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Volume 6 (1) - 1983


Datazione di resti ossei e denti del Pleistocene Superiore e dell’Olocene dell’area mediterranea con il metodo della racemizzazione degli aminoacidi – Bones and teeth of upper Pleistocene-Holocene age in the Mediterranean area dated with the aspartic acid racemization method

Pages 21-30


We have applied the aspartic acid racemization method to date some samples of big-mammal faunat and human bones from the following sites: Simonelli and Bate Caves (Crete), Fossellone Cave (Mount Circeo, Latium), Cavallo Cave (Lecce, Apulia), Uzzo Cave (Trapani, Sicily), Mursia Village (Pantelleria) and Santa Tecchia Village (Foggia, Apulia). Ages obtained by this dating technique were generally in good agreement with radiocarbon ages and with the general predictions from paleontologica land archaeological evidences. In particular we have dated three fragments of bones of Elephas creutzburgikuss, medium size dwarf deer and Megaceros cretensis from Simonelli Cave; the ages obtained are 49,000, 21,500 and 24,000 years respectively. We have also dated two teeth of Megaceros cretensis (SIMONELLI), both from Bate Cave; the estimated ages are 64,000 and 69,000 years, These dates are the first direct indications of the age of these animals. Finally, we present some correlations between racemization deduced temperatures and , «exponential » temperatures to which Holocene and Pleistocene fossil samples have been exposed. The results of these correlations for Holocene bones show that there is good agreement between the calculated and « exponential temperatures (T variation about 2°C). We have also carried out a similar comparison between the temperatures calculated from Pleistocene samples and present-day « exponential » temperatures. The values obtained from Pleistocene fossil bones are, as expected, considerably lower than the present-day « exponential » temperatures (T variation about 7°C).

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