Marcello Mannino

Strontium isotope evidence for Neanderthal and modern human mobility at the upper and middle palaeolithic site of Fumane Cave (Italy)

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  • Michael P. Richards, Simon Fraser University, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • ,
  • Marcello A. Mannino
  • Klervia Jaouen, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, CNRS
  • ,
  • Alessandro Dozio, University of Ferrara
  • ,
  • Jean Jacques Hublin, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • ,
  • Marco Peresani, University of Bologna, CNR

To investigate the mobility patterns of Neanderthals and modern humans in Europe during the Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic transition period, we applied strontium isotope analysis to Neanderthal (n = 3) and modern human (n = 2) teeth recovered from the site of Fumane Cave in the Monti Lessini region of Northern Italy. We also measured a large number of environmental samples from the region, to establish a strontium 'baseline', and also micromammals (vole teeth) from the levels associated with the hominin teeth. We found that the modern humans and Neanderthals had similar strontium isotope values, and these values match the local baseline values we obtained for the site and the surrounding region. We conclude that both groups were utilizing the local mountainous region where Fumane Cave is situated, and likely the nearby Lessini highlands and Adige plains, and therefore the strontium evidence does not show differening mobility patterns between Neanderthals and modern humans at the Fumane site.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0254848
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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