordination of trunk motion during bipedal walking in the frontal plane: A comparison between Homo sapiens, Macaca fuscata, and an exploratory study on a gibbon, di Y. Kinoshita, R. Goto, Y. Nakano, E. Hirasaki, "American Journal of Physical Anthropology", Volume 180, Issue 2, February 2023, Pages 316-327

In human walking, the pelvis lists toward the swing side during the support phase while the thorax lists toward the stance side. In contrast, during bipedal walking in chimpanzees, both the pelvis and thorax list toward the stance side during the support phase, making their body mass oscillation larger than that in humans. However, aside from a few reports on chimpanzees and macaques, studies on the relationship between trunk movements and step width during bipedal walking in nonhuman primates are limited. (...)


Crown tissue proportions and enamel thickness distribution in early Pleistocene Homo antecessor maxillary premolars (Atapuerca, Spain), di L. Martín-Francés et alii, "American Journal of Physical Anthropology", Volume 180, Issue 2, February 2023, Pages 370-385

Both morphometric and proteomic studies have revealed the close relationship of Homo antecessor with Neanderthals and H. sapiens. Considering this relationship, we aim to characterize the Early Pleistocene Atapuerca-Gran Dolina (TD6) maxillary premolars to test if their pattern of enamel thickness is shared with Neanderthals or H. sapiens. (...)


A human lower third molar from the Acheulean site of Cueva del Ángel (Lucena, Córdoba, Spain), di F. J. Bermúdez et alii, "American Journal of Physical Anthropology", Volume 180, Issue 2, February 2023, Pages 386-400

To present a new dental specimen that will provide additional evidence for a better understanding of early European Upper Pleistocene hominin morphological variability. We described the morphology of this human right lower third molar at both the outer enamel surface and the enamel–dentine junction by means of micro-computed tomography. In order to better understand hominin diversity, our morphological and metrical results were compared with those of other hominins obtained from published research. We provide a direct aspartic acid racemization dating of the molar. (...)


Cooking in caves: Palaeolithic carbonised plant food remains from Franchthi and Shanidar, di C. Kabukcu et alii, "Antiquity", Volume 97, Issue 391, February 2023, pp. 12-28 - open access -

Research on Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer diet has focused on the consumption of animals. Evidence for the use of plant foods is comparatively limited but is rapidly expanding. The authors present an analysis of carbonised macro-remains of processed plants from Franchthi Cave in the Aegean Basin and Shanidar Cave in the north-west Zagros Mountains. Microscopic examination of the charred food remains reveals the use of pounded pulses as a common ingredient in cooked plant foods. The results are discussed in the context of the regional archaeobotanical literature, leading the authors to argue that plants with bitter and astringent tastes were key ingredients of Palaeolithic cuisines in South-west Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean. (...)


New radiocarbon dates for ornamented Mesolithic objects from north-west Poland: chronology and regional connections in the western Baltic region, di T. Płonka, M. Adamczyk, M. Diakowski, Antiquity, Volume 97, Issue 391, February 2023, pp. 29 - 49 - open access -

During the northern European Mesolithic, new types of objects were ornamented with different geometric motifs. Many examples, however, are stray finds and their dating is poorly understood. The authors present new AMS radiocarbon dates for ornamented artefacts from Pomerania that contribute to an absolute chronology of Mesolithic art and allow for new consideration of connections between cultural groups in the western Baltic region. A baton, featuring an anthropomorphic figure, dates to the end of the Boreal period; three other objects date to the early Atlantic period, revealing a combination of regional and local innovations. The results demonstrate the value of absolute dating of stray finds for refining knowledge of wider cultural trends. (...)

