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Towards a revised stratigraphy for the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic Transition at La Güelga (Narciandi, Asturias, Spain) - Micromorphological investigations and new radiocarbon data

Abstract

The archaeological sequence of the Palaeolithic site of La Güelga apparently shows an interstratification of Aurignacian between Mousterian and Châtelperronian layers, a sequence which disagrees with the stratigraphic model for the Middle to Upper 35 Palaeolithic transition in SW-Europe. We analyzed the witness section of the interior sector in archaeological zone D using micromorphology and collected new radiocarbon dates for the Aurignacian and presumably Châtelperronian levels in order to provide detailed sediment descriptions of the site and scrutinize the presumed interstratification. Thin sections from Mousterian levels 8 and 9 show microstratification, signs of trampling and preferential sub-horizontal orientation of elongated particles. These features are less strongly developed in the Aurignacian deposit of levels 5 and 6 and lack in the presumably Châtelperronian ones of levels 1 and 2. The deposits of the latter show other features of reworked slope deposits such as a randomized distribution of limestone clasts. Radiocarbon dating on bone samples from level 2 places this layer to between ~41.5 and 45 ka cal B.P., hence older than Aurignacian level 5, dated to between ~35.5 and 41.5 ka cal B.P.. Comparative dating of bones with and without ultrafiltration pretreatment conducted in two different laboratories yielded results in excellent agreement. Overall, the micromorphological observations and new radiocarbon ages strongly suggest that the few finds of presumably Châtelperronian affinity and sediments of levels 1 and 2 were transported by slope processes into the shelter.

Bibliography

Kehl, M., Álvarez-Alonso, D., Herrero, M., Carral González, P., García, E., Jordá Pardo, J., Menéndez, M., Quesada, J., Rethemeyer, J., Rojo, J., Tafelmaier, Y., Weniger, G. (2018): Towards a revised stratigraphy for the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic Transition at La Güelga (Narciandi, Asturias, Spain) - Micromorphological investigations and new radiocarbon data. – In: Boletín de Géología y Minero, Vol. 1129(1-2), p: 183-206, DOI: DOI: 10.21701/bolgeomin.129.1.008

Authors Kehl, Martin and Álvarez-Alonso, David and Herrero, Marí­a de Andrés and Carral González, Pedro and García, Eduardo and Jordá Pardo, Jesus and Menéndez, Mario and Quesada, José and Rethemeyer, Janet and Rojo, Julio and Tafelmaier, Yvonne and Weniger, Gerd-Christian
Type article
Title Towards a revised stratigraphy for the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic Transition at La Güelga (Narciandi, Asturias, Spain) - Micromorphological investigations and new radiocarbon data
DOI DOI: 10.21701/bolgeomin.129.1.008
Journal Boletín de Géología y Minero
Year 2018
Volume 1129
Number 1-2
Pages 183-206
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