The continental shelf morphology offshore of western Sicily suggests that during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 20 ka cal BP), two of the Egadi Islands, Favignana and Levanzo, were connected to Sicily by a wide emerged plain, while Marettimo was only separated from the other islands by a narrow channel. We studied the relative sea-level variation from the LGM until today, focussing on two important time slices: the Mesolithic (9.5–13 ka cal BP)and the Neolithic (6.5–7.5 ka cal BP). In this research, we discuss a sea-level rise model by means of geomorphological, archaeological and geophysical observations and new radiocarbon dating of marine and terrestrial fossil fauna. The results enabled us to provide a detailed palaeogeographical reconstruction of the focal area from the LGM until they became isolated. The evidence that has emerged from this research, in particular the radiometric data, supports the hypothesis that seafaring in the western Mediterranean area may have started between the early Mesolithic and late Epigravettian (between 8.4 and 13.5 ka cal BP), although it probably became a well-established practice only during the Neolithic.

Palaeogeographical evolution of the Egadi Islands (western Sicily, Italy). Implications for late Pleistocene and early Holocene sea crossings by humans and other mammals in the western Mediterranean

Antonioli F.;
2019

Abstract

The continental shelf morphology offshore of western Sicily suggests that during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 20 ka cal BP), two of the Egadi Islands, Favignana and Levanzo, were connected to Sicily by a wide emerged plain, while Marettimo was only separated from the other islands by a narrow channel. We studied the relative sea-level variation from the LGM until today, focussing on two important time slices: the Mesolithic (9.5–13 ka cal BP)and the Neolithic (6.5–7.5 ka cal BP). In this research, we discuss a sea-level rise model by means of geomorphological, archaeological and geophysical observations and new radiocarbon dating of marine and terrestrial fossil fauna. The results enabled us to provide a detailed palaeogeographical reconstruction of the focal area from the LGM until they became isolated. The evidence that has emerged from this research, in particular the radiometric data, supports the hypothesis that seafaring in the western Mediterranean area may have started between the early Mesolithic and late Epigravettian (between 8.4 and 13.5 ka cal BP), although it probably became a well-established practice only during the Neolithic.
Dwarf elephants; Egadi archipelago; Food remains; Mammals; Marine geological data; Mediterranean voyaging; Palaeogeographical reconstruction; Palaeoshorelines; Vertical tectonic movements
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/52205
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