Beniamino Mecozzi

Beniamino Mecozzi
Sapienza University of Rome | la sapienza · Department of Earth Sciences

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75
Publications
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231
Citations

Publications

Publications (75)
Conference Paper
The evolutionary history of the fallow deer lineage is still a controversial topic, and general consensus has not been reached so far. Taxonomical attribution of medium-sized deer of Europe rests mainly on antler morphology and, when these are not available, identifications are often based on chronological ground. Adequate dental and postcranial di...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Numerous remains of terrestrial mammals have been recovered from the early Middle Pleistocene deposit of Contrada Monticelli (Bari, southern Italy), biochronologically referred to the Isernia Faunal Unit (Stefanelli et al., 2021). Among the mammal taxa, a partial cranium and several hemimandibles were assigned to the Toula’s rhinoceros, Stephanorhi...
Chapter
Here we describe the remains of the giant hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris (Gervais, 1850) recovered from the site of Untermassfeld (Thuringia, Germany), representing the most abundant European sample of this widespread and iconic carnivoran. The morphological description provides insights on the variability of the species in comparison to other ext...
Preprint
During the last century, Grotta Romanelli (Southern Italy) has been a reference site for the European Late Pleistocene stratigraphy, due to its geomorphological setting and archaeological and palaeontological content. The beginning of the sedimentation inside the cave was attributed to MISs 5e and the oldest unearthed evidence of human occupation,...
Conference Paper
Grotta Romanelli, a key site for prehistoric studies in Italy, is located on the Adriatic coast of southern Apulia near Castro (LE). Discovered in 1871, its deposits were the subject of extensive studies from the early twentieth century until the 1970s. Since then the field activities were suspended until 2015, when a new excavation campaign was st...
Conference Paper
New fieldwork activities at Grotta Romanelli started in 2015, coordinated by Sapienza, University of Rome and in collaboration with IGAG CNR and other research institutions. This coastal cave, located in the administrative territory of the Castro municipality, within the Otranto-Santa Maria di Leuca Coast and Tricase Woods regional natural parks (L...
Conference Paper
The Roman territory and its surroundings represent one of most important areas for the study of the European Middle Pleistocene mammal paleocommunities. Since the 19th century, thousands of vertebrate fossils have been recovered from a considerable number of localities of the Roman Campaign (Campagna Romana) or within the city. Unfortunately, the m...
Conference Paper
Grotta Romanelli is a coastal cave inhabited by humans since the Middle Pleistocene and considered a symbol of the Palaeolithic period in Europe. The site, facing the Ionian Sea, is located in the administrative territory of the Castro (Lecce) municipality, at the south-eastern extremity of Apulia.This area, also known as Salentine Peninsula, docum...
Article
Full-text available
Here, we describe a partial cranium of a large canid dated at 406.5 ± 2.4 ka from the Middle Pleistocene of Ponte Galeria (Rome, Italy). The sample represents one of the few Middle Pleistocene remains of a wolf-like canid falling within the timeframe when the Canis mosbachensis–Canis lupus transition occurred, a key moment to understand the spread...
Article
The Apulian Peninsula represents a key-region for the study of climatic changes and paleoenvironmental dynamics during the Quaternary. Both large and small-sized horses are well documented in this region during the Pleistocene and are frequently found associated. The caballoid horses from Middle to Late Pleistocene of Europe show a large intraspeci...
Article
Suidae remains recovered from the late Pliocene site of Collepardo (Latium, central Italy) are described and assigned to Sus arvernensis, a small-sized Ruscinian to Early Villafranchian (MN14-MN16a) species. In Italy, S. arvernensis only occurs in the Triversa Faunal Unit (MN16a), supporting the recently revised chronology of Collepardo. CT-scan me...
Article
Grotta Romanelli can be counted among the most interesting sites for the late Upper Palaeolithic of the Mediterranean area, since returned a consistent record of lithic artefacts, faunal remains, mobiliary and parietal art, and human fossils which represent the least-known materials from the context. The resumption of the investigations in 2015, af...
