Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Backdating systematic shell ornament making in Europe to 45,000 years ago

Abstract

Personal ornaments are commonly linked to the emergence of symbolic behavior. Although their presence in Africa dates back to the Middle Stone Age, evidence of ornament manufacturing in Eurasia are sporadically observed in Middle Palaeolithic contexts, and until now, large-scale diffusion has been well documented only since the Upper Palaeolithic. Nevertheless, little is known during the period between ca. 50,000 and 40,000 years ago (ka), when modern humans colonized Eurasia replacing existing hominin populations such as the Neandertals, and a variety of “transitional” and/or early Upper Palaeolithic cultures emerged. Here, we present shell ornaments from the Uluzzian site of Grotta del Cavallo in Italy, southern Europe. Our results show evidence of a local production of shell beads for ornamental purposes as well as a trend toward higher homogeneity in tusk bead shape and size over time. The temporal interval of the layers of interest (45–40 ka) makes Cavallo the earliest known shell ornament making context in Europe.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13

Data availability

The authors can confirm that all data and source codes for analyses are currently included as supplementary information files.

References

  1. Abadia OM, Nowell A (2015) Palaeolithic personal ornaments: historical development and epistemological challenges. J Archaeol Method Th 22:952–979. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-014-9213-z

  2. Álvarez Fernández E (2006) Los objetos de adorno-colgantes del Paleolítico superior y del Mesolítico en la cornisa cantábrica y en el valle del Ebro: una visión europea. Unpublished PhD thesis, Universidad de Salamanca

  3. Arrighi S, Borgia V (2009) Surface modifications of flint tools and their functional meaning. Mater Manuf Process 24:922–927. https://doi.org/10.1080/10426910902987150

  4. Arrighi S, Moroni A, Tassoni L, Boschin F, Badino F, Bortolini E, Boscato P, Crezzini J, Figus C, Forte M, Lugli F, Marciani G, Oxilia G, Negrino F, Riel-Salvatore J,  Romandini M, Peresani M, Spinapolice EE, Ronchitelli A, Benazzi S (2019) Bone tools, ornaments and other unusual objects during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Italy. Quat Int. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2019.11.016

  5. Bar-Yosef Mayer D (2008) Dentalium shells used by hunter-gatherers and pastoralists in the Levant. Archaeofauna 17:103–110

  6. Bar-Yosef Mayer D (2019) Upper Paleolithic explorers: the geographic sources of shell beads in Early Upper Paleolithic assemblages in Israel. PaleoAnthropology:105–115. https://doi.org/10.4207/PA.2019.ART126

  7. Bar-Yosef Mayer DE, Vandermeersch B, Bar-Yosef O (2009) Shells and ochre in Middle Paleolithic Qafzeh Cave, Israel: indications for modern behavior. J Hum Evol 56(3):307–314. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.10.005

  8. Bar-Yosef O (2007) The archaeological framework of the Upper Paleolithic revolution. Diogenes 54(2):3–18

  9. Bar-Yosef O, Bordes JG (2010) Who were the makers of the Châtelperronian culture? J Hum Evol 59(5):586–593. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2010.06.009

  10. Benazzi S, Douka K, Fornai C, Bauer CC, Kullmer O, Svoboda J, Pap I, Mallegni F, Bayle P, Coquerelle M, Condemi S, Ronchitelli A, Harvati K, Weber GW (2011) Early dispersal of modern humans in Europe and implications for Neanderthal behaviour. Nature 479:525–528. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature10617

  11. Benazzi S, Slon V, Talamo S, Negrino F, Peresani M, Bailey SE, Sawyer S, Panetta D, Vicino G, Starnini E, Mannino MA, Salvadori PA, Meyer M, Pääbo S, Hublin JJ (2015) The makers of the Protoaurignacian and implications for Neandertal extinction. Science 348:793–796

  12. Benghiat S, Komso D, Miracle PT (2009) An experimental analysis of perforated shells from the site of Sebrn Abri, Istria, Croatia. In: McCartan S, Schulting R, Warren G, Woodman P (eds) Mesolithic horizons. Oxbow Books, Oxford, pp 730–736

