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Timing of the Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic transition in the Iberian inland (Cardina-Salto do Boi, Côa Valley, Portugal)

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DOI

  • Thierry Aubry, Fundação para a Salvaguarda e Valorização do Vale do Côa, University of Lisbon
  • ,
  • Luca Antonio Dimuccio, University of Lisbon, University of Coimbra
  • ,
  • António Fernando Barbosa, Fundação para a Salvaguarda e Valorização do Vale do Côa
  • ,
  • Luís Luís, Fundação para a Salvaguarda e Valorização do Vale do Côa, University of Lisbon
  • ,
  • André Tomás Santos, Fundação para a Salvaguarda e Valorização do Vale do Côa, University of Lisbon
  • ,
  • Marcelo Silvestre, Fundação para a Salvaguarda e Valorização do Vale do Côa
  • ,
  • Kristina Jorkov Thomsen, Centre for Nuclear Technologies, Technical University of Denmark
  • ,
  • Eike Rades, Technical University of Denmark
  • ,
  • Martin Autzen, Centre for Nuclear Technologies, Technical University of Denmark
  • ,
  • Andrew Sean Murray

The timing of the Neanderthal-associated Middle Palaeolithic demise and a possible overlap with anatomically modern humans (AMH) in some regions of Eurasia continues to be debated. The Iberian Peninsula is considered a possible refuge zone for the last Neanderthals, but the chronology of the later Middle Palaeolithic record has undergone revision and has increased the debate on the timing of Neanderthal extinction. Here we report on a study of the 5-m-thick archaeological stratigraphy of the Cardina-Salto do Boi, an open-air site located in inland Iberia, from which optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages were obtained for Middle and Upper Palaeolithic occupations preserved in overbank alluvial deposits. Geomorphology, archaeostratigraphy, stone-tool evolution, and OSL dating support the persistence of Neanderthals after 41 ka in central Iberia; the transition between the Middle Palaeolithic material culture and the AMH-associated Aurignacian blade and bladelet production is estimated to lie between 34.0 ± 2.0 ka and 38.4 ± 1.9 ka. Our results demonstrate that investigations focusing on different geomorphological situations are necessary to overcome the current limitations of the evidence and to establish more consistent models for Neanderthal disappearance and AMH expansion in the Iberian Peninsula.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQuaternary Research (United States)
Volume98
Pages (from-to)81-101
Number of pages21
ISSN0033-5894
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Iberia, Middle-to-Upper Palaeolithic, Modern Human, Neanderthal

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