Stegodons are a commonly recovered extinct proboscidean (elephants and allies) from the Pleistocene record of Southeast Asian oceanic islands.
Estimates on when stegodons arrived on individual islands and the timings of their extinctions are poorly constrained due to few reported direct geochronological analyses of their remains.
Here we report on uranium-series dating of a stegodon tusk recovered from the Ainaro Gravels of Timor.
The six dates obtained indicate the local presence of stegodons in Timor at or before 130 ka, significantly pre-dating the earliest evidence of humans on the island.
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Thus, we do not consider either of these factors to have contributed significantly to their extinction.
The period experienced the dispersal of early modern humans into the region, their probable contemporaneity within Europe with late Neandertal populations, and the eventual disappearance of the Neandertals through geographically variable population processes. modern human remains has been assigned to either later phases of the Upper Paleolithic [Cro-Magnon (France), La Rochette (France), and Konĕprusy (Czech Republic) (10–12)] or the Holocene [Engis (Belgium), Hahnöfersand (Germany), St.
As the best documented sequence for the Late Pleistocene archaic to modern human and the Middle to Upper Paleolithic biocultural transition, the European record continues to be the focus of attention, debate, and disagreement over the cultural and biological processes and the biocultural interactions that were involved in the transition. Prokop (Czech Republic), Velika Pećina (Croatia), and Vogelherd (Germany) (13–18)].
Moreover, because it involved, by its end, the final establishment of humans morphologically similar to and whose cultural behaviors were close to those of ethnohistoric foraging populations, this transition continues to generate interest as the final “event” in the sequence of our predecessors becoming “human.” Our perceptions of the biocultural processes involved in this transitional period have been deeply affected in the past decade by the application of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating to both late Neandertals and early modern humans (1, 2). Direct and indirect dating has placed several Neandertal specimens at the beginning and the middle of this chronological period [Arcy-sur-Cure (Grotte du Renne, France), Feldhofer (Germany), Saint-Césaire (France), and Zaskalnaya (Ukraine) (19–22)] and has placed others toward the more recent end in the cul-de-sac of Iberia [Cabezo Gordo (Spain), Columbeira (Portugal), Figueira Brava (Portugal), and Zafarraya (Spain) (23–25)].
Beginning in the 1990s, several early modern humans have been directly dated to 28,000 B. Moreover, two Neandertals from Vindija Cave in Croatia yielded radiocarbon determinations at the end of this transitional period (15).