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Titolo: The colonization of Sardinia and Sicily by anatomically modern humans and not by swimming terrestrial mammals: new data for answering old questions
Data di pubblicazione: 2015
Abstract: The time and mode of human dispersal onto Mediterranean islands is a hotly debated question. A multidisciplinary approach combining palaeogeographical reconstructions with biological and archeological evidence is of crucial importance to acquire information on island colonization by Homo sapiens during the Late Pleistocene. New evidence from Sicily and Sardinia demonstrates that, despite being present in the Italian peninsula at least from 43 ka BP, H.sapiens reached the two largest Mediterranean islands no earlier than the LGM. During the Late Pleistocene, a submerged Sill in the Strait of Messina connected Sicily to Europe. Geological, stratigraphic and oceanographic data suggest that the bridge emerged for at least 1,500 years between 21.5 and 20 ka cal BP. This hypothesis is supported by a radiocarbon date on an Equus hydruntinus specimen from San Teodoro cave 21 ka cal BP and archaeological data suggesting that H. sapiens did not arrive to Sicily much earlier than 17.5 ka cal BP. The Egadi Islands, off western Sicily, were not colonized before then either by humans or by terrestrial animals with poor swimming ability. The hypothesis of a Mid-Pleistocene dispersal on Sardinia by hominins is questionable. H. sapiens remains have been found in early Holocene deposits at Corbeddu cave and S Omu e S Orku respectively 8.7 and 8.5 ka BP, while further evidence is required to support the hypothesis of a presence during the LGM. A study of a human tooth from Dragonara cave, and a reappraisal of the geological-environmental context of this site provide fresh data for debate, confirming the presence of H. sapiens on the island when the minimum distance between Corsica and the mainland coasts of Italy was about 15 km. The palaeogeographic reconstruction allows us to evaluate the navigation exploits of Sardinian settlers, when hunter-gatherers were colonizing Sicily on foot.
Tipologia:4.2 Abstract in Atti di convegno

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