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The spatial distribution of Palaeolithic human settlements and its influence on palaeoecological studies: A case from Northern Iberia

AuthorsTurrero, P.; Domínguez-Cuesta, M.J.; Jiménez-Sánchez, Montserrat; García-Vázquez, E.
KeywordsArchaeological data bias
Biogeographical information sources
Topographic variables
Issue Date2013
PublisherAcademic Press
CitationJournal of Archaeological Science 40: 4127- 4138 (2013)
AbstractThe aim of this study is to assess the influence of human site location choice on biogeographical and paleoecological studies based on archaeological remains, through a case study in north-western Spain. Data from an exhaustive literature survey and field trips were managed with GIS and subjected to statistical analyses. The results show that the influence of the different variables shifted through the Palaeolithic, although certain general preferences can be seen: low altitudes (median: 151ma.s.l.), South-facing surfaces, generally gentle slopes (median: 13°) and moderate distances to water courses (median: 297m). These choices were conditioned by geomorphological factors, with LGM glacier extent imposing an upper limit in the range of occupied altitudes and marine and fluvial terraces conditioning site location patterns. The results suggest that human site location patterns during the Palaeolithic were not random, conditioning the information available from archaeological remains. Our results allow us to identify some key areas where information on past faunal distributions, and more generally on biocoenoses, will be scarce or missing. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2013.06.003
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.06.003
issn: 0305-4403
Appears in Collections:(ICTJA) Artículos
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