Palaeoenvironmental information on Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3) coastal Latium is sparse, mainly based on studies of isolated faunal assemblages or long pollen records from lake sediments, often of insufficient resolution to aid in palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. This study describes in detail the Late Pleistocene faunal assemblage from layers SU11 and SU12 of Cava Muracci (Cisterna di Latina, central Italy), the first of which is a partially-preserved hyena den. The first multi-disciplinary palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of coastal Latium between 34–44 ka BP, a critical time span for the presence of the latest Neanderthals and the arrival of Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH), is provided combining palaeoecological inferences from a previous pollen study of hyena coprolites with the palaeontological study described here. The results indicate a temperate climate and a landscape characterised by the coexistence of at least three habitats within a short distance between the coastline and the inland mountains, suitable for a wide variety of species.
Large mammals, Small vertebrates, Palaeoecology, Environmental reconstruction, Crocuta crocuta, Mediterranean