Neanderthals in a highly diverse, mediterranean-Eurosiberian forest ecotone: The pleistocene pollen record of Teixoneres Cave, northeastern Spain

  • Juan Ochando /
  • José S. Carrión /
  • Ruth Blasco /
  • Florent Rivals /
  • Anna Rufà /
  • Martina Demuro /
  • Lee J. Arnold /
  • Gabriela Amorós /
  • Manuel Munuera /
  • Santiago Fernández /
  • Jordi Rosell
Journal ar
Quaternary Science Reviews
  • Volumen: 241
  • Fecha: 01 agosto 2020
  • ISSN: 02773791
  • Tipo de fuente: Revista
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106429
  • Tipo de documento: Artículo
  • Editorial: Elsevier Ltd
© 2020A palynological study of the archaeological layers from the Neanderthal site of Teixoneres Cave, located in Northeastern Spain, is presented. Vegetation dynamics for the MIS 7-MIS 2 period are described, revealing the long-term resilience of mixed oak-pine forests throughout cold phases and a high diversity of woody taxa, including conifers, mesophytes, Mediterranean, and xerothermics. Unexpected features of the Teixoneres sequence include the relative abundances of evergreen Quercus, deciduous Quercus + suber and Juniperus, the continuous occurrences of Corylus, Castanea, Betula, Fraxinus, Buxus, Olea, Populus, and Salix, and the presence of Abies, Taxus, Cedrus, Acer, Alnus, Celtis, Juglans, Fagus, Ulmus, Calicotome, Ceratonia, Cistus, Ephedra fragilis, Myrtus, Pistacia, Phillyrea, Rhamnus and Viburnum. To our knowledge, the existence of a forest refugium during the coldest and most arid stages of the upper Pleistocene has not previously been documented across this region. The high values of oak pollen during depositional episodes III, II and I of Teixoneres do not have an equivalent in any pollen sequence of the northern Iberian Peninsula during the MIS 4-MIS 2 interval. Our palynological analyses reveals a specific forest environment within the Mediterranean-Eurosiberian ecotone for the human occupation of Teixoneres Cave. These forested environments would have undoubtedly required highly adaptive subsistence strategies and expertise to ensure the long-term survival of Neanderthal groups in the region.

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