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Late Neanderthals at Jarama VI (Central Iberia)?

Abstract

Previous geochronological and archaeological studies on the rock shelter Jarama VI suggested a late survival of Neanderthals in central Iberia and the presence of lithic assemblages of Early Upper Paleolithic affinity. New data on granulometry, mineralogical composition, geochemical fingerprints and micromorphology of the sequence corroborate the previous notion that the archaeological units JVI.2.1 to JVI.2.3 are slackwater deposits of superfloods, which did not experience significant post-depositional changes, whereas the artifact-rich units JVI.3 and JVI.1 mainly received sediment inputs by sheetwash and cave spall. New AMS radiocarbon measurements on three samples of cut-marked bone using the ultrafiltration technique yielded ages close to, or beyond, the limit of radiocarbon dating at ca. 50 14C ka BP, and hence suggest much higher antiquity than assumed previously. Furthermore, elevated temperature post-IR IRSL luminescence measurements on K feldspars yielded burial ages for subunits JVI.2.2 and JVI.2.3 between 50 and 60 ka. Finally, our reappraisal of the stone industry strongly suggests that the whole sequence is of Mousterian affinity. In conclusion, Jarama VI most probably does not document a late survival of Neanderthals nor an Early Upper Paleolithic occupation in central Iberia, but rather indicates an occupation breakdown after the Middle Paleolithic.

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Bibliography

Kehl, M., Burow, C., Hilgers, A., Navazo, M., Pastoors, A., Weniger, G., Wood, R., Jordá Pardo, J. (2013): Late Neanderthals at Jarama VI (Central Iberia)?. – In: Quaternary Research, Vol. 80(2), p: 218-234, DOI: 10.1016/j.yqres.2013.06.010

Authors Kehl, M. and Burow, Chr. and Hilgers, A. and Navazo, M. and Pastoors, A. and Weniger, G.-C. and Wood, R. and Jordá Pardo, J.F.
Type article
Title Late Neanderthals at Jarama VI (Central Iberia)?
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033589413000744
DOI 10.1016/j.yqres.2013.06.010
Journal Quaternary Research
Year 2013
Volume 80
Number 2
Pages 218-234
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