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Title: Level TE9c of Sima del Elefante (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain): a comprehensive approach
Authors: Huguet Pàmies, Rosa
Vallverdú Poch, Josep
Rodríguez, Xosé Pedro
Terradillos Bernal, Marcos
Bargalló, Amèlia
Lombera Hermida, Arturo de
Menéndez Granda, Leticia
Modesto-Mata, Mario
Made, Jan van der
Soto, María
Blain, Hugues-Alexandre
García García, Nuria
Cuenca Bescós, Gloria
Gómez Merino, Gala
Pérez-Martínez, Raquel
Expósito Barea, Isabel
Allué, Ethel
Rofes, Juan
Burjachs i Casas, Francesc
Canals Salomó, Antoni
Bennàsar, Maria
Núñez-Lahuerta, Carmen
Bermúdez de Castro, José María
Carbonell, Eudald
Keywords: Early Pleistocene;Europe;Early human occupation;Homo sp.;Mode 1;Subsistence strategies
Issue Date: Mar-2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Quaternary International, 2017, 433, Part A, 278-295
Abstract: Level TE9c of the Sima del Elefante site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain) is one of the oldest sites with evidence of human occupation in western Europe. We began excavating level TE9c in 2003, and the work there continues today. The studies of the archaeology, palaeontology and geology from this locality have provided an indispensable dataset with which to capture a picture in the scenario of the origin of humans in Europe. Based on these data, we raise and discuss several topics, such as the possible origin of the lineage of the first hominins that inhabited western Europe; their capacity to have active hunting or scavenging abilities; whether their subsistence strategies were successful; and what the environment and habitats where these hominin groups settled was like. The aim of this paper is to present the results and discussions obtained from the research team and to establish the primary features of early human occupations in southwestern Europe. Tentatively, we may conclude, based on the events recorded at TE9c, that the first humans were in the Iberian peninsula at around 1.2 Ma they used the caves of the Sierra de Atapuerca as shelters probably during their hunting activities; the cavities were surrounded by Mediterranean forest, rivers and water ponds, and varied habitats as suggested by the rich and diverse assemblage of fossils of vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles, birds, large and small mammals); where humans possibly caught what they found in the surroundings.
ISSN: 1040-6182
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.11.030
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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