Alpine and Mediterranean Quaternary <p><span lang="EN-US"><strong>AMQ </strong>publishes peer-reviewed original research and review papers concerning the </span><span lang="EN-US">Quaternary history, past climate, past biodiversity, relative sea level change, past human-environment interactions, impact of ancient civilizations and evolution of the regions surrounding the Mediterranean Basin, including the Alpine-Himalayan mountains and basins, the Middle East and Northern Africa. Original reports dealing with wider geographical perspectives and global processes are also welcome. It also contains comments and replies on previous works, book reviews, news of interest and reports on AIQUA activities. A hard-copy version of the journal <span lang="EN">is</span><span lang="EN">released</span><span lang="EN">to </span>AIQUA associates.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US">The journal is issued twice per year.</span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US"><strong>AMQ is free of charge</strong>. No additional costs are required for color figures and tables.</span></p> <div class="gmail_default"><strong>Open Access Policy</strong></div> <div class="gmail_default">AMQ is published under a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives Licence 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)</a></div> <div class="gmail_default"> <p>With this licence the authors can share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format.</p> <p>The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.</p> </div> AIQUA - Italian Association for Quaternary Research en-US Alpine and Mediterranean Quaternary 2279-7327 <p>The Author grants usage rights to others using an open license (Creative Commons or equivalent) allowing for immediate free access to the work and permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose.</p> AN OVERVIEW OF THE MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE IN THE NORTH MEDITERRANEAN REGION <p>The Middle Pleistocene was a crucial stage for the evolution of European mammals, a time when the majority of the modern taxa appeared in the continent for the first time. It is also in this interval that periodicity and intensity of glacial-interglacial cycles changed, an event that strongly impacted on Mediterranean marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and on vertebrate communities. This area can thus be considered an important laboratory to investigate how major climatic events influenced mammals’ communities (among which also hominin populations) and the habitats they occupied. The state of art of the Middle Pleistocene palaeontological, archaeological and palaeoanthropological record of north Mediterranean region, and of the Italian Peninsula in particular, is here discussed.</p> Flavia Strani Raffaele Sardella Beniamino Mecozzi Copyright (c) 2021 Flavia Strani, Raffaele Sardella, Beniamino Mecozzi 2021-09-06 2021-09-06 34 1 5 16 10.26382/AMQ.2021.13 THE PRE-MODERN HUMAN FOSSIL RECORD IN ITALY FROM THE MIDDLE TO THE LATE PLEISTOCENE: AN UPDATED REAPPRAISAL <p>The fossil record from the Italian peninsula is of special interest for assessing the variability of pre-modern human populations (i.e., extinct humans non-belonging to the proper species Homo sapiens) and their evolutionary history. In 2005, a detailed “Catalogue of Italian Fossil Human Remains from the Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic” was published and still represents a milestone on the topic, which however requires a reappraisal. Here we provide a commented overview of the pre-modern human fossil record from the Italian peninsula, where we have included updated information on specimens that were already in the Catalogue of 2005 as well as new discoveries of the recent years, thus providing a comprehensive report of this important regional samples. We hope that this work may represent a useful state-of-the-art on the topic. It also embodies notes concerning the more sophisticated technologies that have been applied in the last years to document and study such a paleoanthropological archive, allowing the acquisition of new data even from old specimens</p> Costantino Buzi Fabio Di Vincenzo Antonio Profico Giorgio Manzi Copyright (c) 2021 Costantino Buzi, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Antonio Profico, Giorgio Manzi 2021-07-22 2021-07-22 34 1 17 32 10.26382/AMQ.2021.03 LITHIC PRODUCTIONS DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE (MIS 19-12) IN THE ITALIAN PENINSULA: AN OVERVIEW <p class="MDPI31text" align="left">Archaeological record of the Italian peninsula during the first half of the Middle Pleistocene is characterised by a limited number of sites. In the last decade, new systematic research allowed to refine chronostratigraphies and to improve the contextual and technological information. Here, we report an overview of the Italian archaeological sites between MIS 19 and MIS 12 with the main aim to evaluate the current state of our knowledge on the technological behaviours from the earliest Middle Pleistocene sites where Homo heidelbergensis appears to the emergence of hominins with Neanderthal-like morphology.