256 results match your criteria archaeological sediments


The geographic distribution of bioavailable strontium isotopes in Greece - A base for provenance studies in archaeology.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 4;791:148156. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Department of Research, Collections and Conservation, Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science, National Museum of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby DK 2800, Denmark. Electronic address:

Sr isotopes are a powerful tool used to reconstruct human mobility in archaeology. This requires extensive bioavailable Sr/Sr baselines used as reference for deciphering potential areas of origin. We define the first extensive bioavailable Sr isotope baselines for the different geographical regions and surface lithologies of Greece by combining new Sr data with previously published bioavailable Sr/Sr data. Read More

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A Roman provincial city and its contamination legacy from artisanal and daily-life activities.

PLoS One 2021 9;16(6):e0251923. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom.

Roman metal use and related extraction activities resulted in heavy metal pollution and contamination, in particular of Pb near ancient mines and harbors, as well as producing a global atmospheric impact. New evidence from ancient Gerasa (Jerash), Jordan, suggests that small-scale but intense Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad period urban, artisanal, and everyday site activities contributed to substantial heavy metal contamination of the city and its hinterland wadi, even though no metal mining took place and hardly any lead water pipes were used. Distribution of heavy metal contaminants, especially Pb, observed in the urban soils and sediments within this ancient city and its hinterland wadi resulted from aeolian, fluvial, cultural and post-depositional processes. Read More

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Using charcoal, ATR FTIR and chemometrics to model the intensity of pyrolysis: Exploratory steps towards characterising fire events.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Aug 13;783:147052. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

School of Chemistry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

This study describes a multivariate statistical model (derived using partial least squares regression, PLS-R) that derives charring intensity (reaction temperature and duration) from the attenuated total reflectance (ATR) Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectra of charcoal. Data for the model was obtained from a library of charcoal samples produced under laboratory conditions at charring intensities (CI) relevant to wildfires and a series of feedstocks representing common tree species collected from Australia. The PLS-R model developed reveals the potential of FTIR to determine the charring intensity of charcoal. Read More

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Ancient DNA, lipid biomarkers and palaeoecological evidence reveals construction and life on early medieval lake settlements.

Sci Rep 2021 Jun 3;11(1):11807. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

Tromsø Museum, Artic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway.

Direct evidence of ancient human occupation is typically established through archaeological excavation. Excavations are costly and destructive, and practically impossible in some lake and wetland environments. We present here an alternative approach, providing direct evidence from lake sediments using DNA metabarcoding, steroid lipid biomarkers (bile acids) and from traditional environmental analyses. Read More

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Identifying anthropogenic features at Seoke (Botswana) using pXRF: Expanding the record of southern African Stone Walled Sites.

PLoS One 2021 12;16(5):e0250776. Epub 2021 May 12.

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Numerous and extensive 'Stone Walled Sites' have been identified in southern African Iron Age landscapes. Appearing from around 1200 CE, and showing considerable variability in size and form, these settlements are named after the dry-stone wall structures that characterize them. Stone Walled Sites were occupied by various Bantu-speaking agropastoral communities. Read More

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Iron species determination by high performance liquid chromatography with plasma based optical emission detectors: HPLC-MIP OES and HPLC-ICP OES.

Talanta 2021 Aug 9;231:122403. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Adam Mickiewicz University, Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 8, 61-614, Poznań, Poland. Electronic address:

The paper presents an independent application of two hyphenated techniques, wherein an identical chromatographic system i.e. high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was coupled to microwave induced plasma optical emission spectrometry (MIP OES) or inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES). Read More

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Unearthing Neanderthal population history using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from cave sediments.

Science 2021 05 15;372(6542). Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Department of Evolutionary Genetics, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.

Bones and teeth are important sources of Pleistocene hominin DNA, but are rarely recovered at archaeological sites. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been retrieved from cave sediments but provides limited value for studying population relationships. We therefore developed methods for the enrichment and analysis of nuclear DNA from sediments and applied them to cave deposits in western Europe and southern Siberia dated to between 200,000 and 50,000 years ago. Read More

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Unveiling an odd fate after death: The isolated Eneolithic cranium discovered in the Marcel Loubens Cave (Bologna, Northern Italy).

