Aggiornamento 04/03/2024


Magnetic properties as indicators of pedogenic and pyrogenic processes at the Upper Paleolithic site of Kostenki 14, di A. Kurgaeva et alii, "Geoarchaeology", Volume 39, Issue 2, March/April 2024, Pages 143-167 - open access -

In geoarchaeological studies, there is an issue with distinguishing between natural and anthropogenic signals in pedological paleoarchives. With the pedostratigraphy of the Upper Paleolithic site of Kostenki 14, this issue is reflected by problems with the determination of features of pedogenic and pyrogenic processes. This issue was addressed by means of a thorough analysis of the magnetic properties of paleosols accompanied by micromorphological observations. Most of the humic samples were shown to be a result of pedogenesis, but two samples (a Paleolithic hearth sample and a sample from paleosol IIc) had features of intensely burnt material. The difference in the typical intensity of large-scale (natural or human-induced) and local-scale anthropogenic fire allowed for suggesting that the magnetic properties of the burnt sample were the result of an anthropogenically controlled fire event, that is, a hearth. (...)


Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology, Volume 7, Issue 1, December 2024:

- Intriguing Occupations at Gran Dolina (Atapuerca, Spain): the Acheulean Subunits TD10.3 and TD10.4
, di M. Mosquera, A. Ollé, E. Carbonell

- The Contribution of 2D and 3D Geometric Morphometrics to Lithic Taxonomies: Testing Discrete Categories of Backed Flakes from Recurrent Centripetal Core Reduction, di G. Bustos-Pérez, B. Gravina, F. Romagnoli

- Nubian Levallois Technology During MIS 5: Refitted Lithic Sequences and OSL Ages of Dimona South, Israel, and Their Broader Implications, di M. Oron, E. Hovers, T. Abulafia

- The Oldowan of Zarqa Valley, Northern Jordan, di F. Parenti, F. Giovanini Varejão, W. Alves Neves

- Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Remains from Cueva del Gato 2 (Épila, Zaragoza): A Contribution to Human Consumption Patterns in Inland Iberia During the Late Pleistocene, di C. A. Kaufmann, M. C. Álvarez, L. Lloveras

- Us and Them: How to Reconcile Archaeological and Biological Data at the Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic Transition in Europe?, di N. Teyssandier


Nondestructive geochemical characterization of fossil hominin taphonomy and burial history, di T. M. Present et alii, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 328, 15 March 2024, 108525

To date, only three Homo habilis specimens have been discovered that have associated craniodental and postcranial elements, providing a limited fossil record of the ontogeny and morphology of early members of the genus Homo. Recently, a nearly complete dentition, likely attributable to H. habilis, was discovered and excavated from early Pleistocene-age fluvial-lacustrine sediments of the upper Burgi Member of the Koobi Fora Formation at site F25787 in Area 13, near Ileret, Kenya. On the surface less than 15 m away, at site F25966, postcranial elements were found, which, if from the same individual as the nearby dentition, would represent the fourth associated craniodental and postcranial assemblage of this species. We developed a geochemical taphonomic history of these ca. 2 Ma hominin fossils using nondestructive X-ray based microanalytical tools (synchrotron and benchtop X-ray fluorescence chemical imaging and micro- and nano-computed tomography volumetric reconstruction), bulk analyses of sediments and paleosols at the excavation sites, and sedimentologic and stratigraphic observations. (...)


Experiments with replicas of Early Upper Paleolithic edge-ground stone axes and adzes provide criteria for identifying tool functions, di A. Iwase, K. Sano, J. Nagasaki, N. Otake, M. Yamada, "Journal of Archaeological Science", Volume 163, March 2024, 105891 - open access -

Systematic tree-felling using a polished stone axe and/or adze developed with sedentary lifeways in Holocene environments. However, securely dated Pleistocene edge-ground stone axes/adzes have now been identified from Marine Isotope Stage 3 sites in two distant regions: Australia and Japan. These early ground tools are indicative of full-blown tree-felling, but whether they indeed functioned as woodworking tools remains unclear. We present the results of an experimental study with replicas of Early Upper Paleolithic edge-ground stone axes/adzes from the Japanese archipelago that included a total of 75 replicas used in 15 different use and nonuse experiments. (...)


