Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12136/439
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Title: The Early and Middle Pleistocene technological record from Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain)
Authors: Ollé Cañellas, Andreu
Mosquera Martínez, Marina
Rodríguez, Xosé Pedro
Lombera Hermida, Arturo de
García-Antón, María Dolores
García-Medrano, Paula
Peña, Luna
Menéndez Granda, Leticia
Navazo Ruiz, Marta
Terradillos Bernal, Marcos
Bargalló, Amèlia
Márquez, Belén
Sala, Robert
Carbonell, Eudald
Issue Date: May-2013
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Quaternary International, 2013, 295, 138-167
Abstract: The Sierra de Atapuerca sites offer a chronological sequence that allows the evolution of technology at a local scale during the Early and Middle Pleistocene to be reconstructed. This paper presents updated information on the main lithic assemblages recovered from the various levels of the Sima del Elefante, Gran Dolina, Galería, and Sima de los Huesos sites. The ultimate goal is to look for technological features on the pieces that make up these assemblages that carry evolutionary significance. Other archaeological data will be cross- referenced with the technical features documented in these artefacts in order to better understand the peopling that took place at Atapuerca during the Pleistocene. The first peopling of Atapuerca occurred at 1.2 Ma, and is represented in level TE9 and probably at the top of level TD3-TD4 by Homo sp. and a Mode 1 technology, which is very poor in terms of diversity and energy invested in tool production. This technology is related to opportunistic subsistence strategies that focused on taking advantage of carcasses that had fallen into the cavities. A second cultural phase has been revealed in level TD6, dating to before 800 ka: a phase characterised by new subsistence and technological strategies, although still belonging to Mode 1 and carried out by Homo antecessor. In TD6, the lithic assemblage is rich and diversified. Intensive occupations with well organised subsistence strategies have been documented, including hunting activities and the earliest trace of cannibalism in prehistory. After a hiatus of approximately 300 ky without evidence of hominin presence, the occupations of Galería and TD10 correspond to a third cultural phase, ranging from between 500 ka and 300 ka. They are represented by a Mode 2 technology associated with systematic and directional carcass processing, including hunting events in TD10. Homo heidelbergensis appears instead of H. antecessor, and is extraordinarily represented at the Sima de los Huesos site in the form of an intentional accumulation of numerous individuals. Finally, TD10.1 may represent the local evolution from Mode 2 to Mode 3 assemblages. After comparing these assemblages, it is clear that several technological features have either been retained or changed over the span of the Atapuerca sequence. The following are considered to have evolutionary significance due to the technological trends described: a) raw material selection (use of local varieties of rock, with the progressive increasing selection of the most workable materials through the Middle Pleistocene); b) production sequences (coexistence of several knapping methods, with a clear increase in centripetal strategies and techniques for flake predetermination, which ultimately lead to Levallois-like methods); c) scarce and insignificant presence of choppers and chopping tools; d) tools on flakes (recorded only from the end of the Early Pleistocene, increasing in number, complexity and standardisation throughout the Middle Pleistocene); and e) large cutting tools (which appear ca 500 ka, and progressively decrease in number, standardisation and intensity of shaping throughout Gran Dolina TD10).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12136/439
ISSN: 1040-6182
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2011.11.009
metadata.dc.relation.publisherversion: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2011.11.009
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología



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