Museo de Prehistoria y Paleontologia

Orce, Spain

Museo de Prehistoria y Paleontologia

Orce, Spain
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Martinez-Navarro B.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Martinez-Navarro B.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social | Martinez-Navarro B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Karoui-Yaakoub N.,University of Carthage | And 27 more authors.
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2014

Here we describe the new, rich lacustrine paleontological and archeological site of Wadi Sarrat (Le Kef, northeastern Tunisia), dated to the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, ~0.7 Ma, by a combination of paleomagnetism and biochronology. This locality preserves the earliest record of auroch, Bos primigenius, the ancestor of the worldwide extant domestic cattle species Bos taurus, which is represented by a nearly complete, giant-sized cranium (specimen OS1). Both the cranial anatomy and the size of this specimen reflect the phylogenetic legacy inherited from its ancestor, the late Early Pleistocene African Bos buiaensis, recorded in the eastern African paleoanthropological site of Buia, Eritrea (1.0Ma). Given that the latter species is an evolved form of the classical Early Pleistocene African buffalo Pelorovis oldowayensis, the finding of B.primigenius at Wadi Sarrat shows that the genus Bos evolved in Africa and dispersed into Eurasia at the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, which coincides with the spread of the Acheulian technocomplex in northern Africa and Europe. Therefore, the lineage of Pelorovis-Bos has been part of the human ecological landscape since the appearance of the genus Homo in the African Early Pleistocene. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Toro-Moyano I.,Museo Arqueologico de Granada | Martinez-Navarro B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Agusti J.,Rovira i Virgili University | Souday C.,Center for the Study of Human Origins | And 18 more authors.
Journal of Human Evolution | Year: 2013

The Orce region has one of the best late Pliocene and early Pleistocene continental paleobiological records of Europe. It is situated in the northeastern sector of the intramontane Guadix-Baza Basin (Granada, Andalusia, southern Spain). Here we describe a new fossil hominin tooth from the site of Barranco León, dated between 1.02 and 1.73Ma (millions of years ago) by Electron Spin Resonance (ESR), which, in combination with paleomagnetic and biochronologic data, is estimated to be close to 1.4Ma. While the range of dates obtained from these various methods overlaps with those published for the Sima del Elefante hominin locality (1.2Ma), the overwhelming majority of evidence points to an older age. Thus, at the moment, the Barranco León hominin is the oldest from Western Europe. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Martinez-Navarro B.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Martinez-Navarro B.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social | Martinez-Navarro B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Madurell-Malapeira J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 8 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2015

Suids are found in Europe before and during the Olduvai magnetostratigraphic subchron, including the Fonelas P-1 site in the Guadix Basin (Andalusia, Southern Spain, ∼2.0 Ma), in which the remains have been ascribed to Potamochoerus magnus, and many other localities that record the presence of Sus strozzii (e.g., Saint Vallier and Senèze in France). However, there is no pig record in the biochronological range comprised between the post Tasso Faunal Unit, which marks the base of the Late Villafranchian (∼1.8 Ma), and their arrival in Western Europe at layer TE9 from Sima del Elefante, Atapuerca, Northern Spain (∼1.2 Ma), where pigs are recorded under the name of Sus sp., and at the sites of Untermassfeld (Germany), Vallonnet (France) and layer EVT12 of Vallparadís Estació (Spain), dated 1.1-1.0 Ma (MIS31), which suid remains have been ascribed to Sus scrofa priscus in the first site and to Sus sp. in the other two. Later, the genus Sus is recorded everywhere in Europe as a ubiquitous member of the Epivillafranchian/Galerian and posterior faunas. When pigs are in an ecosystem, they use to be abundant in the large mammal community given their opportunistic feeding behavior and high reproductive success. Their short gestation periods and elevated offspring numbers allow them to colonize new and varied environments and territories faster than other ungulates, which use to display a K-reproductive strategy, with a single pup per birth. For this reason, suids are usually preserved in the fossil assemblages after their dispersal and colonization of a geographic region. The arrival of suids phylogenetically related to Sus gr. scrofa into Europe marks the end of the Late Villafranchian and the beginning of the Epivillafranchian, which is approximately dated at ∼1.2 Ma. Given that suids are omnivorous, generalist mammals with bunodont teeth that do not tolerate very low temperatures, this suggests that their colonization of Europe can be related to a change in the ecosystems and climate. In addition, the arrival of suids postdates the earliest arrival of hominins into Western Europe, which is documented at the Orce sites of Barranco León-D and Fuente Nueva-3 (∼1.5-1.2 Ma). In these sites, rich faunal assemblages, abundant lithic artifacts and one human tooth have been unearthed after more than twenty years of excavations, but no evidence of pigs has yet been detected. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Martinez-Navarro B.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Martinez-Navarro B.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social | Martinez-Navarro B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Ros-Montoya S.,Museo de Prehistoria y Paleontologia | And 2 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2011

The assemblages of large bovids from the European Late Villafranchian are dominated by the presence of the genus Bison, a descendant of the Early-Middle Villafranchian forms of Leptobos. Chronologically, the oldest record of this genus at the gates of Europe is at Dmanisi, Georgia (1.77 Ma), where it was firstly named Dmanisibos. It is recorded until the Holocene. It is the most abundant Quaternary buffalo of the continent and is nearly the only genus recorded in most post-Olduvai Early Pleistocene sites of Europe. The revision of all bone and tooth remains of large bovids from the site of Venta Micena (∼1.5 Ma) shows that two species of buffaloes are present at this Early Pleistocene locality. One is clearly a form of Bison, while the other corresponds to other different Bovini of small size that may be ascribed to the genus of Indian origin Hemibos, thus representing the first record of this genus in the Late Villafranchian of Europe. This paper presents the cranial material of both buffaloes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Martinez-Navarro B.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Martinez-Navarro B.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social | Martinez-Navarro B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Martinez-Navarro B.,Crea - Tec | And 5 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2012