A geoarchaeological review of Balzi Rossi, Italy: A crossroad of Palaeolithic populations in the northwest Mediterranean, di D. D. Ryan et alii, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 327, 1 March 2024, 108515 - open access -

The Balzi Rossi archaeological complex (comprised of caves, rock shelters, and open-air sites) is a globally significant site for Palaeolithic culture and understanding the transition from Neanderthal to Anatomically Modern Human populations in Europe. It also retains some of the earliest evidence of human interactions with their coastal environment. Balzi Rossi has been subject to excavation for over 150 years – traditionally as individual site locations – with most deposits removed when the discipline of archaeology was nascent, and the science not yet developed. The consequence was the unfortunate loss of materials and critically important stratigraphic context. However, valuable information regarding the Palaeolithic population, their coastal environment, and earlier sea-level change, remains in the literature and in museum repositories. In this work we have compiled and reviewed the extensive resources, available largely in French and Italian, to provide a summary and catalogue for each individual site. (...)


Morphological integration and shape covariation between the trapezium and first metacarpal among extant hominids, di A. Bardo, C. J. Dunmore, R. Cornette, T. L. Kivell, "American Journal of Biological Anthropology", Volume 183, Issue 3, A Special Issue in Honor of the Life and Scientific Contributions of Professor Mary Marzke, March 2024, e24800 - open access -

The shape of the trapezium and first metacarpal (Mc1) markedly influence thumb mobility, strength, and the manual abilities of extant hominids. Previous research has typically focused solely on trapezium-Mc1 joint shape. Here we investigate how morphological integration and shape covariation between the entire trapezium (articular and non-articular surfaces) and the entire Mc1 reflect known differences in thumb use in extant hominids.
We analyzed shape covariation in associated trapezia and Mc1s across a large, diverse sample of Homo sapiens (n = 40 individuals) and other extant hominids (Pan troglodytes, n = 16; Pan paniscus, n = 13; Gorilla gorilla gorilla, n = 27; Gorilla beringei, n = 6; Pongo pygmaeus, n = 14; Pongo abelii, n = 9) using a 3D geometric morphometric approach. We tested for interspecific significant differences in degree of morphological integration and patterns of shape covariation between the entire trapezium and Mc1, as well as within the trapezium-Mc1 joint specifically. (...)


A three-dimensional musculoskeletal model of the pelvis and lower limb of Australopithecus afarensis, di M. C. O'Neill, A. Nagano, B. R. Umberger, "American Journal of Biological Anthropology", Volume 183, Issue 3, A Special Issue in Honor of the Life and Scientific Contributions of Professor Mary Marzke, March 2024, e24845 - open access -

Musculoskeletal modeling is a powerful approach for studying the biomechanics and energetics of locomotion. Australopithecus (A.) afarensis is among the best represented fossil hominins and provides critical information about the evolution of musculoskeletal design and locomotion in the hominin lineage. Here, we develop and evaluate a three-dimensional (3-D) musculoskeletal model of the pelvis and lower limb of A. afarensis for predicting muscle-tendon moment arms and moment-generating capacities across lower limb joint positions encompassing a range of locomotor behaviors.
A 3-D musculoskeletal model of an adult A. afarensis pelvis and lower limb was developed based primarily on the A.L. 288-1 partial skeleton. The model includes geometric representations of bones, joints and 35 muscle-tendon units represented using 43 Hill-type muscle models. Two muscle parameter datasets were created from human and chimpanzee sources. 3-D muscle-tendon moment arms and isometric joint moments were predicted over a wide range of joint positions. (...)


Quantifying Edge Sharpness on Stone Flakes: Comparing Mechanical and Micro-Geometric Definitions Across Multiple Raw Materials from Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania), di A. Key et alii, "Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory", Volume 31, Issue 1, March 2024, pages 51–74 - open access -

In line with engineering research focusing on metal tools, techniques to record the attribute of ‘edge sharpness’ on stone tools can include both mechanical and micro-geometric approaches. Mechanically-defined sharpness techniques used in lithic studies are now well established and align with engineering research. The single micro-geometrically-defined technique—tip curvature—is novel relative to approaches used elsewhere, and has not explicitly been tested for its ability to describe the attribute of sharpness. Here, using experimental flakes produced on basalt, chert, and quartzite sourced at Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania), we investigate the relationship between tip curvature and the force and work required to initiate a cut. (...)


