L'ARGIL, L'UOMO PIU' ANTICO D'EUROPA“The Man from Ceprano” (as it is now known all over the world among the insiders of paleoanthropology), the rest of the fossil that has been affectionately called “Argil” by its discoverer (as found in a layer of clay), the man to whom the skull belonged, is among the oldest in Europe as we know it. Not only that. It is a test of evolutionary theory that could appear risky; it opens up a world of research that can shed new light on the past and on the ‘human evolution. His discovery, which took place on a Sunday in March 1994 after 25 years of explorations in the territory (and not coincidentally, as is sometimes the law), you have to Professor Italo Biddittu current director of the Museum of Prehistoric Prehistoric Pofi and scholar in the field. While scanning the ground, loose and wet from the recent rains, with the eye of those who know how to recognize the geological stratigraphy, Biddittu noticed something in the clay layer. It was a small piece, just a few inches, bone. Peering into the ground to well dissected by mechanical means, then appeared in situ, the massive orbital arch of a human skull. There was no doubt it was an ancient relic, hundreds of thousands of years. On the basis of the position of the specimen, lying below the level gravels with Acheulean artifacts of the series of the neighboring field of Colle Avarone, and following the well known dating of the reservoir of Anagni Fountain Ranuccio, attributed to finding the date of half a million of years. She went back to look better with growing excitement. He picked other fragments in loose soil, and others, dozens of them, who all belonged to the same skull. Before the human fossil could be studied, it was necessary to rebuild it, like putting together a jigsaw puzzle more than 50 fragments that were found at the site. A job that, between technical operations, comparisons and critical reviews, took a few years. It came out of a skull of massive proportions, belonged to a powerful adult male of an extinct species of the genus Homo. He had never seen a human being so archaic in the rest of the European continent with so strong reminiscences Asian and African. Thanks stratigraphic examination of the site of the discovery, the Ceprano skull has been dated in the first phase of studies in a range of between 800 and 900 thousand years ago. Subsequent studies, still in progress, more reasonably attributed to finding an age of about 500,000 years. In southern Lazio and in the same province of Frosinone known prehistoric sites discovered by Italo Biddittu, dated up to a million years ago or even older, unfortunately documented only from stone artifacts and not by human fossils. The man Ceprano still represents an important element within the ancient fossil record of Europe.
Excerpt from: “The Argil Ceprano Man”. Edited by G. Manzi, L. & B. Saracino Morsella 2004 as amended by I. Biddittu 2010.