Fossil land snails from a Hellenistic archaeological site in Libya

Submitted by admin on Sun, 20/11/2011 18:55
J. THORN
A.J. N. W. PRAG
M. B. SEDDON
(1994)
Volume
35
Part
2
Page from
149

A wine amphora found inside a sarcophagus from a cemetery site in Cyrene, Libya contained ten species of fossil land snails. The artifacts within the sarcophagus suggest an age between 475 and 375 BC indicating a period c. 150 years after the city was established by the Greeks. The majority of the land snails are species found today within the region suggesting little substantial change in the environmental conditions at the site. The records confirm that Poiretia compressa (Mousson, 1859) has been present in Libya since the period 475–375 BC. Its disjunct distribution probably arises from human introduction into Africa, and our evidence suggests that this occurred relatively early in the colonization of the region.

Keywords
Fossil land snails
Archaeology
Libya
Human introduction
Poiretia compressa.