Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skeletons in cave reveal Mediterranean secrets

Date:
November 28, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Skeletal remains in an island cave in Favignana, Italy, reveal that modern humans first settled in Sicily around the time of the last ice age and despite living on Mediterranean islands, ate little seafood.

Location of Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites on the Ègadi Islands and in NW Sicily. These cave sites include: Grotta d’Oriente (1) and Grotta dell’Ucceria (2) on the island of Favignana; Grotta di Punta Capperi (3), Grotta di Cala dei Genovesi (3), Grotta Schiacciata (4) and Grotta di Cala Calcara (5) on the island of Levanzo; Grotta Maiorana (6), Riparo San Francesco (7), Grotta Martogna (8), Grotta Emiliana (9) and Grotta Maltese (9) on the mainland of Sicily.
Credit: Mannino et al. Origin and Diet of the Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers on the Mediterranean Island of Favignana (Ègadi Islands, Sicily). PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (11): e49802 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049802

Skeletal remains in an island cave in Favignana, Italy, reveal that modern humans first settled in Sicily around the time of the last ice age and despite living on Mediterranean islands, ate little seafood. The research is published November 28 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marcello Mannino and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany.

Related Articles


Genetic analysis of the bones discovered in caves on the Egadi islands provides some of the first mitochondrial DNA data available for early humans from the Mediterranean region, a crucial piece of evidence in ancestry analysis. This analysis reveals the time when modern humans reached these islands. Mannino says, "The definitive peopling of Sicily by modern humans only occurred at the peak of the last ice age, around 19,000 -26,500 years ago, when sea levels were low enough to expose a land bridge between the island and the Italian peninsula."

The authors also analyzed the chemical composition of the human remains and found that these early settlers retained their hunter-gatherer lifestyles, relying on terrestrial animals rather than marine sources for meat. According to the study, despite living on islands during a time when sea level rise was rapid enough to change within a single human lifetime, these early settlers appear to have made little use of the marine resources available to them. The authors conclude, "These findings have crucial implications for studies of the role of seafood in the diet of Mediterranean hunter-gatherers."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marcello A. Mannino, Giulio Catalano, Sahra Talamo, Giovanni Mannino, Rosaria Di Salvo, Vittoria Schimmenti, Carles Lalueza-Fox, Andrea Messina, Daria Petruso, David Caramelli, Michael P. Richards, Luca Sineo. Origin and Diet of the Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers on the Mediterranean Island of Favignana (Ègadi Islands, Sicily). PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (11): e49802 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049802

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Skeletons in cave reveal Mediterranean secrets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128182945.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, November 28). Skeletons in cave reveal Mediterranean secrets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128182945.htm
Public Library of Science. "Skeletons in cave reveal Mediterranean secrets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121128182945.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What An Ancient Jawbone Could Tell Us About Human Evolution

What An Ancient Jawbone Could Tell Us About Human Evolution

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) — A 2.8 million-year-old jawbone could represent the most ancient member of our genus ever discovered. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

AP (Mar. 5, 2015) — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its iconic elephant acts. The circus&apos; parent company, Feld Entertainment, told the AP exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018 over growing public concern about the animals. (March 5) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Billionaire Paul Allen and Team Find Sunken Japanese Warship Off Philippines

Billionaire Paul Allen and Team Find Sunken Japanese Warship Off Philippines

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 4, 2015) — A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen finds a sunken Japanese World War 2 warship off the coast of the Philippines. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Long-Lost Ship Found? Microsoft Co-Founder Uncovers Wreckage

Long-Lost Ship Found? Microsoft Co-Founder Uncovers Wreckage

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has discovered the wreckage of the battleship Musashi in the central Philippines. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins