Multiple sites in Europe dated around 1.8-1.7 Ma ago yield a characteristic larger mammal fauna consisting of proboscideans, rhinoceroses, cervids, bovids, equids and predatory and scavenging carnivores. Part of this fauna originates from a migratory out-of Africa event, c. 2.0 Ma ago. Lithic artefacts are being found in several of these localities, while in one locality, Dmanisi (Georgia), remains of Homo erectus (sensu lato) are also present. The presence in localities such as Chilhac (France), Pirro Nord 13 (Italy), and possibly West Runton ‘Stone Bed’ (England) of a Middle to Late Villafranchian mammal fauna (MVMF/LVMF) in association with stone tools and in a context dated or correlated to an age around 1.8-1.7 Ma, makes us hypothesize that Homo erectus (sensu lato) lived in (north)western Europe during this time-frame, and that early humans formed an integral part of the Late Villafranchian Mammal Fauna. The ex-situ finds in Liessel and Mill-Langenboom (The Netherlands) suggest potential evidence for human presence there too.

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Cainozoic Research

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Jelle F. Reumer, Noud Peters, & John de Vos. (2021). Did Homo erectus sensu lato live in western Europe during the Early Pleistocene? An ecological approach to a vexing question. Cainozoic Research, 21(1), 97–109.