PLoS One 2021 3;16(3):e0247306. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum-University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

An isolated human cranium, dated to the early Eneolithic period, was discovered in 2015 at the top of a vertical shaft in the natural Marcel Loubens gypsum Cave (Bologna area, northern Italy). No other anthropological or archaeological remains were found inside the cave. In other caves of the same area anthropic and funerary use are attested from prehistory to more recent periods. Read More

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Mapping of spatial variations in Sr isotope signatures (Sr/Sr) in Poland - Implications of anthropogenic Sr contamination for archaeological provenance and migration research.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 12;775:145792. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Isotope Research Unit, Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. B. Krygowskiego 10, 61-680 Poznań, Poland. Electronic address:

This study presents first isoscape maps of strontium isotope signatures and their spatial variation in Poland, based on ~900 samples of rocks, sediments, surface water, and flora. This dataset is supplemented by Sr/Sr ratios predicted for several carbonate rock units. High, radiogenic Sr isotope ratios (>0. Read More

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Ancient DNA and multimethod dating confirm the late arrival of anatomically modern humans in southern China.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Feb;118(8)

School of Life Sciences & Institute of Archaeological Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China;

The expansion of anatomically modern humans (AMHs) from Africa around 65,000 to 45,000 y ago (ca. 65 to 45 ka) led to the establishment of present-day non-African populations. Some paleoanthropologists have argued that fossil discoveries from Huanglong, Zhiren, Luna, and Fuyan caves in southern China indicate one or more prior dispersals, perhaps as early as ca. Read More

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February 2021

Components of a Neanderthal gut microbiome recovered from fecal sediments from El Salt.

Commun Biol 2021 Feb 5;4(1):169. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Unit of Microbiome Science and Biotechnology, Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, University of Bologna, Via Belmeloro 6, Bologna, Italy.

A comprehensive view of our evolutionary history cannot ignore the ancestral features of our gut microbiota. To provide some glimpse into the past, we searched for human gut microbiome components in ancient DNA from 14 archeological sediments spanning four stratigraphic units of El Salt Middle Paleolithic site (Spain), including layers of unit X, which has yielded well-preserved Neanderthal occupation deposits dating around 50 kya. According to our findings, bacterial genera belonging to families known to be part of the modern human gut microbiome are abundantly represented only across unit X samples, showing that well-known beneficial gut commensals, such as Blautia, Dorea, Roseburia, Ruminococcus, Faecalibacterium and Bifidobacterium already populated the intestinal microbiome of Homo since as far back as the last common ancestor between humans and Neanderthals. Read More

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February 2021

Multi-mode Sample Introduction System (MSIS) as an interface in the hyphenated system 2 HPLC-MSIS-ICP-OES in simultaneous determination of metals and metalloids species.

Anal Chim Acta 2021 Feb 27;1147:1-14. Epub 2020 Dec 27.

Adam Mickiewicz University, Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Uniwersytetu Poznańskiego 8, 61-614, Poznań, Poland. Electronic address:

The paper presents a usage of a new hyphenated technique, wherein a Multi-mode Sample Introduction System (MSIS) was applied as an interface of two high pressure liquid chromatography units and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (2 HPLC-MSIS-ICP-OES). Simultaneous separation and detection of non-hydride forming and hydride forming elements was possible due to the application of two different HPLC column, cation-exchange and anion-exchange respectively. The method was able to determine 15 elements quantitatively with a distinction of three arsenic and two iron species and it was validated obtaining acceptable LODs (2. Read More

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February 2021

Detection of Vibrio cholerae aDNA in human burials from the fifth cholera pandemic in Argentina (1886-1887 AD).

