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Delfino M.,University of Turin | Delfino M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Rossi M.A.,Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dellAbruzzo
Geobios | Year: 2013

New fossil remains from the Tortonian of Scontrone (Abruzzo, Southern Italy) provide further information on crocodylids with a generalized rostral morphology that inhabited the Mediterranean area during the late Miocene. Particularly informative is the nearly complete right dentary SCT 276. Thanks to the fact that the third and fourth alveoli are clearly separated by a bony septum and are markedly different in size, the fourth being much larger than the third, it is possible to exclude that SCT 276 belonged to the alligatoroid Diplocynodon and to tentatively refer it to cf. Crocodylus sp. This genus has been previously identified on a phylogenetic basis in the same Apulo-Abruzzi palaeobioprovince (Gargano Terre Rosse, Messinian-Zanclean, Crocodylus sp.), and it is likely present also in the Tusco-Sardinian palaeobioprovince (Monte Bamboli, Tortonian, cf. Crocodylus sp.). SCT 276 currently represents the oldest possible evidence of the presence of Crocodylus; it proves that this taxon could have already reached Europe during the Tortonian, well before the Messinian Salinity Crisis that is traditionally considered as the event that caused several trans-Mediterranean dispersals. Furthermore, it is tempting to associate the absence of alligatoroids and the presence of crocodylids in these palaeobioprovinces (actually systems of islands) to the different behavioural, morphological and physiological traits of extant alligatorids and crocodylids, which render rather salt-intolerant the former and salt-tolerant the latter. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. Source

Galadini F.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Ceccaroni E.,Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dellAbruzzo | Falcucci E.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology
Bollettino di Geofisica Teorica ed Applicata | Year: 2010

Paleoseimological investigations in the 1990s identified a surface faulting event in the Fucino Plain (central Italy) related to the 5th-6 th century AD. This event originated along the same seismogenic source responsible for the 1915 earthquake (Mw 7.0) that caused damage over a vast region, including Rome. This earthquake was associated to the one that was responsible for damage to the Colosseum in Rome, just before 484 AD or 508 AD. Considering that this event was energetic enough to create surface faulting, significant effects would be expected on the settlements of the 5th-6th century AD. In modern archaeological publications, the destruction of Alba Fucens in the north-western sector of the Fucino area has been related to the effects of a destructive earthquake that occurred during the Late Antiquity. Archaeological evidence on the effects of the earthquake is mostly made up of collapsed layers including columns, statues, coins and other materials and layers formed by burnt remains (mainly parts of the wooden structures of the buildings). However, this Late Antique earthquake has been attributed to the 4th century AD in archaeological literature. With this discrepancy in mind, we have carried out a study of the archaeological sources and have collected new archaeological data, in order to cast light on this chronological problem. The review of the published and unpublished archaeological information regarding the excavations carried out at Alba Fucens between 1949 and 1979, plus the data collected at new excavations that have been going on since 2004 at different sites in the Fucino basin, suggest that the destruction of Alba Fucens and other towns and settlements of the region occurred later than assumed in archaeological literature. On the whole, the gathered data are consistent with the published paleoseismological information, and suggest that this destruction occurred during the 5th-6th century AD. Although the processing of the data concerning the archaeological investigations at Alba Fucens in 2 06-2008 is still ongoing, the current, most plausible hypothesis at present, is that the 484-508 AD earthquake was probably responsible for the destruction of Alba Fucens. © 2010 - OGS. Source

Palombo M.R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Palombo M.R.,CNR Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering | Mussi M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Agostini S.,Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dellAbruzzo | And 7 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2010