The revision of the Early Pleistocene collection from the site of Monte Argentario (southern Tuscany, Italy), housed at the Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana (Roma), revealed the occurrence of a mostly complete left horn core, attributable to a small-middle size bovid species corresponding to the genus of Asian origin . Soergelia (. Soergelia sp. cf. . Soergelia minor). This is the first finding of the genus in the Italian Peninsula. The Monte Argentario fauna associated with . Soergelia includes the African origin saber-toothed tiger . Megantereon whitei and other Late Villafranchian species. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Espigares M.P.,Museo de Prehistoria y Paleontologia | Martinez-Navarro B.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | Martinez-Navarro B.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social Iphes | Martinez-Navarro B.,Rovira i Virgili University | And 8 more authors.
Quaternary International | Year: 2013

Homo and Pachycrocuta were the two major agents responsible for modifying and accumulating bones during early Pleistocene times in Europe. However, although an intense competition between hominins and hyenas in the access to scavengeable resources has long been proposed, currently there is no conclusive evidence for corroborating or ruling out this hypothesis. This paper presents indirect evidence of competitive behavior between both species, recovered from the Upper Archaeological Level of Fuente Nueva-3 (Orce, Guadix-Baza Basin, southeastern Spain). It consists of a number of coprolites and tools that surround an incomplete elephant carcass, which suggests that humans and hyenas may have competed for the consumption of this megaherbivore. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Vallverdu J.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social Iphes | Vallverdu J.,Rovira i Virgili University | Vallverdu J.,CSIC - National Museum of Natural Sciences | Saladie P.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social Iphes | And 50 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The first arrivals of hominin populations into Eurasia during the Early Pleistocene are currently considered to have occurred as short and poorly dated biological dispersions. Questions as to the tempo and mode of these early prehistoric settlements have given rise to debates concerning the taxonomic significance of the lithic assemblages, as trace fossils, and the geographical distribution of the technological traditions found in the Lower Palaeolithic record. Here, we report on the Barranc de la Boella site which has yielded a lithic assemblage dating to ∼1 million years ago that includes large cutting tools (LCT). We argue that distinct technological traditions coexisted in the Iberian archaeological repertoires of the late Early Pleistocene age in a similar way to the earliest sub-Saharan African artefact assemblages. These differences between stone tool assemblages may be attributed to the different chronologies of hominin dispersal events. The archaeological record of Barranc de la Boella completes the geographical distribution of LCT assemblages across southern Eurasia during the EMPT (Early-Middle Pleistocene Transition, circa 942 to 641 kyr). Up to now, chronology of the earliest European LCT assemblages is based on the abundant Palaeolithic record found in terrace river sequences which have been dated to the end of the EMPT and later. However, the findings at Barranc de la Boella suggest that early LCT lithic assemblages appeared in the SW of Europe during earlier hominin dispersal episodes before the definitive colonization of temperate Eurasia took place. © 2014 Vallverdú et al.


Madurell-Malapeira J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Minwer-Barakat R.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Alba D.M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Garces M.,University of Barcelona | And 5 more authors.
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2010

The late Early to early Middle Pleistocene section from Torrent de Vallparadís is a 20 m-thick, composite section with multiple stratigraphic horizons, which have yielded close to 30,000 remains of large and small vertebrates, as well as macrobotanical remains of non-carbonized wood and a complete pollen record. This series is well correlated on the basis of magnetostratigraphic and small mammal biostratigraphic data, ranging from 1.2 to 0.6 Ma. There are only a few other European localities recording this time interval from a faunal, floral and stratigraphical perspective, so that the Vallparadís series provides a unique opportunity to investigate the faunal and environmental changes that occurred in south-western Europe during the Early to Middle Pleistocene transition. This time interval recorded at Vallparadís coincides with major climatic changes at a global scale (the Middle Pleistocene Transition), which had important effects on the composition of mammalian assemblages. The remains recovered from the latest Early Pleistocene layers of the Vallparadís section show that most of the components of the Villafranchian carnivore guild survived until close to the Brunhes-Matuyama boundary (probably until the interglacial stage 21), which might have significantly influenced the foraging strategies of early Homo in Europe. On the other hand, the remains of the straight-tusked elephant, Elephas (Palaeoloxodon) antiquus, from the latest Early Pleistocene layers of Vallparadís represent the earliest European record of this species, indicating that the dispersal of African elements into Europe during the Middle Pleistocene Transition began earlier than previously thought, at close to 1 Ma. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Madurell-Malapeira J.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Martinez-Navarro B.,Rovira i Virgili University | Ros-Montoya S.,Museo de Prehistoria y Paleontologia | Patrocinio Espigares M.,Museo de Prehistoria y Paleontologia | And 2 more authors.
Comptes Rendus - Palevol | Year: 2011

Paleontological and molecular data suggest that the divergence of the European and Asian badgers (Meles meles and Meles leucurus, respectively) from their ancestor Meles thorali might have taken place in the Middle to Late Villafranchian boundary (ca. 1.8. Ma). However, the available record of Late Villafrachian European badgers is scanty and poorly known, and this hypothesis needs more paleontological data in order to be tested. The badger hemimandible from the Iberian locality of Fuente Nueva 3, a locality placed in the beginning of the Late Villafranchian, supports the idea of an early divergence between European and Asian badgers. © 2011.

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