Pleistocene magnetochronology of early hominin sites at Ceprano and Fontana Ranuccio, Italy

Muttoni, Giovanni; Scardia, Giancarlo; Kent, Dennis V.; Swisher, Carl C.; Manzi, Giorgio

Paleomagnetic analyses were conducted on two cores drilled at Ceprano in central Italy where an incomplete hominin cranium was discovered in 1994, as well as on two additional cores from the nearby site of Fontana Ranuccio that yielded hominin remains associated with an Acheulean industry. No evidence for the 0.78 Ma Brunhes–Matuyama boundary was found at Ceprano down to 45 m below the level that yielded the hominin cranium. The Ceprano lithostratigraphy and the paleomagnetic age constraints are broadly consistent with the stratigraphy of the Liri lacustrine sequence of the Latina Valley, constrained by published K–Ar ages between ~ 0.6 and ~ 0.35 Ma, and according to an age model with magnetic susceptibility supported by pollen facies data, suggest that the level that yielded the hominin cranium has an age of ~ 0.45 (+ 0.05, − 0.10) Ma. Evidence for the Brunhes–Matuyama boundary was found at Fontana Ranuccio about 40 m below the hominin level, consistent with a K–Ar age of ~ 0.46 Ma reported for this level. Hence the Ceprano and Fontana Ranuccio hominin occurrences may be of very similar mid-Brunhes age.



Also Published In

Earth and Planetary Science Letters

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Published Here
December 6, 2011