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Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar: A dated late Early Pleistocene Palaeolithic site in southeastern Spain

AuthorsWalker, Michael J.; Haber Uriarte, María; López Jiménez, Antonio; López Martínez, Mariano; Martín Lerma, Ignacio; Van der Made, Jan ; Duval, Mathieu; Grün, Rainer
Late Early Pleistocene
ESR-Useries dating
Issue Date6-Oct-2020
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationJournal of Paleolithic Archaeology 3: 816–855 (2020)
AbstractSystematic excavation and multidisciplinary research undertaken over three decades have deepened our understanding of the early Palaeolithic archaeology at Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar (Caravaca de la Cruz, Murcia, Spain). New results from biochronology and combined ESR and U-series dating corroborate previous magnetostratigraphy, placing the entire excavated sequence between the Jaramillo sub-chron and the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary (i.e., ca. 990-772 thousand years ago [ka]); palaeontological and palynological findings reflect temperate environmental conditions. A bifacially-flaked limestone hand-axe was excavated one metre below the top of the Pleistocene sequence. The Equus cf. altidens tooth that provided the ESR estimate was excavated one metre below the hand-axe. Throughout its five-metre-deep sedimentary sequence, small nodules, fragments, and struck flakes make up the bulk of the Palaeolithic assemblage. Stratigraphical analysis points to undisturbed continuous sedimentary deposition above a layer of ashy sediment, encountered 4.5 m below the top of the Pleistocene sequence, which contained thermallyaltered bone and heat-shattered chert cores and flakes. Cueva Negra is among the earliest European sites with firm evidence of combustion.
Publisher version (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41982-020-00062-5
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