Isernia La Pineta (south-central Italy, Molise) is one of the most important archaeological localities of the Middle Pleistocene in Western Europe. It is an extensive open-air site with abundant lithic industry and faunal remains distributed across four stratified archaeosurfaces that have been found in two sectors of the excavation (3c, 3a, 3s10 in sect. I; 3a in sect. II). The prehistoric attendance was close to a wet environment, with a series of small waterfalls and lakes associated to calcareous tufa deposits. An isolated human deciduous incisor (labelled IS42) was discovered in 2014 within the archaeological level 3 coll (overlying layer 3a) that, according to new Ar-40/Ar-39 measurements, is dated to about 583-561 ka, i.e. to the end of marine isotope stage (MIS) 15. Thus, the tooth is currently the oldest human fossil specimen in Italy; it is an important addition to the scanty European fossil record of the Middle Pleistocene, being associated with a lithic assemblage of local raw materials (flint and limestone) characterized by the absence of handaxes and reduction strategies primarily aimed at the production of small/medium-sized flakes. The faunal assemblage is dominated by ungulates often bearing cut marks. Combining chronology with the archaeological evidence, Isernia La Pineta exhibits a delay in the appearance of handaxes with respect to other European Palaeolithic sites of the Middle Pleistocene. Interestingly, this observation matches the persistence of archaic morphological features shown by the human calvarium from the Middle Pleistocene site of Ceprano, not far from Isernia (south-central Italy, Latium). In this perspective, our analysis is aimed to evaluate morphological features occurring in IS42.

A human deciduous tooth and new 40Ar/39Ar dating results from the Middle Pleistocene archaeological site of Isernia La pineta, southern Italy

PERETTO, Carlo
;
ARNAUD, Julie Marie Margot;BERTO, Claudio;SALA, Benedetto;LEMBO, Giuseppe;MUTTILLO, Brunella;THUN HOHENSTEIN, Ursula;VACCARO, Carmela;ARZARELLO, Marta
2015

Abstract

Isernia La Pineta (south-central Italy, Molise) is one of the most important archaeological localities of the Middle Pleistocene in Western Europe. It is an extensive open-air site with abundant lithic industry and faunal remains distributed across four stratified archaeosurfaces that have been found in two sectors of the excavation (3c, 3a, 3s10 in sect. I; 3a in sect. II). The prehistoric attendance was close to a wet environment, with a series of small waterfalls and lakes associated to calcareous tufa deposits. An isolated human deciduous incisor (labelled IS42) was discovered in 2014 within the archaeological level 3 coll (overlying layer 3a) that, according to new Ar-40/Ar-39 measurements, is dated to about 583-561 ka, i.e. to the end of marine isotope stage (MIS) 15. Thus, the tooth is currently the oldest human fossil specimen in Italy; it is an important addition to the scanty European fossil record of the Middle Pleistocene, being associated with a lithic assemblage of local raw materials (flint and limestone) characterized by the absence of handaxes and reduction strategies primarily aimed at the production of small/medium-sized flakes. The faunal assemblage is dominated by ungulates often bearing cut marks. Combining chronology with the archaeological evidence, Isernia La Pineta exhibits a delay in the appearance of handaxes with respect to other European Palaeolithic sites of the Middle Pleistocene. Interestingly, this observation matches the persistence of archaic morphological features shown by the human calvarium from the Middle Pleistocene site of Ceprano, not far from Isernia (south-central Italy, Latium). In this perspective, our analysis is aimed to evaluate morphological features occurring in IS42.
2015
Peretto, Carlo; Arnaud, Julie Marie Margot; Moggi Cecchi, Jacopo; Manzi, Giorgio; Nomade, Sébastien; Pereira, Alison; Falguères, Christophe; Bahain, Jean Jacques; Grimaud Hervé, Dominique; Berto, Claudio; Sala, Benedetto; Lembo, Giuseppe; Muttillo, Brunella; Gallotti, Rosalia; THUN HOHENSTEIN, Ursula; Vaccaro, Carmela; Coltorti, Mauro; Arzarello, Marta
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
peretto et al 2015_plosone.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Full text (versione editoriale)
Dimensione 2.74 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.74 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in SFERA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2330834
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 6
  • Scopus 63
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 57
social impact