Palaeoloxodon and human interaction: depositional setting, chronology and archaeology at the Middle Pleistocene Ficoncella site (Tarquinia, Italy).

PLoS ONE. 2015;10(4):e0124498 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0124498

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS

Daniele Aureli
Antonio Contardi
Biagio Giaccio
Brian Jicha
Cristina Lemorini
Sergio Madonna
Donatella Magri
Federica Marano
Salvatore Milli
Valerio Modesti
Maria Rita Palombo
Roxane Rocca

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Peer review

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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

The Ficoncella site in northern Latium (Italy) represents a unique opportunity to investigate the modalities of a short occupation in an alluvial setting during the Lower Palaeolithic. The small excavation area yielded a lithic assemblage, a carcass of Palaeoloxodon antiquus, and some other faunal remains. The main objectives of the study are to better characterize the depositional context where the Palaeoloxodon and the lithic assemblage occur, and to evaluate with greater precision the occupation dynamics. A 25 m-long well was drilled just above the top of the terrace of the Ficoncella site and faunal and lithic remains were analyzed with current and innovative techniques. The archaeological site contains floodplain deposits as it is located next to a small incised valley that feeds into a larger valley of the Mignone River. A tephra layer capping the site is 40Ar/39Ar dated to 441± 8 ka. Collectively, the geochronologic, tephrochronologic and geologic data, suggest the site was occupied during MIS 13. The new results should prompt further research at Ficoncella in order to improve our understanding of the dynamics of human settlement in Europe during the Early to Middle Pleistocene.