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Title: Refitting bones to reconstruct human behaviour: the case of the Abric Romaní (Capellades, Barcelona, Spain)
Authors: Modolo, Marta
Rosell, Jordi
Fernández Laso, María Cristina
Blasco, Ruth
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Wenner-Gren foundation for anthropological research
Citation: The Big Puzzle 30 years after. A shared, multidisciplinary, Palelithic perspective, 2017
Abstract: The spatial organization developed by Neanderthals in habitat places reflects different types of adaptive modes in response to internal and external constraints. An interdisciplinary study of archaeological records, spatial analysis and bone refits, properly compared with ethnographic data, are used as a methodology to facilitate the identification of relevant aspects in the management of space, which constitutes a formal tool for interpreting the Palaeolithic record. In this regard, the Abric Romaní archaeological site (Capellades, Barcelona, Spain) presents unique characteristics to analyse questions related to the temporal resolution of human occupations. The site, dated at MIS 3, was filled by a succession of travertine platforms of rapid formation that quickly sealed the levels, thus hampering possible post-depositional agents that may have disrupted the original location of the remains. Current excavations are documenting several different kinds of anthropogenic assemblages that range from very simple to complex human occupations. The importance of hearth-related areas indicates that the rock shelter had a residential function and was visited in different circumstances and for different purposes. This contribution addresses several aspects of the management of space observed on the H, I, Ja, K, L and M levels of the Abric Romaní site. Primary and immediate anthropogenic access to the carcasses (mainly horses and red deer, followed by bovids) and well established patterns of animal processing are observed. Dissimilar human occupational patterns can explain the differences that have emerged between the levels covered in this study: (1) the presence of small groups with reduced use of space at Level H (isolated activity areas without temporal relationships between them); (2) short-term human occupations, carried out by several groups at different times with at least one occupational event of higher intensity at Level I; (3) large groups occupations with important spatial requirements at Level Ja (with synchronic relationships between activity areas and toss zones); (4) intermediate intensity occupations with continuative and short-term patterns at Level K; (5) short repeated occupation patterns at Level L; and (6) long-term, more intense occupations characterized by larger groups at Level M (similar to those established at Level J). The aim of this paper is to improve data in order to understand the settlement patterns and social organization systems of the Neanderthal groups during MIS 3.
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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