School of Rocks: a Transmission Time Investment Model for Pleistocene Lithic Technology, di T. Z. Kovach, J. P. Gill, "Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory", Volume 31, Issue 1, March 2024, pages 251–286

We propose a transmission time investment model for integrating the tenets of human behavioral ecology and cultural evolutionary theory to investigate agency and optimality in the social transmission of lithic technologies. While the cultural transmission process is often overlooked in discussions of optimality, we view it as a critical area for the application of adaptive reasoning to further understand the mechanisms responsible for change in lithic technologies. The proposed model modifies a technological intensification model based on the marginal value theorem (...)


Ochre-based compound adhesives at the Mousterian type-site document complex cognition and high investment, di P. Schmidt et alii, "Science Advances", 21 Feb 2024, Vol 10, Issue 8 - open access -

Ancient adhesives used in multicomponent tools may be among our best material evidences of cultural evolution and cognitive processes in early humans. African Homo sapiens is known to have made compound adhesives from naturally sticky substances and ochre, a technical behavior proposed to mark the advent of elaborate cognitive processes in our species. Foragers of the European Middle Paleolithic also used glues, but evidence of ochre-based compound adhesives is unknown. Here, we present evidence of this kind. Bitumen was mixed with high loads of goethite ochre to make compound adhesives at the type-site of the Mousterian, Le Moustier (France). (...)


A submerged Stone Age hunting architecture from the Western Baltic Sea, di J. Geersen, M. Bradtmöller, J. Schneider von Deimling, H. Lübke, "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", 20 February 2024, vol. 121, no. 8, e2312008121 - open access -

The Baltic Sea basins, some of which only submerged in the mid-Holocene, preserve Stone Age structures that did not survive on land. Yet, the discovery of these features is challenging and requires cross-disciplinary approaches between archeology and marine geosciences. Here, we combine shipborne and autonomousunderwater vehicle hydroacoustic data with up to a centimeter range resolution, sedimentological samples, and optical images to explore a Stone Age megastructure located in 21 m water depth in the Bay of Mecklenburg, Germany. The structure is made of 1,673 individual stones which are usually less than 1 m in height, placed side by side over a distance of 971 m in a way that argues against a natural origin by glacial transport or ice push ridges. Running adjacent to the sunken shoreline of a paleolake (or bog), whose youngest phase was dated to 9,143 ±36 ka B.P., the stonewall was likely used for hunting the Eurasian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) during the Younger Dryas or early Pre-Boreal (...)


Dans le rift Est-Africain, des hominines auraient vécu dans un milieu fertile et non aride, 15 février 2024

Une nouvelle étude révèle que dans le rift Est-Africain, des hominines n’ont pas eu à faire face à une extrême aridité, contrairement à ce que l’on pensait jusqu’à présent. La zone était parcourue par de larges cours d’eau douce, et loin d’avoir évolué aux dépens d’une aridité contraignante, les populations locales auraient eu accès à des ressources inespérées. Rencontre avec Xavier Boës, chercheur au Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle. Il y a environ 8 millions d’années, l’apparition d’une faille gigantesque aurait créé une barrière naturelle ayant séparé l’Est et l’Ouest du continent africain avec des environnements distincts. Si à l’Ouest, l’air était plutôt humide et la végétation luxuriante, à l’Est, le climat s’était asséché et tout le milieu aurait été profondément transformé. (...)


Claims for 1.9–2.0 Ma old early Acheulian and Oldowan occupations at Melka Kunture are not supported by a robust age model, di T. Gossa, A.Asrat, E. Hovers, A. J. Tholt, P. R. Renne, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 326, 15 February 2024, 108506

In the chronostratigraphic studies of sedimentary successions across eastern Africa, it is common practice to integrate paleomagnetic studies with radioisotopic dating to provide additional age resolution and refine age models. Muttoni et al. (2023) followed a similar approach. However, they inconsistently and selectively focused on certain dated tuff units as a basis for their correlation across sections. They utilized dated tuff units as anchors of correlation whenever they fit their age (...)


