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Human interactions with tropical environments over the last 14,000 years at Iho Eleru, Nigeria.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

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Type

Article

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Authors

Cerasoni, Jacopo Niccolò 
Hallett, Emily Yuko 
Orijemie, Emuobosa Akpo 
Ashastina, Kseniia 
Lucas, Mary 

Abstract

The Ihò Eléérú (or Iho Eleru) rock shelter, located in Southwest Nigeria, is the only site from which Pleistocene-age hominin fossils have been recovered in western Africa. Excavations at Iho Eleru revealed regular human occupations ranging from the Later Stone Age (LSA) to the present day. Here, we present chronometric, archaeobotanical, and paleoenvironmental findings, which include the taxonomic, taphonomic, and isotopic analyses of what is the only Pleistocene faunal assemblage documented in western Africa. Our results indicate that the local landscape surrounding Iho Eleru, although situated within a regional open-canopy biome, was forested throughout the past human occupation of the site. At a regional scale, a shift from forest- to savanna-dominated ecotonal environment occurred during a mid-Holocene warm event 6,000 years ago, with a subsequent modern reforestation of the landscape. Locally, no environmental shift was observable, placing Iho Eleru in a persistent forested "island" during the period of occupation.

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Keywords

Biological sciences, Paleobiology, Plant Biology

Journal Title

iScience

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2589-0042
2589-0042

Volume Title

26

Publisher

Elsevier BV