Before modern humans even existed, some of our ancient relatives were already in the process of conquering the world. This period of our history is surprisingly enigmatic, particularly in Europe. We know these early species – like Homo erectus – arrived in the region sometime between 1.7-1 million years ago, but not too much more than that.
Enter the site of Pirro Nord in Italy. Early stone tools were found there, sometime between 1.6-1.3 million years old, making it likely these are some of the first Italians (even if they aren’t the same species as modern Italians). This site sheds light on the chronology and technology of these early people.