“Aurignacian dynamics in Southeastern Europe based on spatial analysis, sediment geochemistry, raw materials, lithic analysis, and use-wear from Românești-Dumbrăvița”
New article published by Wei Chu, Scott McLin, Luisa Wöstehoff, Alexandru Ciornei, Jacopo Gennai, João Marreiros & Adrian Dobo, in Scientific Reports.
The Aurignacian is one of the first cultural-technological traditions commonly associated with the expansion of Homo sapiens in Europe. Early Homo sapiens demographics across the continent are therefore typically inferred using the distribution of Aurignacian assemblages. Western Romania has been used as a tie-point to connect the well-researched lithic assemblages from the eastern Mediterranean and Western Europe through its early Homo sapiens fossils. However, Romania’s archeological record remains underexplored thereby hindering our ability to directly connect better understood regions through time and space. Here we report on excavations from the open-air Middle/Upper Paleolithic site of Românești-Dumbrăvița I in southwestern Romania. Three stratified Paleolithic assemblages were extensively excavated within a 1-m-thick eolian-deposited sequence. Spatial, geochemical, raw material, techno-typological, and use-wear analysis of the site reveal patterns of artifact configuration, resource exploitation, fire history, knapping objectives, and functionality. Taken together, Românești-Dumbrăvița I is the first well-contextualized archeological site in close spatiotemporal proximity to many early, well-preserved human fossils and in East-Central Europe.