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Nanterre, France

Aureli D.,University of Siena | Rocca R.,UMR 7041 ArScAn equipe AnTET | Lemorini C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Modesti V.,Museo Civico A. Klitsche De la Grange | And 6 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2016

The site of Ficoncella, in northern Latium (Italy), represents a great opportunity to investigate the modalities of a short occupation in a fluvial context during Lower Palaeolithic. From the results of radiometric dating, geological study and bio-chronological analyses, it emerged that the human occupation at the site, an ancient riverbank, occurred 0.5 Ma (MIS 13). This period can be considered as a key moment in the Lower Palaeolithic, with the first Acheulean, or mode 2 sites in Europe. The lithic assemblage of Ficoncella, without handaxes, is characterized by an overall small tool size, representing a very original reduction sequence and tool management. In order to investigate the human behaviour characterizing the site, we analyse the lithic industries, using a classical technological analysis, combined with a techno-functional approach and a use-wear analysis. The study of the lithic assemblage of Ficoncella may contribute to renew our image of the lithic industries without handaxes, too often ignored. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Aureli D.,University of Siena | Contardi A.,Museo Civico A. Klitsche De la Grange | Giaccio B.,CNR Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering | Jicha B.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

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 Palaeoloxodonand 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. © 2015 Aureli et al. Source

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