  13. Bonnardin S (2008) From traces to function of ornaments: some Neolithic examples. In: Longo L, Skakun N (eds) “Prehistoric technology” 40 years later. BAR Int. Ser. 1783, Archaeopress, Oxford, pp 297–308

  14. Bordes F, Labrot J (1967) La stratigraphie du gisement de Roc de Combe (Lot) et ses implications. Bull Soc Préhist Fr LXIV 1:15–28

  15. Bosch MD, Buck L, Strauss A (2019) Location, location, location: investigating perforation locations in Tritia gibbosula shells at Ksar ‘Akil (Lebanon) using micro-CT data. PaleoAnthropology:52–63. https://doi.org/10.4207/PA.2019.ART123

  16. Cabral JP, Martins JMS (2016) Archaeological Glycymeris glycymeris shells perforated at the umbo: natural or man-made holes? J Archaeol Sci Rep 10:474–482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.11.008

  17. Campbell G (2017) The reproduction of small prehistoric tusk shell beads. In: Bar-Yosef Mayer D, Bonsall C, Choyke AM (eds) Not just for show: the archaeology of beads, beadwork and personal ornaments. Oxbow Books, pp 168–224

  18. Caron F, d’Errico F, Del Moral P, Santos F, Zilhão J (2011) The reality of Neandertal symbolic behavior at the Grotte du Renne, Arcy-sur-Cure, France. PLoS One 6(6):e21545. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021545

  19. Charney N., Record S (2012) vegetarian: Jost diversity measures for community data. R package version 1.2. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=vegetarian

  20. Colonese AC, Mannino MA, Bar-Yosef Mayer DE, Fa DA, Finlayson JC, Lubell D, Stiner MC (2011) Marine mollusc exploitation in Mediterranean prehistory: an overview. Quat Int 239(1–2):86–103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2010.09.001

  21. Craveri M (1931) Crine. In: Enciclopedia Italiana, Istituto Enciclopedia Italiana, Roma

  22. d’Errico F, Zilhão J, Julien M, Baffier D, Pelegrin J (1998) Neanderthal acculturation in western Europe? A critical review of the evidence and its interpretation. Curr Anthropol 39:1–44

  23. d’Errico F, Henshilwood C, Lawson G, Vanhaeren M, Tillier AM, Soressi M, Bresson F, Maureille B, Nowell A, Lakarra J, Backwell L, Julien M (2003a) Archaeological evidence for the emergence of language, symbolism, and music: an alternative multidisciplinary perspective. J World Prehist 17:1–70

  24. d’Errico F, Julien M, Liolios D, Vanhaeren M, Baffier D (2003b) Many awls in our argument. Bone tool manufacture and use in the Châtelperronian and Aurignacian levels of the Grotte du Renne at Arcy-sur-Cure. In: Zilhão J, d’Errico F (eds) The chronology of the Aurignacian and of the transitional technocomplexes. Dating, stratigraphies, cultural implications. Proceedings of symposium 6.1 of the XIV Congress of the UISPP, Trabalhos de Arqueologia, vol 33. Instituto Português de Arqueologia, Lisboa, pp 247–271

  25. d’Errico F, Vanhaeren M, Barton N, Bouzouggar A, Mienis H, Richter D, Hublin JJ, McPherron SP, Lozouet P (2009) Additional evidence on the use of personal ornaments in the Middle Palaeolithic of North Africa. Proc Natl Acad Sci 106:16501–16056. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0903532106

  26. d’Errico F, Borgia V, Ronchitelli A (2012) Uluzzian bone technology and its implications for the origin of behavioural modernity. Quat Int 259:59–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2011.03.039

  27. d’Errico F, Banks WE (2013) Identifying mechanisms behind Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age cultural trajectories. Curr Anthropol 54(8):371–387. https://doi.org/10.1086/673388

