Luca Sineo, Vincenza Forgia, Daria Petruso

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ABSTRACTThe early human peopling of Sicily and Western Mediterranean shores is one of the debated topic in the archaeological and anthropological literature over the twentieth century. This discussion involves not only the specific issue of the peopling of the continental island, but fundamentally the reconstruction of human migration routes and dispersals across the Mediterranean area during Early and Middle Pleistocene. Even if the common route of faunal and human movement is considered from North, and relative to the Messina strait crossing, several authors, on the base of archaeological evidences, hypothesized an early peopling and an African provenance through the Sicilian Channel. This hypothesis has been mostly rejected even if diverse palaeontological and especially archaeological findings of Modus 1 and 2 artifacts from SouthernSicily renewed the attention to this issue. However most Sicilian archaeological evidences are spotty and frequently dubitative, as they lack of stratigraphic context. Direct anthropological data are scarce and relative only to the Upper Palaeolithic and indicate a H. sapiens migration from Italian mainland.Nevertheless, palaeontological and palaeogeographic data do not exclude the possibility of a Middle Pleistocene human peopling at least.Our different research fields helped us to face the problem through diverse perspectives, on the main intent of a critical revision of all the available data from palaeontology, archaeology, palaeogeography and physical anthropology.We propose a critic discussion of the industrial evidences, the georeference of lithic and faunal retrieval sites during Early and Middle Pleistocene and a tentative palaeogeographic reconstruction of Middle Pleistocene coastal lines of Sicily on the base of the georeferred sites. Furthermore, using cranial morphometry in a wide comparative analysis between Upper Palaeolithic Sicilian, European and African samples, we indicate the probable population relationship in Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic transition periods. Our results do not exclude the possibility of several sporadic human peopling related to the Messina Strait accessibility since the Middle Pleistocene. A pulsating trend ofdispersal and extinction characterized humans in Sicily at least until Mesolithic transition.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteQUATERNARY PERIOD
Numero di pagine43
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015


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