Il y a 100 000 ans sur la plage de Larache au Maroc, des Homo sapiens ont laissé des traces de pas, 9 février 2024

Il y a 100 000 ans sur la plage de Larache au Maroc, des Homo sapiens ont laissé des traces de pas. Ce sont plus de 80 empreintes de pas humains qui ont été découvertes en 2022 sur le littoral du nord du Maroc. Ces traces sont considérées comme les plus anciennes empreintes de pas connues en Afrique du Nord et au sud de la Méditerranée (...)


Homo sapiens reached the higher latitudes of Europe by 45,000 years ago, di D. Mylopotamitaki et alii, "Nature", Volume 626, Issue 7998, 8 February 2024, pp. 341–346 - open access -

The Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Europe is associated with the regional disappearance of Neanderthals and the spread of Homo sapiens. Late Neanderthals persisted in western Europe several millennia after the occurrence of H. sapiens in eastern Europe. Local hybridization between the two groups occurred, but not on all occasions. Archaeological evidence also indicates the presence of several technocomplexes during this transition, complicating our understanding and the association of behavioural adaptations with specific hominin groups. One such technocomplex for which the makers are unknown is the Lincombian–Ranisian–Jerzmanowician (LRJ), which has been described in northwestern and central Europe. (...)


Delayed increase in stone tool cutting-edge productivity at the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition in southern Jordan, di S. Kadowaki et alii, "Nature Communications", 07 February 2024, volume 15, Article number: 610 - open access -

Although the lithic cutting-edge productivity has long been recognized as a quantifiable aspect of prehistoric human technological evolution, there remains uncertainty how the productivity changed during the Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic transition. Here we present the cutting-edge productivity of eight lithic assemblages in the eastern Mediterranean region that represent a chrono-cultural sequence including the Late Middle Paleolithic, Initial Upper Paleolithic, the Early Upper Paleolithic, and the Epipaleolithic. The results show that a major increase in the cutting-edge productivity does not coincide with the conventional Middle-Upper Paleolithic boundary characterized by the increase in blades in the Initial Upper Paleolithic, but it occurs later in association with the development of bladelet technology in the Early Upper Paleolithic. (...)


Environmental changes and human occupations between MIS 15 and MIS 14 in Central Italy: archaeological levels AO1-20, 24 and LBr of Valle Giumentina (c. 570–530 ka), di V. Villa et alii, "Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences", Volume 16, Issue 2, February 2024

This work presents the Middle Pleistocene palaeoenvironmental and archaeological record of the Valle Giumentina basin (Abruzzo, Italy). A high-resolution geological study, including stratigraphy, sedimentology and micromorphology, was performed on the lower part of the sequence which correlates with the time span between MIS 15 and MIS 14 stages, i.e. between 570 and 530 ka. In addition to long-term climatic variability, sedimentological data highlight many short oscillations of varying amplitude during both Glacial and Interglacial periods. These results are confirmed by the studies of environmental proxies (pollen and molluscan analysis) previously undertaken on the Valle Giumentina sequence in 2016. Comparisons with global, Mediterranean and Italian climate archives confirm the consistency of the Valle Giumentina record and the contrasting characteristics of each isotopic stages. (...)


Application of computed tomography to the study of Mesolithic portable art: Results, interpretations and expectations—The case of an ornamented roe deer antler harpoon from Police, north-west Poland, di T. Płonka, M. Diakowski, J. Krupa-Kurzynowska, V. Hoppe, G. Ziółkowski, "Archaeometry", Volume 66, Issue 1, February 2024, Pages 219-237 - open access -

The article describes the application of X-ray computed tomography to the recording and analysis of ornamentation on the Mesolithic harpoon found at Police in north-west Poland. The geometric ornament was divided into eight areas. Based on the tomographic data, a method of quantitative analysis of ornamentation was proposed. For lines selected in individual areas, three profiles were determined for which the width, depth and opening angle of the ornament lines were measured. The analysis of these data, including statistical analyses, revealed a degree of variation, dependent on the engraving technique and the instrument used to make the ornament. (...)