  Déjà vu: on the use of meat resources by sabretooth cats, hominins, and hyaenas in the Early Pleistocene site of Fuente Nueva 3 (Guadix-Baza Depression, SE Spain), di P. Palmqvist et alii, "Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences", Volume 15, issue 2, February 2023 - open access -

The late Early Pleistocene archaeological site of Fuente Nueva 3 (Orce, Guadix-Baza Depression, SE Spain), dated to ~1.4 Ma, provides evidence on the subsistence strategies of the first hominin population that dispersed in Western Europe. The site preserves Oldowan tool assemblages associated with abundant remains of large mammals. A small proportion of these remains show cut marks and percussion marks resulting from defleshing and bone fracturing, and a small proportion of bones also show tooth marks. Previous taphonomic studies of FN3 suggested that the hominins had secondary access to the prey leftovers abandoned by sabretooth cats and other primary predators. However, a recent analysis by Yravedra et al. (2021) of the frequency of anthropogenic marks and tooth marks has concluded that the hominins had primary access to the carcasses of a wide variety of ungulate prey, even though the frequency of evisceration marks is strikingly low (...)

  Hominins likely occupied northern Europe before one million years ago, di A. Key, N. Ashton, "Evolutionary Anthropology", Volume 32, Issue 1, February 2023, Pages 10-25

Our understanding of when hominins first reached northern Europe is dependent on a fragmented archaeological and fossil record known from as early as marine isotope stage (MIS) 21 or 25 (c. 840 or 950 thousand years ago [Ka]). This contrasts sharply with southern Europe, where hominin occupation is evidenced from MIS 37 to 45 (c. 1.22 or 1.39 million years ago [Ma]). Northern Europe, however, exhibits climatic, geological, demographic, and historical disadvantages when it comes to preserving fossil and archaeological evidence of early hominin habitation. It is argued here that perceived differences in first occupation timings between the two European regions needs to be revised in light of these factors. (...)

  Fossil footprints and what they mean for hominin paleobiology, di K. G. Hatala, N. T. Roach, A. K. Behrensmeyer, "Evolutionary Anthropology", Volume 32, Issue 1, February 2023, Pages 39-53

Hominin footprints have not traditionally played prominent roles in paleoanthropological studies, aside from the famous 3.66 Ma footprints discovered at Laetoli, Tanzania in the late 1970s. This contrasts with the importance of trace fossils (ichnology) in the broader field of paleontology. Lack of attention to hominin footprints can probably be explained by perceptions that these are exceptionally rare and “curiosities” rather than sources of data that yield insights on par with skeletal fossils or artifacts. In recent years, however, discoveries of hominin footprints have surged in frequency, shining important new light on anatomy, locomotion, behaviors, and environments from a wide variety of times and places (...)


Worldwide research trends on Neanderthals, di J. L. Guil-Guerrero, F. Manzano-Agugliaro, "Journal of Quaternary Science", Volume 38, Issue 2, February 2023, Pages 208-220 - open access -

Research on Neanderthals is a topic of growing interest and it may even be considered that this subject will get more attention in the future. The demise and diets of the various Neanderthal populations are controversial issues that promote heated debates. In this work, a bibliometric study of all the publications contained in the Scopus database until 2021 has been conducted, analysing more than 3800 of them. The main authors, institutions and countries researching this subject have been identified, and their future development. Furthermore, the links between the authors, the countries and the topics researched have been analysed through communities detection. (...)


A step back to move forward: a geological re-evaluation of the El Castillo Cave Middle Palaeolithic lithostratigraphic units (Cantabria, northern Iberia), di D. M. Martín-Perea, J. M. Maíllo-Fernández, J. Marín, X. Arroyo, R. Asiaín, "Journal of Quaternary Science", Volume 38, Issue 2, February 2023, Pages 221-234 - open access -

El Castillo Cave is one of the most important sites for understanding the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic in Europe. Despite its importance, the absence of a widely used stratigraphic section with detailed lithostratigraphic descriptions and correlations between the different geological and archaeological interpretations has led to confusion in the correct identification of lithostratigraphic units in the lowermost, Middle Palaeolithic sequence. This study establishes a new lithostratigraphic framework for the site, which can be accurately correlated to previous geological and archaeological studies and generates a solid working basis for framing the Mousterian of El Castillo Cave in the Cantabrian region and southwestern Europe. (...)


