Re: Italian Hn dived for shellfish


The most recent Neanderthal lithic tradition in Italy has been reassigned to EEMH based upon human fossils. In many parts of Italy the Mousterian and / or Achuelian never happened with other lithic traditions in their place. Usually there is no fossil evidence associated with lithic traditions in Italy. It is likely at least some of the “neanderthals” who were more actively diving were early modern humans or EEMH not neanderthals.


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From: Marc Verhaegen
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2022 7:45 AM
Subject: [AAT] Italian Hn dived for shellfish


Neandertals on the beach:

Use of marine resources at Grotta dei Moscerini (Latium, Italy)

Paola Villa  cs 2020  PLoS One  15:e0226690

doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0226690.


Excavated in 1949, Grotta dei Moscerini (MIS-5 to early MIS-4) is 1 of 2

Italian Hn sites with a large assemblage of  retouched shells (n=171)

from 21 layers.

The other occurrence is from  the broadly contemporaneous layer L of

Grotta del Cavallo, S-Italy (n=126).

8 other Mousterian sites in Italy & 1in Greece  also have shell tools,

but in a very small number.

The shell tools are  made on valves of the smooth clam Callista chione.


The general idea that  the valves of Callista chione were collected by

Hn on the  beach after the death of the mollusk is incomplete.

At Moscerini, 23.9 %  of the spms were gathered directly from the

sea-floor, as live  animals by skin diving Hn.

Archaeological data from sites in  Italy, France & Spain confirm that

shell-fishing & fresh-water fishing was a common Hn activity, as

indicated by anatomical  studies recently published by E.Trinkaus.

Lithic analysis provides data to show the relation between stone tools &

shell tools.

Several  layers contain pumices derived from volcanic eruptions in the

Ischia  Island or the Campi Flegrei (prior to the Campanian Ignimbrite


Their rounded edges indicate:

they were transported  by sea-currents to the beach at the base of the

Moscerini sequence.


Their presence in the occupation layers above the beach is discussed.

The most plausible hypothesis is that they were collected by  Hn.

Incontrovertible evidence that Hn collected  pumices is provided by a

cave in Liguria.

Use of pumices as abraders is  well documented in the Upper Paleolithic.

We prove:

the exploitation  of submerged aquatic resources & the collection of

pumices common in  the UP were part of Hn behavior well before Hs

arrival in W-Europe.








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