Hanging over the Void. Uses of Long Ropes and Climbing Rope Ladders in Prehistory as Illustrated in Levantine Rock Art, di M. Bea, D. Roman, I. Domingo, "Cambridge Archaeological Journal", Volume 34, Issue 1, February 2024, pp. 127-145 - open access -

Direct or indirect evidence of ropemaking are scarce in European prehistory. Only a few references to Middle or Upper Palaeolithic remains are known to us, with more examples towards the Holocene. The archaeological contexts of ropes offer little information about possible uses, as the activities they are used for are often archaeologically invisible. However, some rock-art traditions shed some light on potential uses, worth exploring. In Spain, Levantine rock art offers the best graphic examples across Europe showing various uses of ropes, including climbing. Starting from the recently discovered climbing scene of Barranco Gómez site (Teruel, Spain), including the best preserved and more complex use of ropes seen so far in Levantine art, this paper analyses representations of ropes in this art, as well as their varieties and diverse uses. (...)


A review of the distal femur in Australopithecus, di C. K. Miller, J. M. DeSilva, "Evolutionary Anthropology", Volume 33, Issue 1, February 2024, e22012

In 1938, the first distal femur of a fossil Australopithecus was discovered at Sterkfontein, South Africa. A decade later, another distal femur was discovered at the same locality. These two fossil femora were the subject of a foundational paper authored by Kingsbury Heiple and Owen Lovejoy in 1971. In this paper, the authors discussed functionally relevant anatomies of these two fossil femora and noted their strong affinity to the modern human condition. Here, we update this work by including eight more fossil Australopithecus distal femora, an expanded comparative dataset, as well as additional linear measurements. Just as Heiple and Lovejoy reported a half-century ago, we find strong overlap between modern humans and cercopithecoids (...)


"Journal of Human Evolution", Volume 187, February 2024:

- A reanalysis of strontium isotope ratios as indicators of dispersal in South African hominins, di M. I. Hamilton, S. R. Copeland, S. V. Nelson

- Sex-biased sampling may influence Homo naledi tooth size variation, di L. K. Delezene et alii

- New Neanderthal remains from Axlor cave (Dima, Biscay, northern Iberian Peninsula), di S. E. Bailey et alii

- Modern human atlas ranges of motion and Neanderthal estimations, di C. A. Palancar et alii


The first identification of composite paints with proteinaceous binder in Upper Palaeolithic (31–23 ka) organic decorations, di L. Golovanova, J. Kostina, V. Doronichev, "Journal of Archaeological Science", Volume 162, February 2024, 105920

Research of coloring pigments and binding compounds from the Upper Palaeolithic (UP), including on portable art objects such as personal ornaments, provides new insights into social and cultural aspects of human history. However, we lack a comprehensive study of the composite pigment mixtures and binding materials that were produced intentionally and used for coloration. The study of several personal ornaments from the UP layers dated 31–23 ka calBP in Mezmaiskaya Cave, North Caucasus (Russia), shows that UP paints have a complex chemical composition. Using ATR–FTIR and SEM–EDS, we have identified that for coloring organic personal decorations UP humans used composite paint mixtures produced from organic (bitumen) and inorganic (red bolus/kaolin) natural pigments. (...)


The ecology, subsistence and diet of ~45,000-year-old Homo sapiens at Ilsenhöhle in Ranis, Germany, di G. M. Smith et alii, "Nature Ecology & Evolution", 31 January 2024 - open access -

Recent excavations at Ranis (Germany) identified an early dispersal of Homo sapiens into the higher latitudes of Europe by 45,000 years ago. Here we integrate results from zooarchaeology, palaeoproteomics, sediment DNA and stable isotopes to characterize the ecology, subsistence and diet of these early H. sapiens. We assessed all bone remains (n = 1,754) from the 2016–2022 excavations through morphology (n = 1,218) or palaeoproteomics (zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry (n = 536) and species by proteome investigation (n = 212)). Dominant taxa include reindeer, cave bear, woolly rhinoceros and horse, indicating cold climatic conditions. Numerous carnivore modifications, alongside sparse cut-marked and burnt bones, illustrate a predominant use of the site by hibernating cave bears and denning hyaenas, coupled with a fluctuating human presence. (...)


