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Cultural contact over the Strait of Gibraltar during the Middle Palaeolithic? Evaluating the visibility of cultural exchange

Abstract

Possible contacts between hunter-gatherers of Northern Africa and Europe via the Strait of Gibraltar during the Pleistocene are still object to discussions. In the absence of significant fossil remains, debates are mainly based on similarities and differences of singular aspects of material culture. However, a theoretical framework for these discussions was lacking. The first aim of this study thus has been the development of a theoretical base. We therein included Maslow´s pyramid of basic needs. The idea of our approach is that the presence or absence of so-called cultural tracers identify either contact or disparity. A large database on archaeological sites of Morocco and Southern Iberia dating between 160 ka and 40 ka years ago has been compiled, containing information about lithic technology and typology, lithic raw material acquisition, subsistence patterns and symbolic behaviour. We formulated three potential contact scenarios between the two regions. The presence and/or absence of so-called cultural tracers within the data set, that covered all levels of Maslow´s pyramid, led us to conclude that – based on the present archaeological and anthropological data - no contact took place between Iberian and North African populations across the Strait of Gibraltar in the given time frame.

Bibliography

Tafelmaier, Y., Pastoors, A., Weniger, G. (2017): Cultural contact over the Strait of Gibraltar during the Middle Palaeolithic? Evaluating the visibility of cultural exchange. Directory of Open Access Journals – In: Munibe Antropologia-Arkeologia, Vol. 68(1), p: 33-47, DOI: doi.org/10.21630/maa.2017.68.16

Authors Tafelmaier, Yvonne and Pastoors, Andreas and Weniger, Gerd-Christian
Type article
Title Cultural contact over the Strait of Gibraltar during the Middle Palaeolithic? Evaluating the visibility of cultural exchange
DOI doi.org/10.21630/maa.2017.68.16
Journal Munibe Antropologia-Arkeologia
Year 2017
Volume 68
Number 1
Pages 33-47
Publisher Directory of Open Access Journals
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