The site of Palombara Marcellina was discovered at the end of the 19th century near the homonymous railway station located about 30 km north-east of Rome. After more than a century the revision of the site and its paleontological content is in progress. Here, we present the Suidae material and an historical background. In 1889, one karst filling deposit, relatively common in the Campagna Romana, attracted the attention of some quarrymen who were working in the area. The circular-shaped opening, filled with a tufaceous layer, resembled an old and abandoned well, pushing the quarrymen to dig in search of water. However, their expectations were not met, and instead of water they find fossils. The “avanzi di giganteschi Cignali” (= remains of giant boars) were the most notable discovery. They were so large-sized that Alessandro Portis (1853-1931), who firstly described the site, referred them to Sus strozzii or Sus falconeri. However, Hans Georg Stehlin (1870-1941) changed this attribution a few years later, during a visiting period to the “Regio Museo Geologico Universitario” in Rome. In fact, he noticed that the cross-section of the lower male canine in this sample was not of the “verrucose type”, but actually “scrofic”. The latter condition of this trait is —as the etymology suggests— distinctive of S. scrofa. After the initial research impetus these remains were almost forgotten and seldom cited in the literature. In 2017 a revision of the fossils started with a field survey promoted to better define the stratigraphy of the site and its age. The tufaceous layer that overlaid the deposit has long been referred to the Late Pleistocene, while its description best fits to a so-called “pisolitic tuff”, a product of the early phases of activity of the Alban Hills and the Sabatini Mounts. This constrains the site to be older than ~560 ka. Relatively complete and well preserved Epivillafranchian-Galerian wild boar specimens are rare in Europe, and hence the revision of the fossils from Palombara Marcellina provide new data for testing the biochronological and paleoenvironmental significance of the species.

The wild boar (Sus scrofa) from Palombara Marcellina, a “new” old Pleistocene site in the Campagna Romana (Latium, Central Italy) / Iannucci, Alessio; Gaeta, Mario; Sardella, Raffaele. - (2019), pp. 19-20. ((Intervento presentato al convegno XIX Edizione delle Giornate di Paleontologia tenutosi a Benevento.

The wild boar (Sus scrofa) from Palombara Marcellina, a “new” old Pleistocene site in the Campagna Romana (Latium, Central Italy)

IANNUCCI, ALESSIO
;
Mario Gaeta;Raffaele Sardella
2019

Abstract

The site of Palombara Marcellina was discovered at the end of the 19th century near the homonymous railway station located about 30 km north-east of Rome. After more than a century the revision of the site and its paleontological content is in progress. Here, we present the Suidae material and an historical background. In 1889, one karst filling deposit, relatively common in the Campagna Romana, attracted the attention of some quarrymen who were working in the area. The circular-shaped opening, filled with a tufaceous layer, resembled an old and abandoned well, pushing the quarrymen to dig in search of water. However, their expectations were not met, and instead of water they find fossils. The “avanzi di giganteschi Cignali” (= remains of giant boars) were the most notable discovery. They were so large-sized that Alessandro Portis (1853-1931), who firstly described the site, referred them to Sus strozzii or Sus falconeri. However, Hans Georg Stehlin (1870-1941) changed this attribution a few years later, during a visiting period to the “Regio Museo Geologico Universitario” in Rome. In fact, he noticed that the cross-section of the lower male canine in this sample was not of the “verrucose type”, but actually “scrofic”. The latter condition of this trait is —as the etymology suggests— distinctive of S. scrofa. After the initial research impetus these remains were almost forgotten and seldom cited in the literature. In 2017 a revision of the fossils started with a field survey promoted to better define the stratigraphy of the site and its age. The tufaceous layer that overlaid the deposit has long been referred to the Late Pleistocene, while its description best fits to a so-called “pisolitic tuff”, a product of the early phases of activity of the Alban Hills and the Sabatini Mounts. This constrains the site to be older than ~560 ka. Relatively complete and well preserved Epivillafranchian-Galerian wild boar specimens are rare in Europe, and hence the revision of the fossils from Palombara Marcellina provide new data for testing the biochronological and paleoenvironmental significance of the species.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1276171
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