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During the period between the IVth and IIIrd millennia BC, profound changes for the ancient populations inhabiting the northern region of Italy occurred. The first Indo-European migrations were altering the ethnographic characteristics and, with the production of the first copper artifacts, the Neolithic Age was drawing to an end. The most significant testimony of that dramatic period is unquestionably the Otztal iceman. In addition, many other valuable archaeological sites, such as Alba (Cuneo, Italy), have been discovered. Although Alba produced the oldest evidence of copper objects in a Neolithic context (5380+ or -40 BP; GX-25859-AMS), more recent discoveries have underlined the importance of this archaeological site. In this paper we will report on a series of radiocarbon measurements of bone remnants which, combined with morphologic, stratigraphic, paleoanthropologic, and paleopathologic studies, have allowed us to gain new insights into the culture and chronology of the European Copper Age.


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