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SEMINARIO Prof S. Benazzi: "The Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition in Italy: the link between a tooth and the ERC grant"

Mercoledì 8 Marzo 2017, ore 12.00 - 13.00
Aula Uint.5, DSCG - Via Campi 103

"The Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition in Italy: the link between a tooth and the ERC grant"
Prof. Dr. Stefano Benazzi
Director of the Laboratory of Physical Anthropology and ancient DNA, Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Via degli Ariani 1, 48121 Ravenna, Italy
and Associate Researcher, Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, Leipzig 04103, Germany

Host: Prof. Anna Cipriani

Abstract
The time period between 50,000-40,000 years ago is a crucial event in human evolution, as the so-called anatomically modern humans expanded out from tropical areas into Eurasia, replacing or partially absorbing local archaic humans, among which were the Neandertals. To date, the time and mode of this major global replacement of populations remains unknown. Within this context, new evidence places Italy as a keystone region in answering questions surrounding this transition due to its geographic position, ecological variability, and the key archaeological sites representing Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic cultures, yet Italy has largely been absent in the research. The recently obtained ERC Consolidator Grant 2016 (n. 724046 - SUCCESS) tackles this issue. It aims to understand when AMHs arrived in Italy, the biocultural processes that favoured their successful adaptation and the final cause of Neandertal extinction.