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Site formation and chronology of the new Palaeolithic site Sima de Las Palomas de Teba, Southern Spain

Abstract

The newly identified Paleolithic site Sima de Las Palomas de Teba hosts an almost seven-m-thick sediment profile investigated here to elucidate the rock shelter's chronostratigraphy and formation processes. At its base, the sediment sequence contains rich archeological deposits recording intensive occupation by Neanderthals. Luminescence provides a terminus ante quem of 39.4 ± 2.6 ka or 44.9 ± 4.1 ka (OSL) and 51.4 ± 8.4 ka (TL). This occupation ended with a rockfall event followed by accumulation of archeologically sterile sediments. These were covered by sediments containing few Middle Paleolithic artifacts, which either indicate ephemeral occupation by Neanderthals or reworking as suggested by micromorphological features. Above this unit, scattered lithic artifacts of undiagnostic character may represent undefined Paleolithic occupations. Sediment burial ages between about 23.0 ± 1.5 ka (OSL) and 40.5 ± 3.4 ka (pIRIR) provide an Upper Paleolithic chronology for sediments deposited above the rockfall. Finally, a dung-bearing Holocene layer in the uppermost part of the sequence contains a fragment of a human mandible dated to 4032 ± 39 14C yr BP. Overall, the sequence represents an important new site for studying the end of Neanderthal occupation in southern Spain.

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Kehl, M., Burow, C., Cantalejo, P., Domínguez-Bella, S., Durán, J., Henselowsky, F., Klasen, N., Linstädter, J., Medianero, J., Pastoors, A., Ramos, J., Reicherter, K., Schmidt, C., Weniger, G. (2016): Site formation and chronology of the new Palaeolithic site Sima de Las Palomas de Teba, Southern Spain. Elsevier – In: Quaternary Research , Vol. 85(2), p: 313-331, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2016.01.007

Authors Kehl, Martin and Burow, Christoph and Cantalejo, Pedro and Domínguez-Bella, Salvador and Durán, Juan José and Henselowsky, Felix and Klasen, Nicole and Linstädter, Jörg and Medianero, Javier and Pastoors, Andreas and Ramos, José and Reicherter, Klaus and Schmidt, Christoph and Weniger, Gerd-Christian
Type article
Title Site formation and chronology of the new Palaeolithic site Sima de Las Palomas de Teba, Southern Spain
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2016.01.007
Journal Quaternary Research
Year 2016
Volume 85
Number 2
Pages 313-331
Publisher Elsevier
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