New blogs

Leherensuge was replaced in October 2010 by two new blogs: For what they were... we are and For what we are... they will be. Check them out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Who made the Chatelperronian? And the Uluzzian?

I want here to mention
a notable post by Julien-Riel Salvatore at his always interesting blog (A Very Remote Period Indeed), In it he reviews a recent paper:

Ofer Bar-Yosef and Jean-Guillaume Bordes, Who were the makers of the Châtelperronian culture? Journal of Human Evolution, 2010. Pay per view.

The authors cast doubt on the attribution to H. neanderthalensis of the early Upper Paleolithic (aka "transitional") techno-culture known as Chatelperronian, hinting at the possibility that the Neanderthal skull found at Grotte du Renne may have been dug up from earlier Mousterian deposits when setting up the cave for habitation and dumped near the cave mouth. However their argument for the one found buried at St. Cesáire in a late Chatelperronian context as unrelated to the tool findings in the same layer is more difficult to defend (but it is still the only known Neanderthal secondary burial).

The post has also further interest because it includes free links to two of the latest papers of Prof. Riel-Salvatore on the MP-UP transition in Italy, which are a most interesting read. Intriguingly, it seems that the transitional period in the peninsula was characterized by the presence of two early UP industries in the North (Proto-Aurignacian) and in the South (Uluzzian) buffered by a Mousterian zone at the center. Riel-Salvatore also argues in one of them that Uluzzian shows no signs of "transition" from Mousterian but that is a new introduction in South Italy, just falling short, for lack of direct evidence, of attributing it to H. sapiens.

Among the various references at the bottom of the article, there is one which is freely accessible: Mellars 2005. As you may know Prof. Mellars has repeatedly argued for the attribution to H. sapiens of all or most so-called "transitional" industries (earliest UP) in Europe and thinks that there was some sort of cognitive or otherwise wide cultural gap between the two human species that favored Neanderthal extinction and its replacement by our species. In any case also an interesting read.

No comments: