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Understanding the emergence of modern humans and the disappearance of Neanderthals: Insights from Kaldar Cave (Khorramabad Valley, Western Iran)

AuthorsBazgir, Behrouz; Ollé, Andreu; Tumung, Laxmi; Becerra-Valdivia, Lorena; Douka, Katerina; Higham, Thomas; Van der Made, Jan ; Picin, Andrea; Saladié, Palmira; López-García, Juan Manuel; Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Allué, Ethel; Fernández-García, Mónica; Rey-Rodríguez, Iván; Arceredillo, Diego; Bahrololoumi, Faranak; Azimi, Moloudsadat; Otte, Marcel; Carbonell, Eudald
Climate-change adaptation
Issue Date2-Mar-2017
PublisherNature Publishing Group
CitationScientific Reports 7: 43460 (2017)
AbstractKaldar Cave is a key archaeological site that provides evidence of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Iran. Excavations at the site in 2014¿2015 led to the discovery of cultural remains generally associated with anatomically modern humans (AMHs) and evidence of a probable Neanderthalmade industry in the basal layers. Attempts have been made to establish a chronology for the site. These include four thermoluminescence (TL) dates for Layer 4, ranging from 23,100 ± 3300 to 29,400 ± 2300 BP, and three AMS radiocarbon dates from charcoal samples belonging to the lower part of the same layer, yielding ages of 38,650¿36,750 cal BP, 44,200¿42,350 cal BP, and 54,400¿46,050 cal BP (all at the 95.4% confidence level). Kaldar Cave is the first well-stratified Late Palaeolithic locality to be excavated in the Zagros which is one of the earliest sites with cultural materials attributed to early AMHs in western Asia. It also offers an opportunity to study the technological differences between the Mousterian and the first Upper Palaeolithic lithic technologies as well as the human behaviour in the region. In this study, we present a detailed description of the newly excavated stratigraphy, quantified results from the lithic assemblages, preliminary faunal remains analyses, geochronologic data, taphonomic aspects, and an interpretation of the regional paleoenvironment.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1038/srep43460
issn: 2045-2322
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