Challenges and perspectives on functional interpretations of australopith postcrania and the reconstruction of hominin locomotion, di M. Cazenave, T. L. Kivell, "Journal of Human Evolution", Volume 175, February 2023, 103304 - open access -

In 1994, Hunt published the ‘postural feeding hypothesis’—a seminal paper on the origins of hominin bipedalism—founded on the detailed study of chimpanzee positional behavior and the functional inferences derived from the upper and lower limb morphology of the Australopithecus afarensis A.L. 288-1 partial skeleton. Hunt proposed a model for understanding the potential selective pressures on hominins, made robust, testable predictions based on Au. afarensis functional morphology, and presented a hypothesis that aimed to explain the dual functional signals of the Au. afarensis and, more generally, early hominin postcranium. (...)


An updated analysis of hominin phylogeny with an emphasis on re-evaluating the phylogenetic relationships of Australopithecus sediba, di C. S. Mongle, D. S. Strait, F. E. Grine, "Journal of Human Evolution", Volume 175, February 2023, 103311 - open access -

The discovery and description of Australopithecus sediba has reignited the debate over the evolutionary history of the australopiths and the genus Homo. It has been suggested that A. sediba may be an ancestor of Homo because it possesses a mosaic of derived Homo-like and primitive australopith-like traits. However, an alternative hypothesis proposes that the majority of the purported Homo-like craniodental characters can be attributed to the juvenile status of the type specimen, MH1. We conducted an independent character assessment of the craniodental morphology of A. sediba, with particular emphasis on evaluating whether the ontogenetic status of MH1 may have affected its purported Homo-like characteristics. In doing so, we have also expanded fossil hypodigms to incorporate the new Australopithecus anamensis cranium from Woranso-Mille (MRD-VP-1/1), as well as recently described Paranthropus robustus cranial remains from Drimolen (DNH 7, DNH 155). (...)


Hominin nomenclature and the importance of information systems for managing complexity in paleoanthropology, di D. N. Reed et alii, "Journal of Human Evolution", Volume 175, February 2023, 103308 - open access -

Shortly after Darwin published “On the Origin of Species” (Darwin, 1859), King (1864) attributed the fossil remains from the Klein Feldhofer Grotte in the Neander Valley, Germany to a new species of extinct human ancestor, Homo neanderthalensis. King's assertion came amidst a heated debate about the taxonomic status of these remains (Huxley, 1863). Thirty years later, Dubois (1892, 1894) expanded human prehistory to Asia with the discovery of Homo erectus remains in Java. Some 30 years after that, Dart (1925) brought attention to the African continent with the discovery of the Taung skull. (...)

  New insights into the use and circulation of reindeer antler in northern Iberia during the Magdalenian (ca. 21-13 cal ka BP), di A. Lefebvre et alii, "Journal of Archaeological Science", Volume 150, February 2023, 105708 - open access -

Interactions between prehistoric foragers and reindeer at the end of the Pleistocene are still poorly documented in northern Iberia, particularly the reasons and means by which their antlers were collected, processed and circulated. Here we review the main osseous industries dated to between 21 and 13 cal ka BP, focusing on the use and circulation of reindeer antler as a raw material for the production of weapons and tools by Magdalenian foragers. Thirty-six reindeer antler artefacts were identified from 11 Iberian sites that are located at either end of the Pyrenees: the Cantabrian region to the west, and to a lesser extent, in Catalonia to the east. (...)

  Radiocarbon Dates for Las Chimeneas (Cantabria, Spain) Palaeolithic Cave Art: Quality of Radiocarbon and Relevance to Parietal Art, di M. García-Diez, Á. Ibero, B. Ochoa, P. López-Calle, D. Garrido, "European Journal of Archaeology", Volume 26 - Issue 1 - February 2023 - open access -

AMS radiocarbon dating has been widely applied in Palaeolithic art research and its value has been proven over the past three decades. Yet it still suffers from issues that need to be discussed and analysed to improve future sampling strategies and strengthen the interpretation of the results. This study presents new AMS dates for the parietal art in Cueva de Las Chimeneas in northern Spain, describes the quality of the samples, and discusses their reliability. The joint assessment of the dates and its comparison with previously obtained dates as well as stratified and dated portable art makes it possible to put forward a hypothesis about the time of creation of the cave's parietal art and the degree of synchrony or diachrony in its production. Consequently, it is proposed that the cave art at Las Chimeneas was created in the lower Magdalenian, between 19,000 and 17,500 cal BP. (...)

