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J Hum Evol. 2014 Mar;68:1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.12.007. Epub 2014 Feb 7.

On the chronology of the Uluzzian.

Author information

1
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, OX1 3QY Oxford, United Kingdom. Electronic address: katerina.douka@rlaha.ox.ac.uk.
2
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, OX1 3QY Oxford, United Kingdom.
3
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, OX1 3QY Oxford, United Kingdom; Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Australia. Electronic address: rachel.wood@anu.edu.au.
4
Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell'Ambiente, U.R. Preistoria e Antropologia, Università degli Studi di Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. Electronic address: paolo.boscato@unisi.it.
5
Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell'Ambiente, U.R. Preistoria e Antropologia, Università degli Studi di Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy.
6
Ephoreia of Palaeoanthropology-Speleology of Southern Greece, Ardittou 34b, 11636 Athens, Greece. Electronic address: pkarkanas@hua.gr.
7
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Sezione di Scienze Preistoriche e Protostoriche, Università di Ferrara, Corso Ercole I d'Este 32, I-44100 Ferrara, Italy. Electronic address: psm@unife.it.
8
Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell'Ambiente, U.R. Preistoria e Antropologia, Università degli Studi di Siena, Via Laterina 8, 53100 Siena, Italy. Electronic address: annamaria.ronchitelli@unisi.it.

Abstract

The Uluzzian, one of Europe's 'transitional' technocomplexes, has gained particular significance over the past three years when the only human remains associated with it were attributed to modern humans, instead of Neanderthals as previously thought. The position of the Uluzzian at stratified sequences, always overlying late Mousterian layers and underlying early Upper Palaeolithic ones, highlights its significance in understanding the passage from the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic, as well as the replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans in southeastern Mediterranean Europe. Despite several studies investigating aspects of its lithic techno-typology, taxonomy and material culture, the Uluzzian chronology has remained extremely poorly-known, based on a handful of dubious chronometric determinations. Here we aim to elucidate the chronological aspect of the technocomplex by presenting an integrated synthesis of new radiocarbon results and a Bayesian statistical approach from four stratified Uluzzian cave sequences in Italy and Greece (Cavallo, Fumane, Castelcivita and Klissoura 1). In addition to building a reliable chronological framework for the Uluzzian, we examine its appearance, tempo-spatial spread and correlation to previous and later Palaeolithic assemblages (Mousterian, Protoaurignacian) at the relevant regions. We conclude that the Uluzzian arrived in Italy and Greece shortly before 45,000 years ago and its final stages are placed at ∼39,500 years ago, its end synchronous (if not slightly earlier) with the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption.

KEYWORDS:

Greece; Italy; Modern humans; Neanderthals; Radiocarbon dating

PMID:
24513033
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.12.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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