Int J Paleopathol 2021 Mar 13;32:74-79. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Instituto de Antropología de Córdoba (IDACOR), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Departamento de Antropología, Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Córdoba, Argentina. Electronic address:

Objective: Detecting traces of ancient DNA of Vibrio cholerae to provide genetic information associated with the fifth cholera pandemic.

Materials: Sediment samples from the sacral foramina of four individuals were analyzed, recovered from a mass grave near an institution dedicated exclusively to the isolation and treatment of citizens infected with cholera in the late 19th century in the city of Cordoba, Argentina.

Methods: Paleogenetic techniques (ancient DNA extraction, PCR amplification, and Sanger sequencing) were applied. Read More

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Reconstructing Late Pleistocene paleoclimate at the scale of human behavior: an example from the Neandertal occupation of La Ferrassie (France).

Sci Rep 2021 Jan 14;11(1):1419. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Human Evolution, Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.

Exploring the role of changing climates in human evolution is currently impeded by a scarcity of climatic information at the same temporal scale as the human behaviors documented in archaeological sites. This is mainly caused by high uncertainties in the chronometric dates used to correlate long-term climatic records with archaeological deposits. One solution is to generate climatic data directly from archaeological materials representing human behavior. Read More

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January 2021

A Neolithic mega-tsunami event in the eastern Mediterranean: Prehistoric settlement vulnerability along the Carmel coast, Israel.

PLoS One 2020 23;15(12):e0243619. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Department of Anthropology, Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology, University of California, San Diego, California, United States of America.

Tsunami events in antiquity had a profound influence on coastal societies. Six thousand years of historical records and geological data show that tsunamis are a common phenomenon affecting the eastern Mediterranean coastline. However, the possible impact of older tsunamis on prehistoric societies has not been investigated. Read More

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February 2021

Early anthropogenic use of hematite on Aurignacian ivory personal ornaments from Hohle Fels and Vogelherd caves, Germany.

J Hum Evol 2021 Jan 28;150:102900. Epub 2020 Nov 28.

Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, Schloss Hohentübingen, 72070, Tübingen, Germany; Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

The Aurignacian (ca. 43-35 ka) of southwestern Germany is well known for yielding some of the oldest artifacts related to symbolic behaviors, including examples of figurative art, musical instruments, and personal ornaments. Another aspect of these behaviors is the presence of numerous pieces of iron oxide (ocher); however, these are comparatively understudied, likely owing to the lack of painted artifacts from this region and time period. Read More

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January 2021

Dataset on the deposits of the semi-circular rampart around the former Viking settlement Hedeby and its vicinity.

Data Brief 2020 Dec 4;33:106493. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Institute for Ecosystem Research, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Olshausenstrasse 75, Kiel 24118, Germany.

Soils and sediments are able to preserve traces of human activity in the form of morphological, geochemical and geophysical properties of materials. Thanks to that the study of these materials may provide valuable information about the formation and functioning of archaeological sites. Materials transported for earthwork construction and their configuration preserve important information on the past landscape development, the anthropogenic transformation of the landscape as well as the process of the fortification formation. Read More

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December 2020

Denisovan DNA in Late Pleistocene sediments from Baishiya Karst Cave on the Tibetan Plateau.

Science 2020 10;370(6516):584-587

Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CAS, Beijing 100044, China.

A late Middle Pleistocene mandible from Baishiya Karst Cave (BKC) on the Tibetan Plateau has been inferred to be from a Denisovan, an Asian hominin related to Neanderthals, on the basis of an amino acid substitution in its collagen. Here we describe the stratigraphy, chronology, and mitochondrial DNA extracted from the sediments in BKC. We recover Denisovan mitochondrial DNA from sediments deposited ~100 thousand and ~60 thousand years ago (ka) and possibly as recently as ~45 ka. Read More

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October 2020

Site formation processes at Manot Cave, Israel: Interplay between strata accumulation in the occupation area and the talus.

J Hum Evol 2020 Oct 15:102883. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel.

