Published 09/07/2018
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Plio-pleistocene mammalian biostratigraphy of atlantic morocco


Although Quaternary Vertebrate remains have been known from Morocco for more than a century, there has been little systematic collecting. As a result, the Quaternary palaeontology of Morocco which, except for the Rodents and the Upper Pleistocene, was practically unknown until quite recently, is now documented from several well-dated sites. THE LOWER PLIOCENE Lissasfa The new locality of Lissasfa, discovered in 1995 by D. Lefevre and J. -P. Raynal, is outside the chronological period covered by this review, since it certainly pre-dates the Quaternary.
The recent Moroccan-French cooperation programme has brought about the discovery and excavation of several rich sites in the area of Casablanca. The earliest of these is the newly discovered locality of Lissasfa, which is at least 5 Myr old, and shows that the "Quaternary" sequence of Atlantic Morocco is at least twice as long as previously thought. The other localities provide a biochronological frame for the North-African Upper Pliocene and Quaternary. Ahl al Oughlam, dated to about 2. 5 Myr, is one of the richest faunal localities in the whole African Cenozoic, but man had probably not arrived in North Africa at that time. In Thomas Quarry 1, the earliest archaeological level in Morocco, level L, is probably of lower Pleistocene age. In the same complex of quarries, the faunas of cave fillings, of which the Homo erectus level of Thomas 1 looks the oldest, can be grouped within a single faunal unit. Resume : Le recent programme de cooperation franco-marocain a permis la decouverte et la fouille de plusieurs riches sites dans la region de Casablanca. Le plus ancien d'entre eux est celui de Lissasfa, age d'au moins 5 M. a. , qui montre que la sequence "quaternaire" du Maroc atlantique est au moins deux fois plus longue qu'on ne le pensait naguere. Les autres sites permettent l'etablissement d'un cadre biochronologique pour le Pliocene superieur et le Quaternaire nord-africain. Ahl al Oughlam, date d'environ 2,5 M. a. , est l'une des plus riches localites de tout le Cenozoique africain, mais l'Homme n'avait sans doute pas encore gagne l'Afrique du Nord a cette epoque. Dans la carriere Thomas 1, le plus ancien niveau archeologique du Maroc, le niveau L, est probablement d'age pleistocene inferieur. Dans le meme ensemble de carrieres, les faunes de remplissages de fissures, dont la plus ancienne est associee a l' Homo erectus de Thomas 1, peuvent etre regroupees dans un meme ensemble.
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