Did the CI volcanic eruption play a role in the transition from the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic?

Horizons of volcanic tephra were repeatedly deposited across Mediterranean and Eastern Europe throughout the Pleistocene, providing a distinct chronological marker. One of these main tephra events, the Campanian Ignimbrite (CI), took place around the time of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition. Its influence on Neanderthal and early modern human populations and cultural changes has…

Diet breadth in the Middle Stone Age: Evolutionarily important?

The Middle Stone Age (MSA, ca. 300,000 to 30,000 years ago), is a crucial period in terms of the emergence of our species. During this period anatomically Modern Humans evolved and spread out of Africa. A recent study published in Current Anthropology (free access) provides a new perspective on this phenomenon through an investigation of subsistence practices…

The role of fatty acids in Palaeolithic diet: New evidence from frozen Mammoth carcasses.

Many studies into Palaeolithic diet, both traditional zooarchaeological analysis and isotope studies, emphasise the importance of meat to past hominin diet. However, these frequently encounter the problem of explaining how these past communities overcame problems related to the consumption of large quantities of meat. Whilst it is one of the worst kept secrets in Palaeolithic archaeology…