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Italy offers an extraordinarily complete and well exposed record of recent open-marine sediments that have being employed for centuries to establish geological standards of the Neogene and the Quaternary. Over the last decades, the very same successions provided a benchmark for validating ever newer methodologies and techniques in Earth Sciences that contributed dramatically to establishing the modern Geologic Time Scale. The stratigraphic record of Southern Italy and Sicily played a key role in developing the Astronomical Time Scale (ATS) and provided physical reference in the definition of Global Stratotype Sections and Points (GSSPs) for the current Lower Pleistocene Stages (Gelasian and Calabrian). Here, we discuss and summarize the state of the art of the Gelasian and Calabrian Stages, in light of the recent advances and ongoing work.
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