Paleoenvironmental context of the early Neanderthals of Poggetti Vecchi for the late middle Pleistocene of Central Italy - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Quaternary Research Year : 2017

Paleoenvironmental context of the early Neanderthals of Poggetti Vecchi for the late middle Pleistocene of Central Italy

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Chiara Capretti
  • Function : Author
Francesco Ciani
  • Function : Author
Carmine D’amico
  • Function : Author
Daniela Esu
  • Function : Author
Gianna Giachi
  • Function : Author
Claudia Giuliani
  • Function : Author
Elsa Gliozzi
  • Function : Author
Simona Lazzeri
  • Function : Author
Nicola Macchioni
  • Function : Author
Marta Mariotti Lippi
  • Function : Author
Federico Masini
  • Function : Author
Paul Peter A. Mazza
  • Function : Author
Pasquino Pallecchi
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Anna Revedin
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Andrea Savorelli
  • Function : Author
Marco Spadi
  • Function : Author
Lorena Sozzi
  • Function : Author
Amina Vietti
  • Function : Author
Mario Voltaggio
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Biancamaria Aranguren
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Abstract

Work on thermal pools at Poggetti Vecchi in Grosseto, Italy, exposed an up to 3-meter-thick succession of seven sedimentary units. Unit 2 in the lower portion of the succession contained vertebrate bones, mostly of the straight-tusked elephant, Palaeoloxodon antiquus , commingled with stone, bone, and wooden tools. Thermal carbonates overlying Unit 2 are radiometrically dated to the latter part of the middle Pleistocene. This time span indicates that early Neanderthals produced the human artifacts from Poggetti Vecchi. The elephant bones belong to seven individuals of different ages. Sedimentary facies analysis and paleoecological evidence suggest a narrow lacustrine-palustrine embayment affected by water-level fluctuations and, at times, by hydrothermal water. Cyclic lake-level variations were predominantly forced by the rapid climatic fluctuations that occurred at Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 6–7 transition and throughout the MIS 6. Possibly an abrupt, intense, and protracted cold episode during the onset of MIS 6 led to the sudden death of the elephants, which formed an unexpected food resource for the humans of the area. The Poggetti Vecchi site adds new information on the behavioral plasticity and food procurement strategies that early Neanderthals were able to develop in Italy during the middle to the late Pleistocene transition.
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Dates and versions

mnhn-03933631 , version 1 (10-01-2023)

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Marco Benvenuti, Jean-Jacques Bahain, Chiara Capalbo, Chiara Capretti, Francesco Ciani, et al.. Paleoenvironmental context of the early Neanderthals of Poggetti Vecchi for the late middle Pleistocene of Central Italy. Quaternary Research, 2017, 88 (2), pp.327-344. ⟨10.1017/qua.2017.51⟩. ⟨mnhn-03933631⟩
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