Silvicolous Neanderthals in the far West: the mid-Pleistocene palaeoecological sequence of Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain)

  • Juan Ochando /
  • José S. Carrión /
  • Ruth Blasco /
  • Santiago Fernández /
  • Gabriela Amorós /
  • Manuel Munuera /
  • P. Sañudo /
  • J. Fernández Peris
Journal ar
Quaternary Science Reviews
  • Volumen: 217
  • Fecha: 01 August 2019
  • Páginas: 247-267
  • ISSN: 02773791
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2019.03.015
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
© 2019A palynological study of the archaeological layers from the Neanderthal site of Bolomor Cave, located in Eastern Spain, is presented. Vegetational developments for the periods MIS 9 to MIS 5 are described, among which it is worth highlighting the long resilience of mixed oak-pine forests throughout cold phases and the high diversity of woody taxa including deciduous, Mediterranean, and thermophytes. The relative abundance of evergreen Quercus and Castanea, the continuous occurrences of Olea, Fraxinus, Pistacia, Myrtus, Phillyrea and Cistaceae, and the presence of Celtis, Ceratonia, Pinus pinaster, and Rhododendron are peculiar features of the sequence. The existence of a Mid-Pleistocene glacial refugium is postulated. To our knowledge, there is no similar record of forest landscape that have been described in glacial context for Neanderthals, which at the time bears archaeological and anthropological implications. The records of past vegetation in Bolomor are coherent with palaeontological finds, especially concerning the mammal fauna, which also suggests forested landscapes. The hominids of Bolomor possessed highly adaptative subsistence strategies that match the potential benefits offered by a diverse and rich environment where a broad spectrum of edible plants was available.

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