Article
An updated description and revision of a left hemimandible assigned to Hyaenictitherium namaquensis, a dog-like hyaena from the late Miocene locality of As Sahabi (Libya, North Africa), is here provided. This fossil is part of the historical collection discovered by Carlo Petrocchi, the Italian researcher who excavated the site in the 1930s. The As...
Article
Pollen analyses have been carried out on the infilling deposits of Grotta Romanelli (Apulia, Italy), a reference site for the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic of Italy. The analysis focused on Terre rosse, a fine unit till now ascribed to an interstadial phase following the Würm acme, and on the uppermost unit (Terre brune), recently dated to the late...
Article
The giant, short-faced hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris was the largest Hyaenidae ever existed and the one that perfectly embodied the distinctive bone-cracking adaptations of this mammal family. Its dispersal into Europe is regarded as a biochronological marker of the Late Villafranchian at ~2.0 Ma, and its potential ecological interactions with ot...
Article
The Romanelli Cave in south-east Italy is an important reference point for the so-called ‘Mediterranean province’ of European Upper Palaeolithic art. Yet, the site has only recently been subject to a systematic investigation of its parietal and portable art. Starting in 2016, a project has recorded the cave's interior, discovering new parietal art....
Article
Full-text available
The Middle Pleistocene was a crucial stage for the evolution of European mammals, a time when the majority of the modern taxa appeared in the continent for the first time. It is also in this interval that periodicity and intensity of glacial-interglacial cycles changed, an event that strongly impacted on Mediterranean marine and terrestrial ecosyst...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The pardel lynx, Lynx pardinus, is considered one of the most threatened living felids, currently distributed in restricted areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The evolutionary history of this medium-sized felid, as well as its relationships with the Middle-Late Pleistocene “cave lynx” from Mediterranean Europe, have fuelled a decades-long debate among...
Article
The karst fissures known as “ventarole”, located in the Salentine Peninsula (southernmost part of Apulia, Italy), were first studied by Mirigliano in 1941. These fissures are generally filled with reddish sediments or “terre rosse” in the lower part, and with brownish sediments or “terre brune” in the upper one. Both deposits are particularly rich...
Article
The Ponte Galeria area within the city of Rome has yielded numerous fossiliferous localities that represent a reference point for the study of the European Middle Pleistocene ecosystems. Within Ponte Galeria a rich collection of fossil mammals has been unearthed from Cava di Breccia – Casal Selce 2 (MIS 15) thus the site represents an optimal labor...
Article
Full-text available
Here we describe fossil mammal remains recovered from the late Middle Pleistocene (MIS 11) of Fontignano 2 (Rome, central Italy). Two species are recognized: the aurochs Bos primigenius and the red deer Cervus elaphus. The presence of B. primigenius represents one of the earliest diagnostic evidence of the species. Conversely, remains of C. elaphus...
Article
Full-text available
In this work, the Middle Pleistocene mammal assemblage from Ponte Molle, a historical locality of the urban area of Rome, has been revised together with a review of the stratigraphical succession of the deposit. This allows us to reconstruct the provenance of the fossil material and to provide chronological constrains trough the correlation with th...
Article
Among the fossils coming from the Contrada Monticelli site (Castellana Grotte, BA), preserved at the Museum of Earth Sciences of the Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, some cervid fossil remains have been studied. The site was discovered during the 1970s, but the fossil material was never studied, except in a few cases, which do not include...
Article
The pardel lynx Lynx pardinus is today restricted to small populations living in southern Iberian Peninsula. However, this endangered species was widely spread throughout Iberia until historical times and is currently the subject of intense conservation programs. Paleontological data suggest that its past geographical range was much wider, includin...
