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Title: Ambrona revisited: the acheulean lithic industry in the lower stratigraphic complex
Authors: Santonja, Manuel
Rubio Jara, Susana
Panera Gallego, Joaquín
Sánchez-Romero, Laura
Tarriño Vinagre, Antonio
Pérez-González, Alfredo
Keywords: Acheulean;Middle Pleistocene;Lithic technology;Iberian Peninsula;Ambrona site
Issue Date: Jun-2018
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Quaternary International, 2018, 480, 95-117
Abstract: Ambrona is located in a karst landscape, and occupies a key geographic position, a transit area with natural routes connecting the three main drainage basins in the interior of the Iberian Peninsula. The site dates from the middle of MIS 11 and consists of fluvial-lacustrine deposits. Investigation of Ambrona, traditionally linked to that of Torralba (both sites are in the province of Soria, in Spain), has played a significant role in increasing our knowledge of the Acheulean in Europe, especially in the debate on hunting versus scavenging. Over the course of a century, more than 3400 m2 have been excavated at Ambrona by four teams, led respectively by the Marquis of Cerralbo (1914–1916), C. Howell (1961–1963), C. Howell and L.G. Freeman (1980–1983), and M. Santonja and A. Pérez-González (1993–2000). In this paper we present, in their stratigraphic context, the results of our technological analysis of complete lithic series found during the excavations of the Lower Stratigraphic Member at Ambrona carried out from 1993 to 2000. During this period we excavated 685 m2. Only in Level AS3 was a large part of the lithic industry found in primary position, whereas the assemblages in the other levels had been greatly influenced by sedimentary processes. The whole lithic assemblage comprises 728 items. We shall analyze the chaînes opératoires evidenced in each of the five identified levels, according to the raw materials used. Tools made on flake include very specialized types, but retouching is usually not intense; tool-maintenance processes are barely documented. The knapping methods used were mainly discoidal, bifacial and multipolar. Except for a few local limestone items, the knapped stones found at Ambrona (quartz, quartzite and limestone) were brought to the site, sometimes from dozens of kilometers away. The study of this collection confirms its attribution to the Acheulean techno-complex, with its characteristic handaxes and cleavers.
ISSN: 1040-6182
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2017.01.021
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología
Geocronología y Geología

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