</p> Brunella Muttillo Giuseppe Lembo Rosalia Gallotti Copyright (c) 2021 Brunella Muttillo, Giuseppe Lembo, Rosalia Gallotti 2021-07-22 2021-07-22 34 1 33 54 10.26382/AMQ.2021.05 A REVIEW OF URSUS MATERIAL FROM FONTANA RANUCCIO (MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE, CENTRAL ITALY): NEW INSIGHTS ON THE FIRST OCCURRENCE OF THE BROWN BEAR IN ITALY <p>The Middle Pleistocene archaeo-palaeontological site of Fontana Ranuccio (Anagni, central Italy) yielded a rich faunal assemblage consisting of more than 20,000 fossil remains, including four human teeth and multiple bone and lithic tools. The Ursus specimens from Fontana Ranuccio were historically ascribed to Ursus deningeri and Ursus arctos although a formal study has never been carried out. In this work, we have described for the first time all the Ursus material from Fontana Ranuccio reassessing the taxonomical attributions and discuss the first occurrence of the brown bear in the Italian Peninsula. Biometrical and morphological analyses confirm the presence of Ursus deningeri but, due the scarcity of diagnostic features and/or their preservation, some isolated specimens have been ascribed to Ursus sp. The results of this work allow to reconsider the earliest occurrence of U. arctos, attested in the Italian Peninsula to the late Middle Pleistocene site of Bucine.</p> Jacopo Conti Luca Bellucci Dawid Adam Iurino Flavia Strani Raffaele Sardella Copyright (c) 2021 Jacopo Conti, Luca Bellucci, Dawid Adam Iurino, Flavia Strani, Raffaele Sardella 2021-10-13 2021-10-13 34 1 55 68 10.26382/AMQ.2021.14 NEW DATA ON THE MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE SMALL MAMMAL FAUNA FROM THE HOMO BEARING SITE OF FONTANA RANUCCIO (ANAGNI BASIN, CENTRAL ITALY) <p>The scanty small mammals material of the Middle Pleistocene Fontana Ranuccio site is characterized by the presence of six species belonging to three order: Eulipotyphla, Lagomorpha, and Rodentia. The small mammal fossils evidence from Fontana Ranuccio, instead the scarce number of specimens, indicates that the site is characterized by a warm and wooded environment with subordinate grassland.</p> Fabio Bona Flavia Strani Copyright (c) 2021 Fabio Bona 2021-07-22 2021-07-22 34 1 69 74 10.26382/AMQ.2021.01 PRELIMINARY DATA ON THE MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE SITE OF LUNEL-VIEL I (HÉRAULT, FRANCE). <p>The archeo-paleontological site of Mas des Caves at Lunel-Viel (Hérault), in Southeastern France, is an important site, well-known for its diversified vertebrate remains dated to the second half of the Middle Pleistocene. Following a brief presentation of the historical context, preliminary data, collected through new research, are discussed, focusing on the general fossil distribution and new analyses of leporids, carnivores, rhinocerotids and cervids to better define their taxonomy, paleoecology and biochronology.</p> Jean-Philip Brugal Carla Giuliani Philippe Fosse Jean-Baptiste Fourvel Pierre Magniez Maxime Pelletier Antigone Uzunidis Copyright (c) 2021 Jean-Philip Brugal, Carla Giuliani , Philippe Fosse, Jean-Baptiste Fourvel, Pierre Magniez, Maxime Pelletier, Antigone Uzunidis 2021-07-22 2021-07-22 34 1 75 88 10.26382/AMQ.2021.08 PALEOECOLOGICAL FIRST RESULTS FROM THE MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE SEQUENCE OF COUDOULOUS I (QUERCY, LOT, FRANCE). <p class="p1">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2">The Coudoulous I (Lot, France) sequence has yielded abundant fossil associations dated to the end of the Middle Pleistocene. The total sample consists of 102 taxa corresponding to 75 species of mammals (53 small and 22 large mammals), 11 species of amphibians and 16 species of reptiles distributed in five faunal units (FUs). After evaluating the sample quality with completeness indices (CI and CI<span class="s1">bda</span>), we esta-blished rarefaction curves that were discussed at length together with Shannon-Wiener diversity (H’), Margalef species richness (D), and the Sørensen-Dice similarity index. In order to better understand structural changes in the mammal associations as well as the climate trends we built the body mass distribution with cenograms in the different FUs. Concurrently, we investigated the whole community using a more analy-tical approach with the “bioclimatic model” based on a climatic restriction index for each species to infer paleoclimatic proxies (i.e. tempera-tures, precipitation, aridity) and finally to assign each faunal unit to a dominant type of climate. Our results clearly indicate that the FUs could be systematically associated with a typical temperate climate with sub-Mediterranean temperate species for the largest part of the sequence, which is consistent with the dates obtained (U/Th, ESR/U-series, TT-OSL) and Marine Isotope Stage 7. Nevertheless, cold elements from a Boreal type climate component were also found in the sequence indicating possible climate oscillations in FUs. The upper part of the strati-graphy (FU<span class="s1">II</span>) is probably related to MIS 6 while the lowest part of the sequence (FU<span class="s1">VII</span>) could correspond to a cold phase of the MIS 7 or earlier (MIS 8?).