Parthena (Nena) Galanidou

Grant Type

Conference Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Crete, U. of

Grant number

Gr. CONF-864

Approve Date

October 8, 2021

Project Title

Galanidou, Parthena (Crete, U. of) Aegean Acheulean at the Eurasian crossroads: Hominin settlement in Eurasia and Africa

A decade of archaeological investigations on Lesbos Island, Greece has brought to light a cluster of open-air sites and stone tool assemblages with unequivocal Acheulean affinities expanding the Acheulean map to the Aegean Sea. pIRIR dates obtained for the excavated sediments at the principal site of Rodafnidia ‘ located in a Middle Pleistocene floodplain over a volcanic landscape and near a palaeolake (Kalloni Gulf) ‘ provide minimum ages for the hominin settlement on Lesbos between 476 and 164 Kya. This is unique in the context of W Anatolia and the Balkan Peninsula for it adds a new strand to the discussion about the spread of the Acheulean phenomenon north and westwards of the Levantine corridor and the early colonisation of Europe via terrestrial corridors opening in the Aegean Basin during low sea level stands. The proposed international conference aspires to bring together Acheulean archaeology experts from around the world to present the results of Palaeolithic investigations on Lesbos, assess the importance of the Aegean Acheulean record within the context of the Eurasian and African records, and reconsider the Aegean region as a possible but largely unexplored Middle Pleistocene hominin dispersal route at the very heart of Eurasia. The conference’s ultimate contribution would be to develop informed agendas for future research at the W gateway of Anatolia into Europe.