David W. Rupp (Director) will present the activities of the Canadian Institute in 2014-2015.
Tristan Carter (McMaster University) will give a lecture about “The Stélida Naxos Archaeological Project: Early Humans in the Aegean.”
Until relatively recently the Cycladic islands were not believed to have been colonised by humans until farmer arrived in the Late Neolithic, some 7000 years ago. This long-held view is now being reconfigured through the discovery by Greek archaeologists of a well-dated Mesolithic (late hunter-gatherer) village on Kythnos, and claimed Mesolithic – Middle Palaeolithic activities at Stélida on Naxos.
This talk details the most recent work at Stélida, a two-year survey dedicated to mapping this chert source and its prehistoric stone tool workshops. We detail how the quarry was clearly being exploited from the Lower Palaeolithic (likely by Homo heidelbergensis), followed by major stone working in the Middle Palaeolithic (Neanderthals), and then through the earlier Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic (Homo sapiens), i.e. a history of (intermittent) usage that spans at least 300,000 – 9,000 years ago. The discovery of such early material on Naxos has potentially major significance for how we view the earliest peopling of Europe. With recent sea-level reconstructions suggesting a landbridge between Anatolia and the southern Greek mainland, Stélida may provide evidence that the Aegean represented a thoroughfare for early human migrations, rather than the barrier it was long considered to be.
Annual Meeting, The activities of the Canadian Institute, 2014-2015