  A symbolic Neanderthal accumulation of large herbivore crania, di E. Baquedano et alii, "Nature Human Behaviour", 26 January 2023, doi: - open access -

This work examines the possible behaviour of Neanderthal groups at the Cueva Des-Cubierta (central Spain) via the analysis of the latter’s archaeological assemblage. Alongside evidence of Mousterian lithic industry, Level 3 of the cave infill was found to contain an assemblage of mammalian bone remains dominated by the crania of large ungulates, some associated with small hearths. The scarcity of post-cranial elements, teeth, mandibles and maxillae, along with evidence of anthropogenic modification of the crania (cut and percussion marks), indicates that the carcasses of the corresponding animals were initially processed outside the cave, and the crania were later brought inside. A second round of processing then took place, possibly related to the removal of the brain. The continued presence of crania throughout Level 3 indicates that this behaviour was recurrent during this level’s formation. This behaviour seems to have no subsistence-related purpose but to be more symbolic in its intent. (...)

  Study offers new insight on what ancient noses smelled, 25 january 2023

It sounds a little like Stone Age standup: A Denisovan and a human walk past a bees’ nest heavy with honeycomb. What happens next? According to a study led by University of Alaska Fairbanks biological anthropologist Kara C. Hoover and Universite Paris-Saclay biochemist Claire de March, the Denisovan, with the species’ greater sensitivity to sweet smells, may have immediately homed in on the scent and beat the human to a high-energy meal. "This research has allowed us to draw some larger conclusions about the sense of smell in our closest genetic relatives and understand the role that smell played in adapting to new environments and foods during our migrations out of Africa,” said Hoover, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at UAF. (...)

  A surge in obsidian exploitation more than 1.2 million years ago at Simbiro III (Melka Kunture, Upper Awash, Ethiopia), di M. Mussi et alii, "Nature Ecology & Evolution", 19 January 2023

Pleistocene archaeology records the changing behaviour and capacities of early hominins. These behavioural changes, for example, to stone tools, are commonly linked to environmental constraints. It has been argued that, in earlier times, multiple activities of everyday life were all uniformly conducted at the same spot. The separation of focused activities across different localities, which indicates a degree of planning, according to this mindset characterizes later hominins since only 500,000 years ago. Simbiro III level C, in the upper Awash valley of Ethiopia, allows us to test this assumption in its assemblage of stone tools made only with obsidian, dated to more than 1.2 million years (Myr) old. (...)

  A long-term perspective on Neanderthal environment and subsistence: Insights from the dental microwear texture analysis of hunted ungulates at Combe-Grenal (Dordogne, France), di E. Berlioz, E. Capdepon, E. Discamps, 18 January 2023, doi: - open access -

Large bovids and cervids constituted major components of the European Middle Palaeolithic faunas and hence a key resource for Neanderthal populations. In paleoenvironmental reconstructions, red deer (Cervus elaphus) occurrence is classically considered as a tree-cover indicator while Bovinae (Bison priscus and Bos primigenius) and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) occurrences are typically associated with open landscapes. However, insights into the ecology of extant ungulate populations show a more complex reality. Exploring the diet of past ungulates allows to better comprehend the hunting strategies of Palaeolithic populations and to reconstruct the modifications through time of past landscapes (...)


Dietary strategies of Pleistocene Pongo sp. and Homo erectus on Java (Indonesia), di J. Kubat et alii, "Nature Ecology & Evolution", 16 January 2023, volume 7, pages 279–289

During the Early to Middle Pleistocene, Java was inhabited by hominid taxa of great diversity. However, their seasonal dietary strategies have never been explored. We undertook geochemical analyses of orangutan (Pongo sp.), Homo erectus and other mammalian Pleistocene teeth from Sangiran. We reconstructed past dietary strategies at subweekly resolution and inferred seasonal ecological patterns. Histologically controlled spatially resolved elemental analyses by laser-based plasma mass spectrometry confirmed the preservation of authentic biogenic signals despite the effect of spatially restricted diagenetic overprint. The Sr/Ca record of faunal remains is in line with expected trophic positions, contextualizing fossil hominid diet. (...)