  28. d’Errico F, Backwell L (2016) Earliest evidence of personal ornaments associated with burial: the Conus shells from Border Cave. J Hum Evol 93:91–108

  29. Dimitrijević V (2014) The provenance and use of fossil scaphopod shells at the Late Neolithic/Eneolithic site Vinča – Belo Brdo, Serbia. In: Szabó K, Dupont C, Dimitrijević V, Gómez Gastélum L, Serrand N (eds) Archaeomalacology: shells in the archaeological record, BAR international series 2666. Archaeopress, Oxford, pp 33–41

  30. Douka K, Higham TF, Wood R, Boscato P, Gambassini P, Karkanas P, Peresani M, Ronchitelli A (2014) On the chronology of the Uluzzian. J Hum Evol 68:1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.12.007

  31. Farrand WR (2000) Depositional history of Franchthi cave, sediments, stratigraphy and chronology. With a report on the background of the Franchthi project by T.W. Jacobsen. Excavations at Franchthi Cave, Greece, fasc. 12. Indiana University Press, Bloomington & Indianapolis

  32. Fiocchi C (1998) Contributo alla conoscenza del comportamento simbolico di Homo sapiens sapiens. Le conchiglie marine nei siti del Paleolitico superiore europeo: strategie di approvvigionamento, reti di scambio, utilizzo. Unpublished PhD thesis Scienze Antropologiche, Consorzio Universitario di Bologna, Ferrara, Parma

  33. Fitzsimmons KE, Hambach U, Veres D, Iovita R (2013) The Campanian Ignimbrite eruption: new data on volcanic ash dispersal and its potential impact on human evolution. PLoS One 8(6):e65839. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0065839

  34. Flas D (2011) The Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition in northern Europe: the Lincombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician and the issue of acculturation of the last Neanderthals. World Archaeol 43:605–627

  35. Gambassini P (1997) Le industrie paleolitiche di Castelcivita. In: Gambassini P (ed) Il Paleolitico di Castelcivita culture e ambiente. Electa, Napoli, pp 75–145

  36. Giaccio B, Hajdas I, Isaia R, Deino A, Nomade S (2017) High-precision 14C and 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Campanian Ignimbrite (Y-5) reconciles the time-scales of climatic-cultural processes at 40 ka. Sci Rep 7:45940

  37. Gioia P (1990) An aspect of the transition between Middle and Upper Paleolithic in Italy: the Uluzzian. In: Farizy C (ed) Paléolithique moyen récent et Paléolithique supérieur ancien en Europe Ruptures et transitions: examen critique des documents archéologiques. APRAIF, Nemours, pp 241–250

  38. Gravina B, Bachellerie F, Caux S, Discamps E, Faivre JP, Galland A, Michel A, Teyssandier N, Bordes JJ (2018) No reliable evidence for a Neanderthal-Châtelperronian Association at La Roche-à-Pierrot, Saint-Césaire. Sci Rep 8:15134. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33084-9

  39. Higham T, Jacobi R, Julien M, David F, Basell L, Wood R, Davies W, Ramsey CB (2010) Chronology of the Grotte du Renne (France) and implications for the context of ornaments and human remains within the Châtelperronian. Proc Natl Acad Sci 107(47):20234–20239. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1007963107

  40. Hoffmann DL, Angelucci DE, Villaverde V, Zapata J, Zilhão J (2018) Symbolic use of marine shells and mineral pigments by Iberian Neandertals 115,000 years ago. Sci Adv 4(2). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aar5255

  41. Hublin JJ (2015) The modern human colonization of western Eurasia: when and where? Quat Sci Rev 118:194–210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.08.011

  42. Hublin JJ, Spoor F, Braun M, Zonneveld F, Condemi S (1996) A late Neanderthal associated with Upper Palaeolithic artefacts. Nature 381:224–226. https://doi.org/10.1038/381224a0

  43. Hublin JJ, Talamo S, Julien M, David F, Connet N, Bodu P, Vandermeersch B, Richards MP (2012) Radiocarbon dates from the Grotte du Renne and Saint-Césaire support a Neandertal origin for the Châtelperronian. Proc Natl Acad Sci 109(46):18743–18748. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1212924109

