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Franchthi Cave revisited: the age of the Aurignacian in south-eastern Europe

  • K. Douka (a1), C. Perlès (a2), H. Valladas (a3), M. Vanhaeren (a4) and R.E.M. Hedges (a1)...

The Aurignacian, traditionally regarded as marking the beginnings of Sapiens in Europe, is notoriously hard to date, being almost out of reach of radiocarbon. Here the authors return to the stratified sequence in the Franchthi Cave, chronicle its lithic and shell ornament industries and, by dating humanly-modified material, show that Franchthi was occupied either side of the Campagnian Ignimbrite super-eruption around 40000 years ago. Along with other results, this means that groups of Early Upper Palaeolithic people were active outside the Danube corridor and Western Europe, and probably in contact with each other over long distances.

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