Of the many critical phases of human evolution, one of the most investigated is the transition from the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic with the pivotal bio-cultural substitution of Neanderthals by Homo sapiens in Western Eurasia. The complexity of this over tens of thousands of years phase raises from the ensemble of evidence ascribed to the diverse adaptations expressed by Neanderthals and the first representatives of our species. In numberless archaeological records Neanderthals left clear traces of a cultural variability dotted with innovations in the technology of stone and bone tools, alongside with manifestations in the range of the symbolic sphere. Together with other aspects of daily life, this evidence contributes shedding light on the cognitive aptitudes of those hominins and reassessing gaps in Pleistocene human diversities. Among archaeological contexts, the cave of Fumane in the Monti Lessini (Veneto Pre-Alps, northeastern Italy) is a key site. It is positioned along the potential trajectory of hominins moving into southern Europe from eastern and southeastern regions and includes a finely layered sedimentary sequence with cultural layers ascribed to the Mousterian, Uluzzian, Aurignacian and Gravettian. The ensemble constitutes one of the most complete, detailed and dated continental stratigraphic series from a segment of the late Pleistocene between 50 and 30 ka cal BP in a cave context of Southern Europe. Assessments based on sedimentological and palaeontological record provide indicators for framing Neanderthals in their respective ecological contexts since the late Middle Pleistocene until their demise during MIS3. On-going research is producing data ascribable to the human ecological relations and the interaction with specific natural resources, thus contributing to shed light on the complexity of Neanderthal behavior. Thanks to the high-resolution archaeological record of the earliest appearances of Homo sapiens, Fumane also provides clues to compare life, subsistence, and cultures between these Pleistocene hominins for comprehensive reasonings on our unicity.

Inspecting human evolution from a cave. Late Neanderthals and early sapiens at Grotta di Fumane: present state and outlook

Marco Peresani
Primo
2022

Abstract

Of the many critical phases of human evolution, one of the most investigated is the transition from the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic with the pivotal bio-cultural substitution of Neanderthals by Homo sapiens in Western Eurasia. The complexity of this over tens of thousands of years phase raises from the ensemble of evidence ascribed to the diverse adaptations expressed by Neanderthals and the first representatives of our species. In numberless archaeological records Neanderthals left clear traces of a cultural variability dotted with innovations in the technology of stone and bone tools, alongside with manifestations in the range of the symbolic sphere. Together with other aspects of daily life, this evidence contributes shedding light on the cognitive aptitudes of those hominins and reassessing gaps in Pleistocene human diversities. Among archaeological contexts, the cave of Fumane in the Monti Lessini (Veneto Pre-Alps, northeastern Italy) is a key site. It is positioned along the potential trajectory of hominins moving into southern Europe from eastern and southeastern regions and includes a finely layered sedimentary sequence with cultural layers ascribed to the Mousterian, Uluzzian, Aurignacian and Gravettian. The ensemble constitutes one of the most complete, detailed and dated continental stratigraphic series from a segment of the late Pleistocene between 50 and 30 ka cal BP in a cave context of Southern Europe. Assessments based on sedimentological and palaeontological record provide indicators for framing Neanderthals in their respective ecological contexts since the late Middle Pleistocene until their demise during MIS3. On-going research is producing data ascribable to the human ecological relations and the interaction with specific natural resources, thus contributing to shed light on the complexity of Neanderthal behavior. Thanks to the high-resolution archaeological record of the earliest appearances of Homo sapiens, Fumane also provides clues to compare life, subsistence, and cultures between these Pleistocene hominins for comprehensive reasonings on our unicity.
2022
Peresani, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2500576
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