Multidisciplinary investigations at Pagliare di Sassa (L'Aquila, central Italy) suggest that the local succession accumulated from the late Early to the early Middle Pleistocene in a lacustrine environment. In the upper part, clastic sediments are part of an alluvial fan prograding into the lake, grading to a braided fluvial system. The pollen record confirms that a significant glacial phase occurred just before the onset of the Jaramillo inversion. These data, coupled with evidence from the nearby but earlier Madonna della Strada sequence, allow reconstruction of part of the environmental evolution of L'Aquila basin before the Jaramillo Subchron. The mammal species of Pagliare di Sassa include Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis, mostly of open environments, already present at Madonna della Strada. The faunal turnover characterizing the Early to Middle Pleistocene transition is indicated by the appearances of taxa typical of the Italian early to middle Galerian faunas, such as Praemegaceros verticornis, together with Megaloceros savini. The occurrence of Mimomys savini together with Microtus ex gr. Microtus hintoni-gregaloides suggests that this assemblage is earlier than the Isernia La Pineta fauna. A flint implement and a fragmentary herbivore femur with impact scars probably linked to human activity give evidence of the human peopling of intramontane basins of the Apennine chain since the early Middle Pleistocene. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Nicoud E.,Ecole francaise de Rome | Aureli D.,University of Siena | Pagli M.,UMR 7041 ArScAn AnTET | Villa V.,Ecole francaise de Rome | And 23 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Valle Giumentina is a Pleistocene open-air site in Central Italy (Abruzzo). Nine archaeological layers occur in the last 25 m of a 70 m thick sedimentary sequence. In the 1950s, the various archaeological layers were attributed to the Clactonian, Acheulian and Levalloisian traditions. Recent multidisciplinary fieldwork and studies (2012-2016) acquired new archaeological, chronostratigraphical and paleoenvironmental data. This contribution presents the preliminary results of the ongoing excavation of layer 42-ALB. This is a paleosol located at 4 m depth, at the top of a lacustrine deposit directly below the coarse deposits associated with the last major erosive event. Faunal remains consisted essentially by Cervus elaphus. The lithic series is characterized by a specific flake production system: only a part of the block is reduced, and platforms and surfaces are not prepared. Several methods are used, including the SSDA (système par surfaces de débitage alternées). Backed flakes are frequent. Numerous blanks are transformed by intensive or marginal retouch. Functional objectives are multiple, as shown by different tool structures and use-wear traces. Valle Giumentina 42-ALB is a butchery site used briefly but frequently during warmer substages occurring during an overall cold period. The "Clactonian" industry of Valle Giumentina is often considered as simple or expedient: we demonstrate its real technical complexity and its functional significance. Comparisons are made with other European sites. © 2015. Source

Agostini S.,Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dellAbruzzo | Palombo M.R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Palombo M.R.,CNR Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering | Rossi M.A.,Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dellAbruzzo | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2012

In the summer of 2009, four molars and two tusks, of a single individual of Mammuthus meridionalis, (a female, 28-30 year old) were discovered at Campo di Pile (L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Central Italy) in fluvial beach sediments of a depositional unit dated to the late Early Pleistocene. A new fragmentary tusk of a second individual has been recently discovered not far from the former. The morphology and dimensions of the penultimate molariform teeth fall within the range of variation of the Upper Valdarno specimens. The enamel pattern is consistent with that commonly found in M. meridionalis. Moreover, the relative thickness of the layers indicates a less advanced Mammuthus representative. In the L'Aquila Basin, at Madonna della Strada-Scoppito, a complete skeleton of M. meridionalis was found in sediments dating to the pre-Jaramillo Early Pleistocene, while some other isolated remains have been recorded at Rocca Santo Stefano and Colle Mancino. During the early Middle Pleistocene, Mammuthus (? Mammuthus trogontherii) and Palaeoloxodon co-occurred in the faunal assemblage of Pagliare di Sassa. Based on stratigraphic evidence, the Campo di Pile findings seem to be intermediate in age between the Madonna della Strada and the Pagliare di Sassa specimens. Ongoing research on the Campo di Pile site contributes to enhancement of knowledge of the Quaternary fauna and paleoenvironmental evolution of the L'Aquila Basin. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

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