Article
Full-text available
A river otter hemimandible has been rediscovered during the revision of the historical collections of G.A. Blanc from Grotta Romanelli, complementing the ongoing multidisciplinary research fieldwork on the site. The specimen, recovered from the level G (“terre rosse”; early Late Pleistocene or late Middle Pleistocene), is here assigned to Lutra lut...
Article
In this study, we report for the first time the presence of Cuon alpinus from the Late Pleistocene site of Ingarano (Foggia, southern Italy), represented by an right upper first molar. Considering the intricate and debated taxonomy of fossil dholes, our comparative analyses on dental samples (P 4 , M 1 , and M 1) of the extant and Middle to Late Pl...
Article
Full-text available
Notarchirico (Southern Italy) has yielded the earliest evidence of Acheulean settlement in Italy and four older occupation levels have recently been unearthed, including one with bifaces, extending the roots of the Acheulean in Italy even further back in time. New 40Ar/39Ar on tephras and ESR dates on bleached quartz securely and accurately place t...
Article
Full-text available
Nel parco Naturale Regionale Costa Otranto Santa Maria di Leuca - Bosco di Tricase sono presenti cavità carsiche che rappresentano preziosi archivi naturali dei cambiamenti climatici avvenuti nel corso del Quaternario e dell ' antica presenza umana sul territorio. Tra queste cavità, Grotta Romanelli ha attirato l' attenzione degli studiosi sin dall...
Article
Full-text available
Cranial remains of juvenile fossil rhinoceroses are rarely described in literature and very few is known about the ontogenetic development of their inner anatomy. In this study, we report the first CT based description of a juvenile braincase and its natural brain endocast of a late Middle Pleistocene Rhinocerotinae from Melpignano (Apulia, Italy)....
Article
Full-text available
The extant wild boar Sus scrofa has one of the largest geographical range of all mammals, and from its appearance in the late Early Pleistocene (Epivillafranchian) it is also widely represented in the European fossil record. Early forms of the species were larger than Late Pleistocene ones, but neither the chronology nor the causes of the size redu...
Article
Caves as geosites structurally illustrate the strict dependence of human occupation on geological and geomorphological processes, playing a crucial role in the development of human civilisation. Grotta Romanelli embodies such a kind of geosite, being a coastal cave occupied by humans since the Middle Pleistocene and considered a symbol of the Palae...
Presentation
Full-text available
The Salentine Peninsula (southernmost part of Apulia) is well known for its vertebrate paleontological record coming from caves, located both on the Adriatic and Ionian coasts (e.g., Grotta Romanelli, Grotta Zinzulusa, Grotta del Cavallo) and from karst fissures, locally known as ventarole (e.g., Sternatia, Fondo Cattìe). These latter are generally...
Poster
Full-text available
In 1978, a deposit bearing abundant fossil vertebrate bones was discovered at Contrada Monticelli (Castellana Grotte, southern Italy) during building works (Luperto-Sinni & Colucci, 1985), within the Calcare di Altamura Formation (Upper Cretaceous). The collected fossils, including Paleoloxodon antiquus, Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis, equids, bovid...
Article
In this paper, we present the results of the accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS ¹⁴ C) dating campaign performed on samples selected from different levels in Grotta Romanelli (Castro, Italy). Grotta Romanelli is one of the key sites for the chronology of Middle Pleistocene–Holocene in Mediterranean region. After the first excavation camp...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decades, many studies have focused on the description of fossil badger materials from Eurasia and several evolutionary hypotheses have been proposed. Nevertheless, the debate on taxonomy of the Late Villafranchian-Aurelian European badgers is still far from being solved and several species/subspecies were established over time. Herein,...
Poster
Full-text available
Grotta Romanelli, (Apulia. Southern Italy), is considered a key site for the Mediterranean Pleistocene for its archaeological and palaeontological contents.In 1914, G.A. Blanc led a pioneering excavation campaign. He studied the in-filling deposits and distinguished: the upper complex, the “terre brune” (layers A-E) bearing upper Palaeolithic tools...