<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Philippe Fernandez Copyright (c) 2021 2021-07-14 2021-07-14 34 1 89 108 10.26382/AMQ.2021.12 REDEFINING PONTE MOLLE (ROME, CENTRAL ITALY): AN IMPORTANT LOCALITY FOR MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE MAMMAL ASSEMBLAGES OF EUROPE <p>In this work, the Middle Pleistocene mammal assemblages from Ponte Molle, a historical locality of the urban area of Rome have been revised together with a review of the stratigraphical succession of the deposit allows us to reconstruct the provenance of the fossil material and to provide chronological constrains trough the correlation with the lithostatigraphic and synthemic units of the national geological cartography and the geochronologically-constrained aggradational units of the Paleo-Tiber reported in literature. The paleontological study together with the geological and stratigraphical review allow us to redefine the Ponte Molle deposit and its Middle Pleistocene faunal assemblage. In its new look, the age of the faunal assemblage from Ponte Molle could be referred to a time span ranging from 550 ka to 450 ka.</p> Beniamino Mecozzi Alessio Iannucci Marco Mancini Raffaele Sardella Copyright (c) 2021 Beniamino Mecozzi, Alessio Iannucci, Marco Mancini, Raffaele Sardella 2021-10-13 2021-10-13 34 1 109 130 10.26382/AMQ.2021.06 LARGE MAMMALS FROM THE MIDDLE PLEISTOCENE (MIS 11) SITE OF FONTIGNANO 2 (ROME, CENTRAL ITALY), WITH AN OVERVIEW OF “SAN COSIMATO” ASSEMBLAGES <p class="DidefaultA">Here we describe fossil mammal remains recovered from the late Middle Pleistocene (MIS 11) of Fontignano 2 (Rome, central Italy). Two species are recognized: the aurochs Bos primigenius and the red deer Cervus elaphus. The presence of B. primigenius represents one of the earliest diagnostic evidence of the species. Conversely, remains of C. elaphus are not fully diagnostic at a subspecies level, despite being long considered among the reference occurrences of C. e. eostephanoceros in Italy. This reconsideration, concurrent with the revised chronology of several localities of the area of Rome, questions the validity of the chronosubspecific and evolutionary repartition of the red deer as often envisioned in the literature, i.e., C. e. acoronatus, C. e. eostephanoceros, C. e. rianensis, C. e. elaphus. Remains of Fontignano 2 are part of those recovered within the San Cosimato Formation, also including Via di Brava (MIS 13 or MIS 11), with Palaeoloxodon antiquus, and San Cosimato (MIS 11), with Stephanorhinus sp., B. primigenius, Castor fiber, and Emys orbicularis.</p> Beniamino Mecozzi Raffaele Sardella Marco Romano Copyright (c) 2021 Beniamino Mecozzi, Marco Romano, Raffaele Sardella 2021-07-22 2021-07-22 34 1 155 164 10.26382/AMQ.2021.07 THE FOSSILIZATION OF MAMMAL BONES AT LA POLLEDRARA DI CECANIBBIO (ROME, CENTRAL ITALY). INSIGHTS FOR IN SITU PRESERVATION. <p>The identification of mineralogical and chemical composition of the fossil bones is essential for reconstructing the depositional paleo-environment and burial processes, and to highlight the mechanisms triggering the fossilization processes during diagenesis. At La Polledrara di Cecanibbio, (the richest Middle Pleistocene paleontological and archaeological deposit in central Italy), a museum exhibits in situ thousands of fossils deposited into a fluvial and fluvio-palustrine environment during Marine Isotope Stage 9. The aim of this research is to disentangling between the chemical modifications undergone by the bone tissues of La Polledrara di Cecanibbio mammal remains exposed in situ to environmental agents on the excavated surface and those undergone by bones kept or displayed in museums. X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Raman Spectroscopy and SEM-EDS analyses were carried out to establish the chemical composition of fossil bones and the alteration occurred over time. To estimate the trend of the environmental parameters inside the museum, the measures of the temperature, the relative humidity and the dew point were recorded during at least three seasons. Fluoroapatite is the principal mineral phase identified in the fossils, testifying that the fluoritisation of the hydroxylapatite is the main fossilization process at La Polledrara di Cecanibbio. Barite and gypsum are also present, in response to ground water qualities and geochemistry of the depositional and burial environment. In addition, efflorescences of gypsum crystals have been detected on the surface of fossil bones. The research performed at La Polledrara di Cecanibbio suggests that the crystallization of secondary minerals such as gypsum crystals depends on environmental conditions and the high solubility of this salt coupled with the facility of expansion upon its re-precipitation inside the bone tissues, constitute the main cause of deterioration. Therefore, the monitoring and stabilization of the indoor environmental parameters are essential for identifying the degradation potential factors and process of bone degradation. They represent the best protocol to follow for preserving in situ fossil bones.</p> Federica Marano Maria Rita Palombo Eugenio Cerilli Salvatore Milli Copyright (c) 2021 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 34 1 165 180 10.26382/AMQ.2021.11