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Barsky D.,Center Europeen Of Recherches Prehistoriques Of Tautavel | Celiberti V.,Center Europeen Of Recherches Prehistoriques Of Tautavel | Cauche D.,Laboratoire Departemental Of Prehistoire Du Lazaret | Gregoire S.,Center Europeen Of Recherches Prehistoriques Of Tautavel | And 3 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2010

Lithics from Barranco León and Fuente Nueva 3 in Orce, Spain (respectively 1.3 and 1.2. Ma according to paleomagnetic and biochronological criteria) provide information about the oldest known European Mode 1 assemblages. At these sites, both located in what were swampy areas close to the eastern shores of the Baza paleo-lake, evidence points towards competition between hominins and hyenas to access large herbivore carcasses abandoned by other carnivores. To make their tools, hominins collected rocks available nearby such as limestone and flint. Distinctive groupings of rock type with typo-technological elements are clear: flint was largely exploited for flake production whereas limestone was reserved for percussion instruments and worked cobbles. These Spanish sites do not comprise true configured tools. Knapping strategies were adapted to raw material constraints and initial block form; the hard hammer on an anvil technique was frequently used to reduce small, cube-shaped flint matrixes and some larger limestone pieces. Technical systems were mainly unidirectional recurrent, although polyhedron shaped multiplatform cores were also produced by hard hammer technique. While evidence from the Near East attests to the presence of Mode 2 producing populations as early as 1.4. Ma, such assemblages do not appear in Europe until around 0.7. Ma. Given data from the Orce assemblages, how might the earliest hominin occupations of Europe be interpreted?. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Moyano I.T.,Museo Arqueologico y Etnologico de Granada | Barsky D.,Rovira i Virgili University | Cauche D.,Laboratoire Departemental Of Prehistoire Du Lazaret | Celiberti V.,Center Europeen Of Recherches Prehistoriques Of Tautavel | And 4 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2011

The Barranco León and Fuente Nueva 3 sites are located in the Guadix-Baza Basin in Orce (Andalusia, Spain) about 80 km from the Mediterranean Sea. The sites were accumulated in swampy areas near the paleo-lake Baza's eastern shoreline. There, hominins and hyenas competed for access to large herbivore carcasses abandoned by carnivores. The ages of the Barranco León and Fuente Nueva 3 sites have been evaluated from large and small mammal biochronology, magnetostratigraphy and also by ESR to around 1.4-1.2 Ma, respectively. Both sites have yielded fauna and lithic artefacts in situ. Systematic excavations at Barranco León and Fuente Nueva 3 have been underway since the 1990's and contribute to growing evidence of hominin presence in southern Europe well before 1 Ma.The two lithic assemblages show strong similarities. At both sites, the artefacts were knapped from tabular flint and limestone pebbles collected nearby. The assemblages are composed mainly of small, non modified flakes and angular fragments, as well as some cores. Larger limestone heavy duty tools and cores are also present. There are no standardized small or large tools. Stone knapping was carried out using hand held and bipolar-on-an-anvil reduction strategies in accordance with raw material constraints and probably also desired product morphology. The assemblages are characterized by widespread use of unidirectional knapping methods. Reduction strategies were progressively adapted as the cores evolved into different forms. The Barranco León and Fuente Nueva 3 stone tool assemblages express a variant of Oldowan or Mode 1 technology that may be considered to be more complex than that observed at some earlier African sites, mainly because of the systematic use of extended orthogonal knapping episodes producing multiplatform cores and the differential use of two types of raw materials for making small cutting tools and larger percussion instruments. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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