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Journal Articles Quaternary International Year : 2010

Hominid Cave at Thomas Quarry I (Casablanca, Morocco): Recent findings and their context

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Abstract

The Thomas Quarry I locality was made famous in 1969 with the discovery of a human half-mandible in a cave. In 1985, further investigations revealed the presence of a Lower Acheulean assemblage in lower units of the section. From 1988 onwards, modern controlled excavations took place within the framework of the Franco-Moroccan co-operative project "Casablanca". Acheulean artefacts, a rich mammalian fauna and four hominid teeth have been excavated from the cave. The faunal set indicates an open woodland environment. Carcasses were processed by carnivores, but cut-marks are absent, which raises the question of any human role in the bone accumulations. Stone knapping was mainly oriented towards flake production and a few bifaces have been imported into the site. Laser ablation ICP-MS dating combining the ESR and U-series data for the modelling of the U-uptake has given an US/ESR age of 501 ± 76 ka for a human premolar while new OSL measurements yielded an age of 420 ± 34 ka for sediments immediately above the dated tooth and 391 ± 32 ka below. Nevertheless, biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy point towards a greater antiquity.

Dates and versions

halshs-00475759 , version 1 (22-04-2010)

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Jean-Paul Raynal, Fatima-Zohra Sbihi Alaoui, Abderrahim Mohib, Mohssine El Graoui, David Lefevre, et al.. Hominid Cave at Thomas Quarry I (Casablanca, Morocco): Recent findings and their context. Quaternary International, 2010, 223-224, pp.369-382. ⟨10.1016/j.quaint.2010.03.011⟩. ⟨halshs-00475759⟩
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