Articolele autorului Silviu Constantin
Link la profilul stiintific al lui Silviu Constantin

Physicochemical characteristics of drip waters: Influence on mineralogy and crystal morphology of recent cave carbonate precipitates

Speleothems are one of the most intensively explored continental archives for palaeoclimate variability. The parameters, however, that control speleothem petrography and its changes with time and space, specifically calcite crystal morphology and carbonate mineralogy, are still poorly understood. In order to shed light on processes and their products, precipitation experiments of recent carbonate crystals on watch glasses and glass plates were performed

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Ancient Human Footprints in Ciur-Izbuc Cave, Romania

In 1965, Ciur-Izbuc Cave in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania was discovered to contain about 400 ancient human footprints. At that time, researchers interpreted the footprints to be those of a man, woman and child who entered the cave by an opening which is now blocked but which was usable in antiquity. The age of the prints (c. 10–15 ka BP) was based partly on their association with cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) footprints and bones, and the belief

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Reconstructing the evolution of cave systems as a key to understanding the taphonomy of fossil accumulations: The case of Ursilor Cave (Western Carpathians, Romania)

The Ursilor Cave (NW Romania) is a famous cave bear paleontological site hosting an important Late Pleistocene faunal assemblage and subject to systematic excavation works. To better understand the origin of fossil assemblages, the sedimentary history of the cave must be reconstructed. We conducted a series of investigations on various cave deposits which included sedimentology and grain-size analyses, U-series dating of speleothems, OSL dating of

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Life and Death at the Pestera cu Oase. A Setting for Modern Human Emergence in Europe

The Pestera cu Oase is a sealed limestone cavern in southwestern Romania which served principally as a hibernation den for Pleistocene cave bears and wolves, but also contained the fossil remains of the earliest modern humans in Europe. Currently inaccessible except through cave diving and rock climbing, the cave preserved its contents undisturbed for tens of thousands of years. To understand the cave, its contents, the bear and wolves, and especially

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New insights on the cave bear population from the Ursilor Cave, Romania

The first two palaeontological excavation campaigns held in 2010 at the Ursilor Cave, Bihor Mountains, Romania brought new information concerning the cave occupation by Ursus spelaeus during the Upper Pleistocene. The excavation is located in the Lower Passageway (Scientific Reserve) and extends over 7 m2 with the lowest point reached during the campaigns at ~125 cm below surface. The overwhelming majority of the fossil material extracted belongs

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Invertebrate fossils from cave sediments: a new proxy for pre-Quaternary paleoenvironments

Five samples of clastic sediments from interior cave facies taken in three Slovenian relic caves (Trhlovca, Raciska pecina, and a cave in Crnotice Quarry, Classical Karst, SW Slovenia) provided invertebrate fossil remains. Most of them belong to Oribatida but sparse individuals of Cladocera and insects were also identified. They represent the first pre-Quaternary invertebrate fossils found in sediments of continental temperate climate. The Pliocene/Pleistocene

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Uranium-series dating of gypsum speleothems: methodology and examples

The analytical problems of dating gypsum speleothems with the U-series technique are reviewed. Gypsum speleothems are, in general, very low in U content, challenging the limits of detection methods. Various approaches to dissolving gypsum and isolation of actinides from the matrix include ion-pairing dissolution with magnesium salts and using nitric acid. The most precise dating technique is Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS), combined with

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The Pestera cu Oase People, Europe’s Earliest Modern Humans
Isotopic evidence for omnivory among European cave bears: Late Pleistocene Ursus spelaeus from the Pestera cu Oase, Romania

Previous bone collagen carbon and nitrogen isotopic studies of Late Pleistocene European cave bears (Ursus spelaeus) have shown that these bears frequently had low nitrogen isotope values, similar to those of herbivores and indicating either unusual physiology related to hibernation or a herbivorous diet. Isotopic analysis of animal bone from the Pestera cu Oase (Cave with Bones), Romania, shows that most of its cave bears had higher nitrogen isotope

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Pestera cu Oase 2 and the cranial morphology of early modern Europeans

Between 2003 and 2005, the Pestera cu Oase, Romania yielded a largely complete early modern human cranium, Oase 2, scattered on the surface of a Late Pleistocene hydraulically displaced bone bed containing principally the remains of Ursus spelaeus. Multiple lines of evidence indicate an age of c. 40.5 thousand calendar years before the present (c. 35 ka 14C B.P.). Morphological comparison of the adolescent Oase 2 cranium to relevant Late Pleistocene

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