Manot Cave contains important human fossils and archaeological assemblages related to the origin and dispersal of anatomically modern humans and the Upper Paleolithic period. This record is divided between an elevated in situ occupation area and a connecting talus. We, thus, investigated the interplay between the accumulation of the sediments and their associated artifacts in the occupation areas and the translocation of part of these sediments and artifacts down the talus. Read More

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October 2020

Byzantine-Early Islamic resource management detected through micro-geoarchaeological investigations of trash mounds (Negev, Israel).

PLoS One 2020 14;15(10):e0239227. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Laboratory for Sedimentary Archaeology, Department of Maritime Civilizations, Recanati Institute of Maritime Studies, Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel.

Sustainable resource management is of central importance among agrarian societies in marginal drylands. In the Negev Desert, Israel, research on agropastoral resource management during Late Antiquity emphasizes intramural settlement contexts and landscape features. The importance of hinterland trash deposits as diachronic archives of resource use and disposal has been overlooked until recently. Read More

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November 2020

Al-Ansab and the Dead Sea: Mid-MIS 3 archaeology and environment of the early Ahmarian population of the Levantine corridor.

PLoS One 2020 13;15(10):e0239968. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Our field data from the Upper Palaeolithic site of Al-Ansab 1 (Jordan) and from a pollen sequence in the Dead Sea elucidate the role that changing Steppe landscapes played in facilitating anatomically modern human populations to enter a major expansion and consolidation phase, known as the "Early Ahmarian", several millennia subsequent to their initial Marine Isotope Stage 4/3 migration from Africa, into the Middle East. The Early Ahmarian techno-cultural unit covers a time range between 45 ka-37 ka BP. With so far more than 50 sites found, the Early Ahmarian is the first fully Upper Palaeolithic techno-cultural unit exclusively and undisputedly related to anatomically modern human populations. Read More

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November 2020

Automontage microscopy and SEM: A combined approach for documenting ancient lice.

Micron 2020 12 23;139:102931. Epub 2020 Aug 23.

Student Success Center, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Surbeck 143, Rapid City, SD 57701, USA. Electronic address:

Human ectoparasites, including lice, have been recovered from a wide range of archaeological materials. The human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, has been identified from mummies and sediments for decades. Louse eggs are the body part most commonly encountered and therefore the most frequently quantified. Read More

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December 2020

Phytoliths in selected broad-leaved trees in China.

Sci Rep 2020 09 23;10(1):15577. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100044, China.

Broad-leaved trees are widely distributed from tropical to temperate zones in China, reference collections of phytoliths from these taxa are crucial for the precise reconstruction of paleoenvironments and the study of early plant resource exploitation. However, not much has been published on the phytoliths produced by modern broad-leaved trees. In this study, we collected samples of 110 species that cover the common species distributed in Northern and Southern China, and extracted phytoliths from leaves, twigs and fruits, in order to investigate the phytoliths types and production in these species. Read More

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September 2020

Coupling spectral imaging and laboratory analyses to digitally map sediment parameters and stratigraphic layers in Yeha, Ethiopia.

PLoS One 2020 11;15(9):e0238894. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Institute of Geographical Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Quantitative analyses of soil and sediment samples are often used to complement stratigraphic interpretations in archaeological and geoscientific research. The outcome of such analyses often is confined to small parts of the examined profiles as only a limited number of samples can be extracted and processed. Recent laboratory studies show that such selectively measured soil and sediment characteristics can be spatially extrapolated using spectral image data, resulting in reliable maps of a variety of parameters. Read More

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November 2020

Abundance and morphology of charcoal in sediments provide no evidence of massive slash-and-burn agriculture during the Neolithic Kuahuqiao culture, China.

PLoS One 2020 19;15(8):e0237592. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Yunnan Key Laboratory of Earth System Science, School of Resource, Environment and Earth Science, Yunnan University, Chenggong District, Kunming, China.

