Maria Rosa Iovino, Centro Internazionale di sperimentazione, di documentazione e di studio per la preistoria e l’etnografia dei popoli primitive, Italy and Corrado
Marziano, ICAZ (International
Council for Archaeozoology), Italy. Palaeoecological diversity of southeastern Sicily during Neogene/Quaternary and its implications for territory capabilities,
behavior and adaptation of (early?)
The research carried out in the Neogene/Quaternary of Sicily produced numerous data related to several branches such as geology, stratigraphy, palaeoceanography,
palaeoecology, biogeography, and palaeontology.
Although in the past a certain amount of research took place, the understanding of early human colonization(s) of Sicily is still an open question, with conjectural data ranging from
Lower Pleistocene up to the Last Glacial Maximum. The two main theories of early population dynamics of Sicily are (a) considering the arrival of human beings from the Italian
peninsula through the Messina strait, and (b) coming from Africa through a Siculo-Maghrebin bridge formed during regression periods.
The last decades of palaeoanthropological research in Sicily have been dominated by the debate on the fossil specimen MDS-AG 2840, known as the
Mandrascava skull, and other research by Bianchini in the area around the town of Agrigento situated in central southern Sicily, just in front of Africa.
Unfortunately the impact of this research has been irrelevant both because it was rejected by scholars as fake and because in the area of the supposed discovery no scientific
research has subsequently been attempted.
Human migrations depended on many parameters among which the most relevant are surely the topographic, geographic, and climatic factors.
The discovery of a Homo sapiens skull, found recently by the authors at Giovanna Cave, stimulated a focus of our research on the Hyblean Plateau territory that shows geological
and geographical features different from the rest of Sicily.
In this work we propose to start from a zero level, beginning with the palaeoecological factors of this territory and selecting the suitable areas for future research.