Data


Genesis of loess-like sediments and soils at the foothills of the Banat Mountains, Romania - Examples from the Paleolithic sites Romanesti and Cosava

Abstract

The Paleolithic sites Romanesti and Cosava, situated at the foothills of the Banat Mountains in Romania, provide an important testament of life of the first European modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) during the Middle Pleniglacial. Even though these sites have been extensively excavated, little is known about the site formation of related loess-like sediments and soils. First luminescence data at the two investigated sections confirm sediments from the penultimate glacial period to the Holocene.
Assigning the levels of findings is difficult, because the sediments are close to the surface and are overprinted by recent soil development. Albeluvisols, influenced by stagnic features, are the typical surface soils in the study are and on comparable morphological positions in the region. Laboratory analysis has revealed that this soil has a complex genesis from hydrolysis weathering, which is connected with the development of a fragil soil horizon, overprinting the major find horizons at both sites. By using sedimentological and geochemical methods in combination, this study aims to reconstruct sedimentary evolution and soil processes at the sites, as well as to evaluate the state of preservation and the actual content of the archeological context.
Inital results indicate hints for a forest step and higher vegetation during MIS 3 at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in the Western Plain of Romania. These natural factors offer a local attractiveness of the region which could be the most important reason for the occurrence of first Anatomically Modern Humans. Our investigations lend a better understanding of the paleoenvironment as well as a first age control of Paleolithic levels for the region.

Bibliography

Kels, H., Protze, J., Sitlivy, V., Hilgers, A., Zander, A., Anghelinu, M., Bertrams, M., Lehmkuhl, F. (2014): Genesis of loess-like sediments and soils at the foothills of the Banat Mountains, Romania - Examples from the Paleolithic sites Romanesti and Cosava. – In: Quaternary International, Vol. 351, p: 213-230, DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.04.063

Authors Holger Kels and Jens Protze and Valéry Sitlivy and Alexandra Hilgers and Anja Zander and Mircea Anghelinu and Manuel Bertrams and Frank Lehmkuhl
Type article
Title Genesis of loess-like sediments and soils at the foothills of the Banat Mountains, Romania - Examples from the Paleolithic sites Romanesti and Cosava
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618214002870
DOI 10.1016/j.quaint.2014.04.063
Journal Quaternary International
Year 2014
Volume 351
Pages 213-230
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