  44. Hülle WM (1977) Die Ilsenhöhle unter Burg Ranis/Thüringen. Eine paläolitische Jägerstation, Gustav Fischer, Stuttgart

  45. Jost L (2006) Entropy and diversity. Oikos 113(2):363–375. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2006.0030-1299.14714.x

  46. Jost L (2007) Partitioning diversity into independent alpha and beta components. Ecology 88(10):2427–2439. https://doi.org/10.1890/06-1736.1

  47. Kozłowski J (ed) (1982) Excavation in the Bacho Kiro Cave (Bulgaria): final report. Polish Scientific Publishers, Warsaw

  48. Kuhn SL, Stiner MC, Güleç E, Özer I, Yılmaz H, Baykara I, Açıkkol A, Goldberg P, Martínez Molina K, Ünay E, Suata-Alpaslan F (2009) The early Upper Paleolithic occupations at Üçağızlı Cave (Hatay, Turkey). J Hum Evol 56:87–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.07.014

  49. Largiolli T, Martinis B, Mozzi G, Nardin M, Rossi D, Ungaro S (1969) Gallipoli. Note illustrative della Carta Geologica d’Italia. Poligrafica e Cartevalori, Ercolano (Napoli)

  50. Lévêque F, Vandermeersch B (1980) Les découvertes de restes humains dans un horizon castelperronien de Saint-Césaire (Charente-Maritime). Bull de la Soc Préhist de Française 77:187–189

  51. Leroi-Gourhan A (1964) Le geste et la parole (Vol 2). Albin Michel, Paris

  52. Lugli F, Cipriani A, Peretto C, Mazzucchelli M, Brunelli D (2017) In situ high spatial resolution 87Sr/86Sr ratio determination of two Middle Pleistocene (ca 580 ka) Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis teeth by LA–MC–ICP–MS. Int J Mass Spectrom 412:38–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijms.2016.12.012

  53. Mamouridis V, Cartes JE, Parra S, Fanelli E, Salinas JS (2011) A temporal analysis on the dynamics of deep-sea macrofauna: influence of environmental variability off Catalonia coasts (western Mediterranean). Deep Sea Res Part 1 Oceanogr Res Pap 58(4):323–337

  54. Marciani G, Ronchitelli A, Arrighi S, Badino F, Bortolini E, Boscato P, Boschin F,  Crezzini J, Delpiano D, Falcucci A, Figus C, Lugli F, Oxilia G, Romandini M, Riel-Salvatore J, Negrino F, Peresani M, Spinapolice EE, Moroni A, Benazzi S (2019) Lithic techno-complexes in Italy from 50 to 39 thousand years BP: An overview of lithic technological changes across the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic boundary. Quat Int. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2019.11.005

  55. McElreath R, Boyd R, Richerson PJ (2003) Shared norms and the evolution of ethnic markers. Curr Anthropol 44:122–129. https://doi.org/10.1086/345689

  56. Mellars P, Gravina B, Bronk-Ramsey C (2007) Confirmation of Neanderthal/modern human interstratification at the Châtelperronian type-site. Proc Natl Acad Sci 104:3657–3662. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0608053104

  57. Moreau L (2003) Les éléments de parure au Paléolithique supérieur en Belgique. L’Anthropologie 107:603–614

  58. Moroni A, Boscato P, Ronchitelli A (2013) What roots for the Uluzzian? Modern behaviour in central-southern Italy and hypotheses on AMH dispersal routes. Quat Int 316:27–44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2012.10.051

  59. Moroni A, Ronchitelli A, Arrighi S, Aureli D, Bailey SE, Boscato P, Boschin F, Capecchi G, Crezzini J, Douka K, Marciani G, Panetta D, Ranaldo F, Ricci S, Scaramucci S, Spagnolo V, Benazzi S, Gambassini P (2018) Grotta del Cavallo (Apulia – southern Italy). The Uluzzian in the mirror. J Anthropol Sci 96:1–36. https://doi.org/10.4436/jass.96004

