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The earliest securely-dated hominin artefact in Anatolia?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Darrel Maddy, Dr Chris Stemerdink, Dr Tim van der Schriek


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Anatolia lies at the gateway from Asia into Europe and has frequently been favoured as a route for Early Pleistocene hominin dispersal. Although early hominins are known to have occupied Turkey, with numerous finds of Lower Palaeolithic artefacts documented, the chronology of their dispersal has little reliable stratigraphical or geochronological constraint, sites are rare, and the region's hominin history remains poorly understood as a result. Here, we present a Palaeolithic artefact, a hard-hammer flake, from fluvial sediments associated with the Early Pleistocene Gediz River of Western Turkey. This previously documented buried river terrace sequence provides a clear stratigraphical context for the find and affords opportunities for independent age estimation using the numerous basaltic lava flows that emanated from nearby volcanic necks and aperiodically encroached onto the contemporary valley floors. New Ar-40/Ar-39 age estimates from these flows are reported here which, together with palaeomagnetic measurements, allow a tightly-constrained chronology for the artefact-bearing sediments to be established. These results suggest that hominin occupation of the valley occurred within a time period spanning similar to 1.24 Ma to similar to 1.17 Ma, making this the earliest, securely-dated, record of hominin occupation in Anatolia. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Maddy D, Schreve D, Demir T, Veldkamp A, Wijbrans JR, van Gorp W, van Hinsbergen DJJ, Dekkers MJ, Scaife R, Schoorl JM, Stemerdink C, van der Schriek T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Quaternary Science Reviews

Year: 2015

Volume: 109

Pages: 68-75

Print publication date: 01/02/2015

Online publication date: 20/12/2014

Acceptance date: 28/11/2014

ISSN (print): 0277-3791

ISSN (electronic): 1873-457X

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.11.021


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Funder referenceFunder name
British Institute at Ankara
NWO VIDI grant
306810ERC Starting Grant