Palaeolithic Italy

Palaeolithic Italy

Sidestone Press | English | 2018 | ISBN-10: 9088905843 | 375 Pages | PDF | 15.56 MB

by Valentina Borgia (Editor), Emanuela Cristiani (Editor)

The picture of the Palaeolithic adaptations in the Italian Peninsula has always been coarse-grained compared to various well-researched regional hotspots in central and western Europe, as a result of historical research bias preventing the application of new research methodologies. Nonetheless, discoveries regarding Neanderthal extinction and behavioral complexity, the dispersal of Anatomically Modern Humans as well as the origin and diffusion of modern technologies and symbolic behavior in Europe have brought Italy into focus as an ideal region for understanding the evolutionary development of various hominin species that inhabited the continent in the Late Pleistocene. In particular the dynamics of the earliest human peopling of Europe, the reasons and timing of Neanderthal's demise and how environmental factors affected human prehistoric behavior, rates of technological innovation and connectivity of hunter-gatherer groups in Europe.
The edited volume Palaeolithic Italy aims to contribute to our better understanding of the previous, still open, research questions. This will be achieved by presenting the latest advances in Palaeolithic research in Italy due to the application of a variety of modern analytical methods and cutting-edge techniques when studying numerous collections of materials from both old and new excavations as well as the latest results of field research in the country. The volume is intended for the international academia, representing a key reference for all archaeologists and readers interested in Early Prehistory of the Mediterranean region.

About the Author
Dr Valentina Borgia is a researcher affiliated to the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research (University of Cambridge). She received her PhD in Prehistory at the University of Siena (Italy). Her scientific background encompasses a range of topics that span from lithic and bone tools technology to Palaeolithic population subsistence economy and prehistoric art; nevertheless the study of hunting weapons has been the focal point of her research. In 2013 she was granted a Marie Curie Intra EF fellowship at the University of Cambridge to work on the operative chains of hunting weapons, and their importance as key factor in the dominance of Anatomically Modern Humans. Her approach to the complexity of prehistoric hunting strategies is multidisciplinary, and combines typological and technological data with functional and residues analysis. She has written numerous scientific papers and a condensed book of History for high school students. She has wide experience on outreach activities and has founded and directed the cultural association 'Silex' created to introduce children to Prehistory. Borgia, V., Boschin, F., & Ronchitelli, A. (2016). Bone and antler working at Grotta Paglicci (Rignano Garganico, Foggia, southern Italy). Quaternary International, 403, 23-39. Borgia, V., Carlin, M. G., & Crezzini, J. (2017). Poison, plants and Palaeolithic hunters. An analytical method to investigate the presence of plant poison on archaeological artefacts. Quaternary International, 427, 94-103.

Dr Emanuela Cristiani is an Associate Professor in Prehistory at Sapienza University of Rome and she is director of the Ancient Diet and Technology Laboratory at the Department of Oral and Maxillo Facial Sciences. She received her PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology at Sapienza University in 2010 and in the same year she became a Wenner Gren grantee. In 2011 she started a Marie Curie Intra European fellowship at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research (University of Cambridge) in order to study Mesolithic and Neolithic technological, functional and symbolic strategies related to the use of organic tools and ornaments in the Balkan region. In 2014 she was invited to become a fellow of the Italian Academy for Advance Studies in America (Columbia University in New York) where she investigated the emergence of symbolic behaviour in prehistoric human societies. In 2014 Dr Cristiani was awarded an ERC Starting grant for the project "HIDDEN FOODS. Plant foods in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic societies of south-eastern Europe and Italy". Dr Cristiani's special research interest is the study of forager societies of southern Europe and the characterization of their identities, cultural traditions and dietary strategies through the study of the techno-functional choices connected with the production and use of material culture (knapped and ground stone tools, osseous artefacts and ornaments). She is specialist of the use-wear and residue analysis on organic and inorganic artefacts. She published more than 40 articles in international peer-review journals such as PNAS, Journal of Human Evolution, Scientific Reports, Journal of Archaeological Sciences and Quaternary International. Cristiani, E., Radini, A., Edinborough, M., & Bori?, D. (2016). Dental calculus reveals Mesolithic foragers in the Balkans consumed domesticated plant foods. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(37), 10298-10303. Cristiani, E., & Bori?, D. (2016). Mesolithic harpoons from Odmut, Montenegro: Chronological, contextual, and techno-functional analyses. Quaternary International, 423, 166-192

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