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Landscape, resources and people during the Mesolithic and Neolithic times in NE Iberia: The Arba de Biel Basin

AuthorsMontes, Lourdes; Domingo, Rafael; González-Sampériz, Penélope ; Sebastián, María; Aranbarri, J. ; Castaños, Pedro; García-Simón, Luis M.; Alcolea, Marta; Laborda, Rafael
KeywordsPleistocene–Holocene transition
Landscape evolution
NE Iberia
Issue DateJun-2015
CitationQuaternary International (on-line first): (2015)
AbstractThe Upper Arba de Biel constitutes a small valley in north-eastern Spain where a detailed study of five archaeological sites (Peña-14, Legunova/Rambla, Valcervera and Paco-Pons) has been performed, defining the recurrent prehistoric occupation from the Late Magdalenian until the Chalcolithic. The aim of this study focuses on exploring the main drivers of long-term human persistence on a particular humid shelter located in the Pre-Pyrenean area. The combination of a multiproxy dataset evidenced by the detailed synthesis of lithic tools and pottery, faunal remains, pollen and charcoal assemblages has been integrated with a GIS approach and a regional cultural and palaeoenvironmental contextualization. After an occupation gap that coincides with the second half of the Younger Dryas and the first Holocene millennia synchronous to other archaeological records found in NE Iberia, the Arba de Biel valley was recurrently visited by small hunter–gatherer groups along the Mesolithic and by herders during the Neolithic. These people profited this territory, independently of environmental changes, because the easy access to a wide spectre of economic resources (flint nodules, diverse vegetation supplies, varied preys, etc.,) in a heterogeneous mosaic-type landscape. The valley main habitation spots (Peña-14, Legunova/Rambla and Valcervera) could have been occupied at the same time by small groups that did not interfere each other. The use of the fifth rockshelter (Paco-Pons) seems to be related to the exploitation of copper mineral outcrops in the Neolithic and for metallurgical activities during the Chalcolithic. These last prehistoric visits to the valley reflect a notable shift in the human employment of the shelters: they cease to be living points to be used as funerary deposits.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2015.05.041
Appears in Collections:(IPE) Artículos
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