September 2020

Map of chosen Sites - Early Upper Paleolithic and Late Middle Paleolithic

New paper published!

Modern humans reached westernmost Europe 5,000 years earlier than previously known! We are thrilled to announce our new paper in PNASNews published on September 28. 2020 and available by clicking the Title below:

"The early Aurignacian dispersal of modern humans into westernmost Eurasia"

 

Abstract

Documenting the first appearance of modern humans in a given region is key to understanding the dispersal process and the replacement or assimilation of indigenous human populations such as the Neanderthals. The Iberian Peninsula was the last refuge of Neanderthal populations as modern humans advanced across Eurasia. Here we present evidence of an early Aurignacian occupation at Lapa do Picareiro in central Portugal. Diagnostic artifacts were found in a sealed stratigraphic layer dated 41.1 to 38.1 ka cal BP, documenting a modern human presence on the western margin of Iberia ∼5,000 years earlier than previously known. The data indicate a rapid modern human dispersal across southern Europe, reaching the westernmost edge where Neanderthals were thought to persist. The results support the notion of a mosaic process of modern human dispersal and replacement of indigenous Neanderthal populations.

News article published today about the ERC RESOLUTION project in an italian Newspaper "Corriere della sera".

News article about Prof. Talamo and her research

3D reconstruction of the Neanderthal molar found at Stajnia cave

New paper published!

"New perspectives on Neanderthal dispersal and turnover from Stajnia Cave (Poland)" by Picin et al. 2020 in Nature: Scientific Reports

The article is Open Access and you can read the full article by clicking here. Read more about the research performed in the UNIBO Magazine report (in Italian) and the Newspaper - Resto Del Carlino article.

Figure: 3D reconstruction of the Neanderthal molar found at Stajnia cave during the excavations.

Abstract

The Micoquian is the broadest and longest enduring cultural facies of the Late Middle Palaeolithic that spread across the periglacial and boreal environments of Europe between Eastern France, Poland, and Northern Caucasus. Here, we present new data from the archaeological record of Stajnia Cave (Poland) and the paleogenetic analysis of a Neanderthal molar S5000, found in a Micoquian context. Our results demonstrate that the mtDNA genome of Stajnia S5000 dates to MIS 5a making the tooth the oldest Neanderthal specimen from Central-Eastern Europe. Furthermore, S5000 mtDNA has the fewest number of differences to mtDNA of Mezmaiskaya 1 Neanderthal from Northern Caucasus, and is more distant from almost contemporaneous Neanderthals of Scladina and Hohlenstein-Stadel. This observation and the technological affinity between Poland and the Northern Caucasus could be the result of increased mobility of Neanderthals that changed their subsistence strategy for coping with the new low biomass environments and the increased foraging radius of gregarious animals. The Prut and Dniester rivers were probably used as the main corridors of dispersal. The persistence of the Micoquian techno-complex in South-Eastern Europe infers that this axis of mobility was also used at the beginning of MIS 3 when a Neanderthal population turnover occurred in the Northern Caucasus.

News articles Stajnia Cave Poland