From the Bay of Naples to the River Don: the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption and the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition in Eastern Europe

John F. Hoffecker, Vance T. Holliday, M. V. Anikovich, A. A. Sinitsyn, V. V. Popov, S. N. Lisitsyn, G. M. Levkovskaya, G. A. Pospelova, Steven L. Forman, Biagio Giaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption, dated by 40Ar/39Ar and various stratigraphic methods to ca. 39,000 cal BP, generated a massive ash plume from its source in southern Italy across Southeastern and Eastern Europe. At the Kostenki-Borshchevo open-air sites on the Middle Don River in Russia, Upper Paleolithic artifact assemblages are buried below, within, and above the CI tephra (which is redeposited by slope action at most sites) on the second terrace. Luminescence and radiocarbon dating, paleomagnetism, and soil and pollen stratigraphy provide further basis for correlation with the Greenland and North Atlantic climate stratigraphy. The oldest Upper Paleolithic occupation layers at Kostenki-Borshchevo may be broadly correlated with warm intervals that preceded the CI event and Heinrich Event 4 (HE4; Greenland Interstadial: GI 12-GI 9) dating to ca. 45,000-41,000 cal BP. These layers contain an industry not currently recognized in other parts of Europe. Early Upper Paleolithic layers above the CI tephra are correlated with HE4 and warm intervals that occurred during 38,000-30,000 cal BP (GI 8-GI 5), and include an assemblage that is assigned to the Aurigancian industry, associated with skeletal remains of modern humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-870
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of human evolution
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Keywords

  • Climate stratigraphy
  • Early Upper Paleolithic
  • Eastern Europe
  • Geochronology
  • Kostenki-Borshchevo
  • Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology

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    Hoffecker, J. F., Holliday, V. T., Anikovich, M. V., Sinitsyn, A. A., Popov, V. V., Lisitsyn, S. N., Levkovskaya, G. M., Pospelova, G. A., Forman, S. L., & Giaccio, B. (2008). From the Bay of Naples to the River Don: the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption and the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition in Eastern Europe. Journal of human evolution, 55(5), 858-870. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.08.018