Poster
Full-text available
“Grotta Romanelli” is a natural cave located along the Adriatic coast of the Salento Peninsula in Southern-East Italy in the territory of Castro (Lecce). The cave can be regarded as one of the key Paleolithic sites in Italy. It was discovered in 1871, but it was only thanks to the systematic excavations carried out at the beginning of 1900 that its...
Presentation
Full-text available
Grotta Romanelli, located on the Adriatic coast of the Apulian Region, was discovered in 1874 but only in 1900 was recognised as a site of remarkable importance becoming the first report of the Late Palaeolithic in Italy. The stratigraphic succession can be subdivided in two main parts: the upper and the lower complexes divided by the stalagmitic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Plio-Pleistocene transition was characterized by the onset of Quaternary glacial cycles marked by a 41 ka periodicity, which led to a gradual drop in global temperatures. Through the early Pleistocene these climatic oscillations deeply affected terrestrial ecosystems of the Mediterranean region, with the development of drier conditions, reducti...
Article
Full-text available
The Quaternary sedimentary succession exposed at Cava Spagnulo, nearby the town of Grottaglie (Apulia, Southern Italy), is described for the first time. A preliminary list of the mammal remains from the upper part of the succession, has been compared with other Pleistocene Apulian sites. The identified taxa are represented by cranial and postcrania...
Article
Full-text available
Grotta Romanelli, located on the Adriatic coast of southern Apulia (Italy), is considered a key site for the Mediterranean Pleistocene for its archaeological and palaeontological contents. The site, discovered in 1874, was re-evaluated only in 1900, when P. E. Stasi realised that it contained the first evidence of the Palaeolithic in Italy. Startin...
Article
Full-text available
The modern wolf, Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758, has one of the largest ranges amongst carnivorans, and for this reason it shows local and regional differences for adaptation to a great variety of habitats, ranging from the arctic tundra to the Arabian desert. These differences are particularly evident as wolves follow the Bergmann's ecogeographical ru...
Article
Due to its geographic position and geomorphological configuration, Grotta Romanelli acted as a sediment trap since at least MIS 5. The so-called 'terre brune' sequence is a deposit mainly of eolian origin bearing upper Palaeolithic artefacts and fossil re-mains of vertebrate fauna; it was deposited during the Glacial-Interglacial transition and the...
Poster
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Here we present a new framework about the occurrence and diffusion of ”Mammoths-Coelodonta Faunal Complex” in Italian Peninsula during the Late Pleistocene.
Poster
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Il MUST (Museo Universitario di Scienze della Terra) è il nuovo museo del Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, nato dalla fusione dei tre musei di Mineralogia, Geologia e Paleontologia. La nuova struttura museale è in fase di costruzione e occuperà gran parte degli spazi precedentemente occupati dai tre musei precedenti e includerà anche aree espos...
Poster
Full-text available
The fossiliferous area of Melpignano (Lecce, Italy) is located in a region where several quarries are open for the extraction of a Miocene calcarenite, known as Pietra Leccese. During the Middle-Late Pleistocene, the calcarenite was affected by an intense karst activity that formed an articulated fissured network. These sub-vertically or funnel-sha...
Article
Herein we describe for the rst time a canid partial cranium from the Contrada Monticelli site. Morphological and biometrical studies allow the fossil remains to be referred to the Middle Pleistocene wolf Canis mosbachensis. Associated taxa include Paleoloxodon antiquus, Stephanorhinus hundsheimensis, cervids, equids and bovids, whose biochronologic...
Poster
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During the “Sabato al Museo” (7 and 21 May 2016) and the European Night at the Museums (21 May 2016) events, organized by the “Polo museale Sapienza” (PmS - https://web.uniroma1.it/polomuseale/), the Italian Geological Society (SGI - http://www.socgeol.it/) designed and realized six laboratories for children. These were carried out in two of “Sapie...

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