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Journal Article

The origin of early Acheulean expansion in Europe 700 ka ago: New findings at Notarchirico (Italy)


Raynal,  Jean-Paul       
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Moncel, M.-H., Santagata, C., Pereira, A., Nomade, S., Voinchet, P., Bahain, J.-J., et al. (2020). The origin of early Acheulean expansion in Europe 700 ka ago: New findings at Notarchirico (Italy). Scientific Reports, 10(1): 13802. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-68617-8.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-35D1-1
Notarchirico (Southern Italy) has yielded the earliest evidence of Acheulean settlement in Italy and four older occupation levels have recently been unearthed, including one with bifaces, extending the roots of the Acheulean in Italy even further back in time. New 40Ar/39Ar on tephras and ESR dates on bleached quartz securely and accurately place these occupations between 695 and 670 ka (MIS 17), penecontemporaneous with the Moulin-Quignon and la Noira sites (France). These new data demonstrate a very rapid expansion of shared traditions over Western Europe during a period of highly variable climatic conditions, including interglacial and glacial episodes, between 670 and 650 (i.e., MIS17/MIS16 transition). The diversity of tools and activities observed in these three sites shows that Western Europe was populated by adaptable hominins during this time. These conclusions question the existence of refuge areas during intense glacial stages and raise questions concerning understudied migration pathways, such as the Sicilian route.