Attesting Neanderthal Dwelling Space Use

Effects of human occupation in the Middle Palaeolithic record of Fumane cave

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie, Grant Agreement N°897841

The debate over Neanderthal subsistence patterns and behavioural aspects is source of many discussions and scientific contributions. Research over the last ten years has produced new data on mobility, economic strategies and life-aspects of Neanderthals, that have changed and enriched the comprehension of the material record of these ancestors.

The project entitled “Attesting Neanderthal Dwelling Space Use: effects of human occupations in Middle Palaeolithic record” (ANDSU) will address the identification of changes in Neanderthal subsistence patterns across the late mousterian sequence of Fumane cave (44-47.6 ka cal BP) (Verona, Italy). ANDSU will overcome the traditional limits of scientific research, through specific objectives: the identification of Neanderthal spatial alteration patterns, the durability of their occupations, the site function, the temporality (or not) of site space and use and assess the relative lengths and number of occupation(s) / event(s). An integrated multidisciplinary research methodology, that has never been proposed until today will be useful to address the aforementioned objectives and enhance the state-of the-art. Based on bone refits, spatial archaeology, multivariate statistic techniques and 3D model reconstructions, the project emerge for its combined innovative methodology. The experimentation of 3D scan of bones will be an excellent way to record and transfer scientific information.

The ability to automate or semi-automate refits, of large faunal assemblages, would radically transform zooarchaeological research methods. On the base of these premises, ANDSU focuses on the crucial need to extend our knowledge about Middle Palaeolithic record and to understand the range of Neanderthal variability. Also, it is expected to open up new perspectives to know the life-ways of Fumane inhabitants and to understand their cultural relationships, compared with Neanderthal groups of other European regions.