A taphonomic analysis of PTK (Bed I, Olduvai Gorge) and its bearing on the interpretation of the dietary and eco-spatial behaviors of early humans, di E. Organista et alii, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 300, 15 January 2023, 107913 - open access -

Here, we present a thorough taphonomic analysis of the 1.84 million-year-old site of Phillip Tobias Korongo (PTK), Bed I, Olduvai Gorge. PTK is one of the new archaeological sites documented on the FLK Zinj paleolandscape, in which FLK 22 level was deposited and covered by Tuff IC. Therefore, PTK is pene-contemporary with these sites: FLK Zinj, DS, AMK and AGS. The occurrence of these sites within a thin clay unit of ∼20 cm, occupying not only the same vertically discrete stratigraphic unit, but also the same paleosurface, with an exceptional preservation of the archaeological record in its primary depositional locus, constitutes a unique opportunity to explore early hominin behavioral diversity at the most limited geochronological scale possible. (...)


Palaeoenvironmental sequences surrounding Border Cave, South Africa, and review of conditions during middle and later stone age occupation, di L. Scott, F. H. Neumann, A. C. van Aardt, G. A. Botha, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 300, 15 January 2023, 107894 - open access -

As a result of selective anthropogenic accumulation of plant and faunal remains in the sedimentary record at Border Cave, palaeoclimatological records at the site can only be broadly interpreted and cannot be reconstructed with any precision. To aid environmental reconstructions spanning the sedimentary record, we review published climate change proxy records from both marine and terrestrial archives within 500 km in the surrounding the summer rainfall region of the site to derive the history of environmental change. (...)

  Balancing selection on genomic deletion polymorphisms in humans, di A. Aqil, L. Speidel, P. Pavlidis, O. Gokcume, 10 Jan 2023, doi: - open access -

A key question in biology is why genomic variation persists in a population for extended periods. Recent studies have identified examples of genomic deletions that have remained polymorphic in the human lineage for hundreds of millennia, ostensibly owing to balancing selection. Nevertheless, genome-wide investigation of ancient and possibly adaptive deletions remains an imperative exercise. Here, we demonstrate an excess of polymorphisms in present-day humans that predate the modern human-Neanderthal split (ancient polymorphisms), which cannot be explained solely by selectively neutral scenarios. We analyze the adaptive mechanisms that underlie this excess in deletion polymorphisms. (...)

  Arched footprints preserve the motions of fossil hominin feet, di K. G. Hatala, S. M. Gatesy, P. L. Falkingham, "Nature Ecology & Evolution", 05 January 2023, volume 7, pages 32–41

The longitudinal arch of the human foot is viewed as a pivotal adaptation for bipedal walking and running. Fossil footprints from Laetoli, Tanzania, and Ileret, Kenya, are believed to provide direct evidence of longitudinally arched feet in hominins from the Pliocene and Pleistocene, respectively. We studied the dynamics of track formation using biplanar X-ray, three-dimensional animation and discrete element particle simulation. Here, we demonstrate that longitudinally arched footprints are false indicators of foot anatomy; instead they are generated through a specific pattern of foot kinematics that is characteristic of human walking (...)

  Homo sapiens and Neanderthals share high cerebral cortex integration into adulthood, di G. Sansalone et alii, "Nature Ecology & Evolution", 05 January 2023, volume 7, pages 42–50

There is controversy around the mechanisms that guided the change in brain shape during the evolution of modern humans. It has long been held that different cortical areas evolved independently from each other to develop their unique functional specializations. However, some recent studies suggest that high integration between different cortical areas could facilitate the emergence of equally extreme, highly specialized brain functions. Here, we analyse the evolution of brain shape in primates using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics of endocasts. We aim to determine, firstly, whether modern humans present unique developmental patterns of covariation between brain cortical areas; and secondly, whether hominins experienced unusually high rates of evolution in brain covariation as compared to other primates. (...)

