Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Los Villares locality (Ruidera, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain): a new Middle Pleistocene fossil assemblage from the Southern Iberian Plateau with possible evidence of human activity
Authors: García-Martínez, Daniel
Duval, Mathieu
Zhao, Jian-xin
Feng, Yuexing
Wood, Rachel
Huguet Pàmies, Rosa
Cifuentes-Alcobendas, Gabriel
Palancar, Carlos A.
Moya-Maleno, Pedro Reyes
Keywords: Paleontology;Southern Iberian Plateau;Middle Pleistocene;Direct dating;Taphonomy;Cut mark
Issue Date: Jun-2022
Publisher: Asociación Española para el Estudio del Cuaternario y Sociedad Española de Geomorfología
Citation: Cuaternario y Geomorfologia, 2022, 36(1-2), 7-35
Abstract: We present the discovery of a Middle Pleistocene fossil assemblage at Los Villares locality (Ruidera, Ciudad Real, Castilla-La Mancha), which has possible evidence of associated human activity. The potential of the site has been evaluated through multidisciplinary research including taxonomy, anatomy, deep learning, and direct dating of fossil remains. A surface study carried out in 2017, over a very limited area (2 m 2 ) on the slope of one of the Ruidera lakes led to the discovery of more than 50 fossil specimens, including cranial (mainly teeth) and postcranial remains. This rich assemblage is dominated by the remains of Caprinae, although the presence of some small or medium carnivore remains also stands out. The identification of a cut mark, tested with Convolutional Neural Networks, suggests the presence of human activity within the bone assemblage. Several fossils were directly dated using a multi-technique approach involving radiocarbon, U-Th, and ESR methods. The results constrain the fossil assemblage to between 300 ka and 400 ka, positioning Los Villares as one of the first Middle Pleistocene localities identified in the Upper Guadiana basin, on the Southern edge of the Southern Iberian Plateau. These promising initial results show the great potential of the site to contrib-ute to filling a gap of knowledge in the Pleistocene archaeo-paleontological record of the Iberian Peninsula. Nevertheless, we also acknowledge the need for systematic excavations in the future, not only to obtain a better idea of the lateral and stratigraphic extension of the fossil assemblage and its complete taxonomic composition, but also to confirm the human presence at the site.
ISSN: 2695-8589
DOI: 10.17735/cyg.v36i1-2.90422
Editor version:
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Datación por Núclidos Cosmogénicos
Datación por Resonancia Paramagnética Electrónica
Geocronología y Geología

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons