Earliest evidence of Mus musculus ssp. in Western Europe during the Late Neolithic (Tosina, Mantova, Northern Italy): new insights on the house mice migratory waves
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Piazza Scaglia 6, 26011 Casalbuttano ed Uniti (Cremona, Italy)
Online publication date: 2020-11-18
Corresponding author
Fabio Bona   

Piazza Scaglia 6, 26011 Casalbuttano ed Uniti (Cremona, Italy)
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2020;31(2):111-116
New evidence arising from the study of the microtheriological materials from the Late Neolithic site of Tosina of Monzambano (Province of Mantova, northern Italy) shows that Mus musculus ssp. was present in Western Europe in the Late Neolithic — at least 1500 years earlier than previously clearly demonstrated. This discovery provides evidence for a first migratory wave, following human populations moving from east to west, of this highly synanthropic animal species. The data are consistent with the evidence of Mus musculus musculus — hypothesised to belong to a second wave of house mice reaching Europe — from the Romanian Copper Age site of Bucşani La Pod tell
The author is grateful to Dr. R. Poggiani Keller (scientific director of the excavation) and Prof. D. Lo Vetro (University of Florence) for giving him the opportunity to study this material, and to Prof. E. Crosato (Cultural Association "Amici di Castellaro") for everything that he has done for the study of the Tosina di Monzambano site. Thanks also go to Drs. N. Cappellozza (SAP Società Archeologica), A. Crosato, R. Tremolada and all the students and graduate students who participated in the various excavation campaigns. Special thanks to the Arieti family, owners of the field where the site is located, and to Dr. C. Alexander for English revision of the text. I thank Prof.ssa C. Angelone and an anonymous reviewer for the critical reading of the manuscript and fruitful suggestions.
This work and all the excavation field activities were carried out thanks to funding from the Lombardy Region, the Municipality of Monzambano (MN) and private sponsors.
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