  60. Murtagh F, Legendre P (2014) Ward’s hierarchical agglomerative clustering method: which algorithms implement Ward’s criterion? J Classif 31. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00357-014-9161-z

  61. Nenadic O, Greenacre M (2007) Correspondence analysis in R, with two- and three-dimensional graphics: the ca package. J Stat Softw 20(3):1–13. https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v020.i03

  62. Orchard WC (1929) Beads and beadwork of the American Indians. Salzwasser-verlag Gmbh, Paderborn

  63. Palma di Cesnola A (1989) L’Uluzzien: Faciès italien du leptolithique archaïque. L’Anthropologie 93(4):783–812

  64. Peharda M, Thébault J, Markulin K, Schöne BR, Janeković I, Chauvaud L (2017) Contrasting shell growth strategies in two Mediterranean bivalves revealed by oxygen-isotope ratio geochemistry: the case of Pecten jacobaeus and Glycymeris pilosa. Chem Geol. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2017.09.029

  65. Peresani M, Fiore I, Gala M, Romandini M, Tagliacozzo A (2011) Late Neandertals and the intentional removal of feathers as evidenced from bird bone taphonomy at Fumane Cave 44 ky B.P., Italy. Proc Natl Acad Sci 108(10):3888–3893. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1016212108

  66. Peresani M, Vanhaeren M, Quaggiotto E, Queffelec A, d’Errico F (2013) An ochered fossil marine shell from the Mousterian of Fumane Cave, Italy. PLoS One 8(7):e68572. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0068572

  67. Peresani M, Cristiani E, Romandini M (2016) The Uluzzian technology of Grotta di Fumane and its implication for reconstructing cultural dynamics in the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition of Western Eurasia. J Hum Evol 91:36–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.10.012

  68. Peresani M, Bertola S, Del Piano D, Benazzi S, Romandini M (2019a) The Uluzzian in the north of Italy. Insights around the new evidence at Riparo Broion Rockshelter. Archaeol Anthrop Sci. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-018-0770-z

  69. Peresani M, Forte M, Quaggiotto E, Colonese AC, Romandini M, Cilli C, Giacobini G (2019b) Marine shell exploitation during the Aurignacian at Fumane Cave. PaleoAnthropology:64–81. https://doi.org/10.4207/PA.2019.ART124

  70. Perlès C (2019) Cultural implications of uniformity in ornament assemblages: Paleolithic and Mesolithic ornaments from Franchthi cave, Greece. PaleoAnthropology:196–207. https://doi.org/10.4207/PA.2019.ART131

  71. Radovčić D, Sršen AO, Radovčić J, Frayer DW (2015) Evidence for Neandertal jewelry: modified white-tailed eagle claws at Krapina. PLoS One 10(3):e0119802. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0119802

  72. R Core Team (2018) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna url https://www.R-project.org/

  73. Romandini M, Peresani M, Laroulandie V, Metz L, Pastoors A, Vaquero M, Slimak L (2014) Convergent evidence of eagle talons used by late Neanderthals in Europe: a further assessment on symbolism. Plos One 9(7):e101278. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101278

  74. Ronchitelli A, Boscato P, Gambassini P (2009) Gli ultimi Neandertaliani in Italia: aspetti culturali. In: Facchini F, Belcastro G (eds) La Storia di Neandertal. Biologia e Comportamento. Jaka Book, Bologna, pp 257–288

  75. Rigaud JP (2001) A propos de la contemporanéité du Castelperronien et de l’Aurignacien dans le nord-est de l’Aquitaine: une révision des données et ses implications. In: Zilhâo J, Aubry T, Carvalho A (eds) Les premières hommes modernes de la Péninsule Ibérique. Actes du Colloque de la Commission VIII de l’UISPP. Instituto Português de Arqueologia, Lisboa, pp 61–68

