» Home > In the News

Neanderthal Caves in Italy

2 August 2020

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-neanderthal-cave… … basically, what we have here  apart from the discovery of a Neanderthal presence in some caves in Italy is evidence of sea level fluctuations in the Mediterannean during the Middle Palaeolithic period. Caves in Italy provide evidence of changing sea levels between 124,000 and 80,000 years ago. This is said to be interesting for those researching how ice impacts on rising sea levels, and appears to have become the main focus of the press release. The archaeology takes a secondary role even though it is an archaeological excavation. Strange, but goes with the times I suppose. Does any of this mean the finidngs contradict previously held assumption? Oscillations in sea level affected Neanderthal occupapation.


Around 120,000 years ago, during the Eemian interglacial period, sea levels were 6m higher than in the modern world. However, at 20,000 years ago, sea levels dropped by more than 100m. Why not earlier? After all, the Ice Age began around 100,000 years ago, it is thought. Was there any point in this disclosure? We already knew sea  levels were low during the Late Glacial Maximum. However, did we know it was only 100m lower in the Mediterranean? Supposedly it was over 500m lower in more northern latitudes, bordering on the Atlantic sea shores. Why were waves lapping around Italy just 100m lower? Not only that, what has 20,000 years ago got to do with a study centred on  124,000 to 80,000 years ago? Seems like the press release outweighs the meat of the research. You can read the full article at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-68604-z.pdf … and you'll find what it is really all about.

Skip to content