Stable isotopes show Homo sapiens dispersed into cold steppes ~45,000 years ago at Ilsenhöhle in Ranis, Germany, di S. Pederzani et alii, "Nature Ecology & Evolution", 31 January 2024 - open access -

The spread of Homo sapiens into new habitats across Eurasia ~45,000 years ago and the concurrent disappearance of Neanderthals represents a critical evolutionary turnover in our species’ history. ‘Transitional’ technocomplexes, such as the Lincombian–Ranisian–Jerzmanowician (LRJ), characterize the European record during this period but their makers and evolutionary significance have long remained unclear. New evidence from Ilsenhöhle in Ranis, Germany, now provides a secure connection of the LRJ to H. sapiens remains dated to ~45,000 years ago, making it one of the earliest forays of our species to central Europe. Using many stable isotope records of climate produced from 16 serially sampled equid teeth spanning ~12,500 years of LRJ and Upper Palaeolithic human occupation at Ranis, we review the ability of early humans to adapt to different climate and habitat conditions. (...)


Rope making in the Aurignacian of Central Europe more than 35,000 years ago, di N. J. Conard, V. Rots, "Science Advances", 31 Jan 2024, Vol. 10, Issue 5 - open access -

Evidence for the manufacture and use of fiber technology such as rope and twine is rare in the Paleolithic, despite the widely held view that such artifacts were in regular use during the Pleistocene. On the basis of the discovery of a more than 35,000-year-old perforated baton made from mammoth ivory at Hohle Fels Cave in Ach Valley of southwestern Germany together with experimental studies, we are now able to demonstrate one way people of the early Upper Paleolithic manufactured rope. This work contributes to our understanding of the evolution of technology, cooperative work, and Paleolithic social organization. (...)


How did humans learn to walk? New evolutionary study offers an earful, 29 January 2024

A new study, which centers on evidence from skulls of a 6-million-year-old fossil ape, Lufengpithecus, offers important clues about the origins of bipedal locomotion courtesy of a novel method: analyzing its bony inner ear region using three-dimensional CT-scanning. The inner ear appears to provide a unique record of the evolutionary history of ape locomotion. (...)


A multiproxy approach to understanding the impact of the Storegga tsunami upon Mesolithic hunter-fisher-gatherers across different regions of western Norway, di J. Walker et alii, "Quaternary Science Reviews", Volume 324, 15 January 2024, 108433 - open access -

The Storegga tsunami (c. 8150 cal BP) is geologically well attested from various isolation basins across the west Norwegian coast. Ascertaining the impact it had upon the Mesolithic peoples who lived through it, however, remains a difficult proposition; one further complicated by broadly synchronic processes of climate change and sea-level rise. This paper presents a regional scale approach to addressing this matter through a multiproxy study comprising: 1) the performance of a new numerical tsunami run-up simulation for six different focus areas; 2) characterising the impact of the tsunami upon key resource base ecosystems; 3) characterising the potential for complication arising from contemporaneous processes of environmental change caused by the ‘8.2 ka BP event', and sea-level rise associated with the early-mid Holocene ‘Tapes’ transgression, and 4) the reconstruction of temporal traditions in site location relative to the contemporary palaeoshoreline within the six focus areas used for the numerical simulation. (...)


Valdeprovedo open-air site: a knapping event in the early Upper Paleolithic of the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain), di M. Santamaría, M. Navazo, A. Benito-Calvo, A. Medialdea, E. Carbonell, "Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences", Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2024 - open access -

In this paper, we present the site of Valdeprovedo (Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos), an open-air Paleolithic site. This site is attractive for study and research for three main reasons. First, it is an open-air site with an extraordinarily well-preserved lithic assemblage that corresponds to a very short-lived event. Second, in this small area, refits have been achieved with a high refitting rate, which allows us to reconstruct the action carried out in this place during a specific moment, around 28 ka. And third, this is the first site of this chronology that has been documented in the Sierra de Atapuerca, providing new data on the inland population of the Iberian Peninsula by Upper Paleolithic groups. (...)