  76. Ruppert J, Bernet JW (2001) Our voices: native stories of Alaska and the Yukon. University of Toronto Press, Toronto

  77. Sano K, Arrighi S, Stani C, Aureli D, Boschin F, Fiore I, Spagnolo V, Ricci S, Crezzini J, Boscato P, Gala M, Tagliacozzo A, Birarda G, Vaccari L, Ronchitelli A, Moroni A, Benazzi S (2019) The earliest evidence for mechanically delivered projectile weapons in Europe. Nat Ecol Evol 3:140–1414. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-0990-3

  78. Shimek R, Steiner G (1997) Chapter 6. Microscopic anatomy of invertebrates. Volume 6B: Mollusca II, Wiley-Liss, Inc

  79. Škardla P (2013) The Bohunician in Moravia and adjoining regions. Archaeol Ethnol Anthropol Eurasia 41(3):2–18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aeae.2014.03.002

  80. Stiner MC (1999) Palaeolithic mollusc exploitation at Riparo Mochi (Balzi Rossi, Italy): food and ornaments from the Aurignacian through Epigravettian. Antiquity 73:735–754. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00065492

  81. Stiner MC (2010) Shell ornaments from the Upper Paleolithic through Mesolithic layers of Klissoura Cave 1 by Prosymna (Peloponnese, Greece). Eurasian Prehistory 7(2):287–308

  82. Stiner MC (2014) Finding a common bandwidth: causes of convergence and diversity in Paleolithic beads. Biol Theory 9(1):51–64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13752-013-0157-4

  83. Stiner MC, Pehlevan C, Sağir M, Ŏzer I (2002) Zooarchaeological studies at Üçağızlı cave: preliminary results on Paleolithic subsistence and shell ornaments. Araşturma Sonuçları Toplantısı 17:29–36

  84. Stiner MC, Kuhn SL, Güleç E (2013) Early Upper Paleolithic shell beads at Üçaĝizli Cave I (Turkey): technology and the socioeconomic context of ornament life-histories. J Hum Evol 64(5):380–398. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.01.008

  85. Taborin Y (1993) La parure en coquillage au Paléolithique. CNRS Éditions, Paris

  86. Tátá F, Cascalheira J, Marreiros J, Pereira T, Bicho N (2014) Shell bead production in the Upper Paleolithic of Vale Boi (SW Portugal): an experimental perspective. J Archaeol Sci 42(1):29–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2013.10.029

  87. Vanhaeren M, d’Errico F (2001) La parure de l’enfant de La Madeleine (fouilles Peyrony). Un nouveau regard sur l’enfance au Paléolithique supérieur Paléo 13:201–240

  88. Vanhaeren M, d’Errico F (2006) Aurignacian ethno-linguistic geography of Europe revealed by personal ornaments. J Archaeol Sci 33(8):1105–1128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2005.11.017

  89. Vanhaeren M, d’Errico F, Stringer C, James SL, Todd JA, Mienis HK (2006) Middle Palaeolithic shell beads in Israel and Algeria. Science 312:1785–1787. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1128139

  90. Vanhaeren M, d’Errico F, van Niekerk KL, Henshilwood CS, Erasmus RM (2013) Thinking strings: additional evidence for personal ornament use in the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, South Africa. J Hum Evol 64:500–517

  91. Villa P, Pollarolo L, Conforti J, Marra F, Biagioni C, Degano I, Lucejko JJ, Tozzi C, Pennacchioni M, Zanchetta G, Nicosia C, Martini M, Sibilia E, Panzeri L (2018) From Neandertals to modern humans: new data on the Uluzzian. PLoS One 13:e0196786. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196786

  92. Welker F, Hajdinjak M, Talamo S, Jaouen K, Dannemann M, David F, Julien M, Meyer M, Kelso J, Barnes I, Brace S, Kamminga P, Fischer R, Kessler BM, Stewart JR, Pääbo S, Collins MJ, Hublin JJ (2016) Palaeoproteomic evidence identifies archaic hominins associated with the Châtelperronian at the Grotte du Renne. Proc Natl Acad Sci 113(40):11162–11167. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1605834113

