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New clues about the late Early Pleistocene peopling of western Europe: Small vertebrates from The Bois-de-Riquet archeo-paleontological site (Lézignan-La-Cèbe, southern France)

Abstract : The different archeostratigraphic units of the Bois-de-Riquet site (Lézignan-la-Cèbe, southern France) have yielded a range of stone tools in association with rich large-mammal assemblages. The oldest stone tools are from archeostratigraphic unit US2, which was initially dated to <1.57 Ma and with later, more detailed dating assigned to the interval between 1.4 and 1.1 Ma. This paper presents results from all small vertebrate fossil remains recovered from US2. The faunal list now comprises the arvicolines Allophaiomys nutiensis, Mimomys savini, Stenocranius gregaloides, Iberomys huescarensis and Terricola arvalidens, the murids Apodemus sylvaticus and Castillomys rivas, the hamster Allocricetus bursae, the toad Epidalea calamita, the snake Vipera sp. and an indeterminanble lizard (Lacertidae indet.). Based on the chronological ranges known to date, the arvicolinae species indicate that the age of US2 is between 1 and 0.9 Ma. This places this site among the southern European localities associated with the first arrivals of hominins in Europe, like Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain), Barranco León D and Fuente Nueva 3 (Spain), Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar (Spain), Barranc de la Boella (Spain), Vallaparadis (Spain), Le Vallonnet (France) and Pirro Nord (Italy). The fauna analysis allows us to reconstruct the paleoenvironment of the area surrounding the site during its formation and shows a dominance of open and humid meadow landscape, with scarce areas of humid forest, and woodland margin relatively far from the water’s edge.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 4:48:40 PM
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Ivan Lozano-Fernandez, Hugues-Alexandre Blain, Jordi Agusti, Pedro Piñero, Deborah Barsky, et al.. New clues about the late Early Pleistocene peopling of western Europe: Small vertebrates from The Bois-de-Riquet archeo-paleontological site (Lézignan-La-Cèbe, southern France). Quaternary Science Reviews, Elsevier, 2019, 219, pp.187-203. ⟨10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.07.015⟩. ⟨hal-02865370⟩

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