Neanderthal subsistence strategies: new evidence from the Mousterian Level XV of the Sopeña rock shelter (Asturias, northern Spain), di J. Yravedra, V. Estaca-Gómez, A. Grandal-d’Anglade, A. C. Pinto-Llona, "Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences", Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2024 - open access -

Many Palaeolithic archaeological sites have been excavated in the Cantabrian region of northern Spain, between the Cantabrian mountain range and the coast of the Bay of Biscay. The analyses of the materials thus recovered in sites such as El Castillo, Morín, Pendo, Covalejos, Esquilleu, El Mirón, Hornos de la Peña, El Cuco, El Ruso, Lezetxiki, Axlor, Arrillor, Amalda, Abauntz, and Gatzarria, among others, have contributed greatly to the understanding of Neanderthal animal-based subsistence in the area. However, most of the sites studied are in the eastern part of this area, and we know little on the western part, from just a handful of sites (El Sidrón, Llonín, La Viña, and La Güelga in Asturias; Cova Eirós in Galicia) and the zooarchaeological information has been limited, but is currently growing. El Sidrón has many cannibalized Neanderthal bones but few faunal remains, the Llonín cave shows short Neanderthal occupations, the Mousterian of La Viña yielded few faunal remains, and the three Mousterian levels of Cova Eirós were also short occupations. (...)


Intra-site spatial approaches based on taphonomic analyses to characterize assemblage formation at Pleistocene sites: a case study from Buena Pinta Cave (Pinilla del Valle, Madrid, Spain), di Clara Mielgo et alii, "Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences", Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2024 - open access -

Buena Pinta Cave (Pinilla del Valle, Madrid) has been interpreted as a hyena den with sporadic occupations of Homo neanderthalensis in the western part of the site (level 23). In order to identify the different formation processes in this area of the site, spatial analyses have been carried out with GIS and spatial statistics based on the taphonomic analysis of the faunal remains. Based on the vertical and sectional analyses of the assemblage, it has been possible to determine that level 23 actually corresponds to three archaeological levels with well-differentiated characteristics: a lower level with few faunal remains and fossil-diagenetic alterations related to humid environments associated with clays; an intermediate level with a high percentage of remains with water-related modifications and evidences of transport (...)


Bone tools, carnivore chewing and heavy percussion: assessing conflicting interpretations of Lower and Upper Palaeolithic bone assemblages, di S. A. Parfitt, S. M. Bello, January 2024, Volume 11, Issue 1 - open access -

The use of bone tools by early humans has provided valuable insights into their technology, behaviour and cognitive abilities. However, identifying minimally modified or unshaped Palaeolithic osseous tools can be challenging, particularly when they are mixed with bones altered by natural taphonomic processes. This has hampered the study of key technical innovations, such as the use of bones, antlers and teeth as hammers or pressure-flakers to work (knap) stone tools. Bones chewed by carnivores can resemble osseous knapping tools and have sometimes been mistaken for them. In this paper, we review recent advances in the study of osseous knapping tools with a focus on two Palaeolithic sites in the UK, the Acheulean Horse Butchery Site at Boxgrove and the Magdalenian site of Gough's Cave, where knapping tools were mis-attributed to carnivore chewing. (...)


Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 186, January 2024:

- Age-depth model for uppermost Ndutu Beds constrains Middle Stone Age technology and climate-induced paleoenvironmental changes at Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania)
, di R. K. Smedley et alii

- Biomechanical and taxonomic diversity in the Early Pleistocene in East Africa: Structural analysis of a recently discovered femur shaft from Olduvai Gorge (bed I), di J. Aramendi, A. Mabulla, E. Baquedano, M. Domínguez-Rodrigo

- Aridity, availability of drinking water and freshwater foods, and hominin and archeological sites during the Late Pliocene–Early Pleistocene in the western region of the Turkana Basin (Kenya): A review, di X. Boës et alii

- Revising the oldest Oldowan: Updated optimal linear estimation models and the impact of Nyayanga (Kenya), di A. Key, T. Proffitt

- Investigating the co-occurrence of Neanderthals and modern humans in Belgium through direct radiocarbon dating of bone implements, di G. Abrams et alii


Index di antiqui Sommario bacheca