  93. White R (1989) Visual thinking in the Ice Age. Sci Am 261(1):92–99

  94. White R (2002) Observations technologiques sur les objets de parure. In: Schmider B (ed) L’Aurignacien de la Grotte du Renne. Les fouilles d’André Leroi-Gourhan à Arcy-sur-Cure, (Yonne), XXXIVe Supplément à Gallia Préhistoire. CNRS, Paris, pp 257–266

  95. Zanchetta G, Giaccio B, Bini M, Sarti L (2018) Tephrostratigraphy of Grotta del Cavallo, southern Italy: insights on the chronology of Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in the Mediterranean. Quat Sci Rev 182:65–77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.12.014

  96. Zilhão J (2006) Neandertals and moderns mixed, and it matters. Evol Anthropol 15:183–195. https://doi.org/10.1002/evan.20110

  97. Zilhão J (2007) The emergence of ornaments and art: an archaeological perspective on the origins of “behavioral modernity”. J Archaeol Res 15:1–54

  98. Zilhão J, d’Errico F, Bordes JG, Lenoble A, Texier JP, Rigaud JP (2007) Grotte des Fées (Châtelperron, Allier) ou une interstratification “Châtelperronien-Aurignacien” illusoire. Histoire des fouilles, stratigraphie et datations. Paléo 19:391–432

  99. Zilhão J, Banks WE, d’Errico F, Gioia P (2015) Analysis of site formation and assemblage integrity does not support attribution of the Uluzzian to modern humans at Grotta del Cavallo. PLoS One 10:e0131181

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per le Province di Brindisi, Lecce e Taranto for supporting our research in Apulia over the years. We express our gratitude to Prof. Palma di Cesnola and Prof. Paolo Gambassini for giving us permission to study the Uluzzian materials from their excavations at Grotta del Cavallo. We are grateful to Luigi Romani for his help in taxonomic classification of scaphopods, to Lavinia Corbo who contributed to measuring specimens, and to Stefano Ricci who made photographic documentation of the shells from Grotta del Cavallo. We also acknowledge all the students who helped us in the experimental tests (Francesco Antonini, Giulia Cappelletti, Margherita Gramigni, Simone Marzocca, and Irene Mazza). Special thanks to Sem Scaramucci for his contribution in collecting tusks in Salento and for his precious advice. We are also grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for their careful reading of the manuscript and constructive comments.

Funding

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Grant agreement no. 724046 – SUCCESS—http://www.erc-success.eu).

Author information

S.A., E.B., S.B., and A.M. designed the research; S.A. performed morphological and use-wear analyses. E.B. carried out the statistical analysis. L.T carried out taphonomic and technological analysis. A.B., G.M., and L.T. made the taxonomic classification of the shells. A.M.B and L.M.F. carried out micropaleontological studies, and F.L. and A.C. realized isotope analysis. Experimental tests were performed by S.A., D.A., F. Bo, C.F., G.M., G.O., and S.S. Paleoclimate and paleoecological conditions were described by F.Ba. V.S. collected present-day tusk shells and reconstructed the paleogeographic conditions of the Uluzzian coastline. A.M., M.P., M.R., and A.R. provided archeological data and contributed to the revision of the manuscript. S.A., E.B., A. M., A.B., V.S., L.M.F., A.M.B., M.R., F.L., F.Ba., L.T., and S.B. wrote the paper with inputs from all co-authors.

Correspondence to Simona Arrighi.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher's note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

ESM 1

(PDF 2291 kb)

ESM 2

(CSV 17 kb)

ESM 3

(CSV 17 kb)

ESM 4

(CSV 142 bytes)

ESM 5

(R 769 bytes)

ESM 6

(R 21 kb)

ESM 7

(CSV 2 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Arrighi, S., Bortolini, E., Tassoni, L. et al. Backdating systematic shell ornament making in Europe to 45,000 years ago. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 12, 59 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-019-00985-3

Download citation

Keywords

  • Uluzzian
  • Italy
  • Grotta del Cavallo
  • Shell ornaments