C. B. Stringer, J. J. Hublin, and B. Vandermeersch, “The Origin of Anatomically Modern Humans in Western Europe,” in Fred Smith and Frank Spencer, Ed. The Origins Of Modern Humans: A World Survey of the Fossil Evidence (Alan R. Liss: New York), 1984, p. 80-81

Grimaldi Aurignacian – homo sapiens sapiens

The Earliest European:  Grimaldi Man African “Negroid” fossils: as classified by Cheikh Anta Diop):

Six Skeletons from the Grimaldi Caves at the Grotte des Enfants Site: 

[Source:  Fred Smith and Frank Spencer, The Origins of Modern Humans:  A World Survey of the Fossil Evidence (1984]):

“The Grimaldi caves (Liguria, Italy): excavations at the Grotte des Enfants site between 1874 and 1901 produced six hominid partial skeletons:

 a double inhumation of two children aged c 4-6 years (skeletons 1 and 2),

an adult female (skeleton 3),

an adult male (skeleton 4),

another adult female (skeleton 5),

and an adolescent male (skeleton 6).

The first three skeletons were found considerably higher in the stratigraphic sequence than the better known specimens 4-6. 


The two childrens skeletons (1 and 2) were said to have “aurignacian” associations, but unlike skeletons 4-6 they lacked the associated red ochre and rich ornaments


The Negroid Skeletons:

“ … The three best-known skeletons (4,5,6) may have been burials from an early Upper Paleolithic (Aurignacian or Gravettian) level into a sterile layer that may represent an interstadial period.  This last level immediately succeeds the latest Mousterian horizon in the caveThe female (5) and the adolescent (6) may represent a double inhumation [but see Sauter, 1983], and these specimens have been termed ‘negroid.’

Italy, France, Germany, and Spain

“ … Excavations at the caves of Baousso da Torre, Barma del Caviglione, and Barma Grande (Italy) between 1872 and 1894 also produced fragmentary and more complete skeletal remains, some of which have ‘Aurignacian’ associations. … The available dates suggest that the Mousterian-Upper Paleolithic interface occurred at about the same date in Italy as in France, and perhaps Germany [Hahn, 1981] and Spain, i.e. between 35,000 and 30,000 years ago.   It may be that the first appearance of modern humans in Italy also occurred at this time.”


About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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