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Volume 26 (1) - 2003


Morphological evolution of the Nurighe karst cavity (Logudoro, northern Sardinia) and the presence of man: first results

Pages 41-48


From the course of studies in the Logudoro Mejlogu area, where the Nurighe karst system is located, it has been possible to obtain more accurate information on the geomorphologic evolution of this particular cave, and to analyse the samples of sediments from inside the cave. From an analysis of the sediment samples, it has been possible to identify certain evidence of the presence of hominization in remains of fauna, such as traces of mastication; further analysis of the samples revealed human bone remains confirming these early indications. Since the cave is the effect of an inversion of the entrance of the cavity, by locating the original one, which had been closed by lava flow; thanks to the absolute age of the lava flow, it was possible to date the presence of man to a period before 0.1 m.y.BP. This confirms the hypothesis of the age of first colonisation in the cave, which is certainly referable to about 0,3 m.y.BP the time necessary for the deposit to fossilise and be displaced; moreover the richness material and its particular recalcification conditions may allow a precise reading of the morphoclimatic phases that occurred in the entire region. Indications of the presence of man in Sardinia date back to the Lower Paleolithic (Clactonian, as the Auct.) when traces of processing were found on flintstones in Anglona in northern Sardinia, which based on the processing found on the findings, were dated to 0.3-0.5 m.y.BP in the Lower Palaeolithic. The presence of man in the Nurighe cave confirms the discoveries in Anglona based on found items, and for the first time offers absolute dating as well as the possibility of finding abundant remains of the first colonisers of the island.

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