Main content area

Human behavior and Homo-mammal interactions at the first European peopling: new evidence from the Pirro Nord site (Apricena, Southern Italy)

Cheheb, Razika Chelli, Arzarello, Marta, Arnaud, Julie, Berto, Claudio, Cáceres, Isabel, Caracausi, Sandro, Colopi, Francesco, Daffara, Sara, Canini, Guido Montanari, Huguet, Rosa, Karambatsou, Theodora, Sala, Benedetto, Zambaldi, Maurizio, Berruti, Gabriele L. F.
Die Naturwissenschaften 2019 v.106 no.5-6 pp. 16
Hominidae, carnivores, fauna, fossils, human behavior, vertebrates, Italy
Recent functional and zooarchaeological studies conducted on the archeological finds of Pirro Nord (PN13) produced new, reliable data on early European hominid subsistence activities. The age of the site is estimated to be ~ 1.3–1.6 Ma, based on bio-chronological data, and the archeological excavation of the Pirro Nord 13 fissure led to the discovery of more than 300 lithic artifacts associated with thousands of vertebrate fossil remains of the final Villafranchian (Pirro Nord Faunal Unit). The analysis of the fossil faunal remains allowed for the identification of anthropogenic traces linked to the exploitation of different animal carcass (cut marks and intentional bone breakages). Use-wear traces were also observed on some flint artifacts and have been interpreted as the result of the exploitation of animal resources by early hominids and carnivores. It has not been possible to identify the type of access that hominins developed on the carcasses, although it has been established that the hominins competed with carnivores for animal resources. The stone tools and faunal remains with anthropogenic traces recovered in the PN13 fissure represent among the earliest evidence of hominin faunal exploitation in Europe.