  The interaction between large mammals and Acheulean tools during the Middle Pleistocene in the Manzanares valley (Madrid, Spain): new evidence for Santa Elena and Oxígeno sites, di I. Claver, J. A. Martos, J. Yravedra, J. Panera, S. Rubio-Jara, "Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences", Volume 15, issue 1, January 2023 - open access -

The fluvial deposits of the Manzanares and Jarama rivers present one of the largest concentrations of lithic and faunal remains of Pleistocene sites in Europe. In the Manzanares River close to the confluence of the Jarama River, the stepped terrace system disappears and gives way to the Complex Terrace of Butarque (CTB), where the sites of Santa Elena and Oxígeno are located. Different numerical dates obtained from the visible CTB’s bottom suggest that it was deposited during the MIS 6 or even MIS 7. This paper provides the first taphonomic and palaeoecological interpretation of both collections. A total of 445 fossil elements have been recorded in Oxígeno. The most represented are cranial fragments of Elephas sp. About Santa Elena, 130 fossil elements have been recorded. (...)

  MaLAdapt Reveals Novel Targets of Adaptive Introgression From Neanderthals and Denisovans in Worldwide Human Populations, di X. Zhang, B. Kim, A. Singh, S. Sankararaman, A. Durvasula, K. E Lohmueller, "Molecular Biology and Evolution", Volume 40, Issue 1, January 2023 - open access -

Adaptive introgression (AI) facilitates local adaptation in a wide range of species. Many state-of-the-art methods detect AI with ad-hoc approaches that identify summary statistic outliers or intersect scans for positive selection with scans for introgressed genomic regions. Although widely used, approaches intersecting outliers are vulnerable to a high false-negative rate as the power of different methods varies, especially for complex introgression events. Moreover, population genetic processes unrelated to AI, such as background selection or heterosis, may create similar genomic signals to AI, compromising the reliability of methods that rely on neutral null distributions. (...)


San Quirce (Palencia, Spain): new chronologies for the Lower to Middle Palaeolithic transition of south-west Europe, di M. Terradillos-Bernal et alii, "Journal of Quaternary Science", Volume 38, Issue 1, January 2023, Pages 21-37

San Quirce is an open-air archaeological site situated on a fluvial terrace in the Duero basin (Palencia, northern Iberia). This paper presents new and consistent chronologies obtained for the sedimentary sequence using post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence (pIR-IR) dating of K-feldspars and single-grain thermally transferred optically stimulated luminescence (TT-OSL) dating of quartz. The new dating results indicate that the sequence is older than ~200000 years and place San Quirce Level III within marine isotope stages (MIS) 8 and 7, between 274±13 ka and 238±13 ka. (...)


Coherent changes in wood charcoals, site occupation and lithic technology across the MIS 4/3 transition at Klein Kliphuis rock shelter, South Africa, di A. Mackay, C. R. Cartwright, Volume 38, Issue 1, January 2023, Pages 38-48 - open access -

We explore the correspondence between changing palaeoenvironments, patterns of site use, and lithic technology at the rock shelter site Klein Kliphuis (South Africa) across the interval 65–55 000 years before present. This period coincides with the termination of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 4, and the disappearance of an iconic late Pleistocene archaeological unit known as the Howiesons Poort. Wood charcoals indicate sufficient soil moisture around Klein Kliphuis throughout the Howiesons Poort to support diverse tree species at a time when site occupation was relatively intense. At least some fuelwood-gathering in this period may have been undertaken to support heat treatment of silcrete, which was the dominant lithology in tool production. (...)

  "Journal of Human Evolution", Volume 174, January 2023:

- Introduction to special issue: The biotic context of the Early Pleistocene hominins from Dmanisi (Georgia, southern Caucasus), di D. Lordkipanidze, J. Agustí, L. Rook

- The brain of Homo habilis: Three decades of paleoneurology, di E. Bruner, A. Beaudet

- Geometric morphometric analysis of the bony labyrinth of the Sima de los Huesos hominins, di A. D. Velez et alii

- Multi-isotope zooarchaeological investigations at Abri du Maras: The paleoecological and paleoenvironmental context of Neanderthal subsistence strategies in the Rhône Valley during MIS 3, di K. Britton et alii

- Reassessment of the human mandible from Banyoles (Girona, Spain), di B. A. Keeling

- Moving beyond the adaptationist paradigm for human evolution, and why it matters, di L. Schroeder, R. Rogers Ackermann


Index di antiqui Sommario bacheca