It remains debatable whether slash-and-burn practices were adopted in rice cultivation by the Neolithic Kuahuqiao culture in the Ningshao Plain, one of the birthplaces of rice farming. Here, we established charcoal-based indices to reconstruct the history of fire and vegetation in the Ningshao Plain since the last glacial period. We collected representative modern vegetation and conducted combustion and fragmentation experiments to simulate fire and depositional processes, respectively. Read More

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October 2020

Leaf Wax Lipid Extraction for Archaeological Applications.

Curr Protoc Plant Biol 2020 09;5(3):e20114

Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany.

Plant wax lipid molecules, chiefly normal (n-) alkanes and n-alkanoic acids, are frequently used as proxies for understanding paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic change. These are regularly analyzed from marine and lake sediments and even more frequently in archaeological contexts, enabling the reconstruction of past environments in direct association with records of past human behavior. Carbon and hydrogen isotope measurements of these compounds are used to trace plant type and water-use efficiency, relative paleotemperature, precipitation, evapotranspiration of leaf and soil moisture, and other physiological and ecological parameters. Read More

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September 2020

One man's trash is another man's treasure. Interdisciplinary examination of taphonomic aspects of ceramic sherds, animal bones and sediments from the La Tène period settlement at Basel-Gasfabrik.

PLoS One 2020 27;15(7):e0236272. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Archaeological Service of Canton Basel-Stadt, Basel, Switzerland.

As part of an interdisciplinary research project on the Late La Tène period settlement at Basel-Gasfabrik, ceramic sherds, animal bones and archaeological sediments from different archaeological structures (one large pit, two ditches and four archaeological layers) were examined in respect of 21 taphonomic features (proxies). These proxies, in turn, were linked to different processes that can leave traces on objects or sediments: primary use, mechanical stress, heat impact, water, redeposition, exposure, covering and postdepositional processes. The different proxies were compared using a statistical procedure. Read More

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September 2020

A view of the Lower to Middle Paleolithic boundary from Northern France, far from the Near East?

J Hum Evol 2020 08 13;145:102814. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

CNRS-UMR7041 ArScAn, Équipe AnTET (Anthropologie des Techniques, des Espaces et des Territoires au Pliocène et au Pléistocène), MSH Mondes, Université Paris Nanterre, 21 Allée de l'Université, Nanterre Cedex, 93023, France.

Northern France and the Near East play and have played a central role in the debate around the Lower Paleolithic (LP) to Middle Paleolithic (MP) boundary. In the early 1990s, the renewed Saalian record for Northern France began to outline a mosaic model of the LP-to-MP transition-mainly based on Tuffreau's works. It implied the coexistence of Upper Acheulean assemblages (numerous bifaces with few standardized retouched flakes), 'Epi-Acheulean' assemblages (rare bifaces and diversified retouched flakes), and Mousterian assemblages (Levalloisian industries) during the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 8-6 period. Read More

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Issues of theory and method in the analysis of Paleolithic mortuary behavior: A view from Shanidar Cave.

Evol Anthropol 2020 Sep 11;29(5):263-279. Epub 2020 Jul 11.

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Mortuary behavior (activities concerning dead conspecifics) is one of many traits that were previously widely considered to have been uniquely human, but on which perspectives have changed markedly in recent years. Theoretical approaches to hominin mortuary activity and its evolution have undergone major revision, and advances in diverse archeological and paleoanthropological methods have brought new ways of identifying behaviors such as intentional burial. Despite these advances, debates concerning the nature of hominin mortuary activity, particularly among the Neanderthals, rely heavily on the rereading of old excavations as new finds are relatively rare, limiting the extent to which such debates can benefit from advances in the field. Read More

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September 2020

Pitted stones in the Acheulean from Olduvai Gorge Beds III and IV (Tanzania): A use-wear and 3D approach.

J Hum Evol 2020 08 8;145:102837. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Instituto de Historia, CSIC, Albasanz 26-28, Madrid, 28037, Spain.

The archaeological sequence of Olduvai Gorge Beds III and IV is essential for the study of the evolution of the African Acheulean between ∼1.3 Ma and 0.6 Ma. Read More

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