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Mao, Spain

This paper proposes a first approach to the knowledge of the domestic exploitation of animal resources by the Menorcan inhabitants of the Bronze Age, which is made through the study of the faunal assemblage recovered in the dwelling naveta of Cala Blanca. This site, located on the west coast of Menorca, was excavated between 1986 and 1993, and offered a chronology of the mid-second millennium cal BC. Nearly all the species identified are the traditional domestic mammals. Among these, despite the numerical dominance of the binomial goat/sheep, we must stress the importance of cattle. Comparison with contemporary contexts of the island of Mallorca, especially the one from Canyamel, reveals some marked similarities. Finally, the bone tool assemblage from this site has to be noted. Source

Anglada M.,Museu de Menorca | Ferrer A.,Museu de Menorca | Plantalamor L.,Museu de Menorca | Ramis D.,Museu de Menorca | And 2 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2014

The prehistoric site of Cornia Nou (Menorca) features a number of well-preserved architectural structures belonging to the Talayotic culture. Over the last 6 yr, a team linked to the Museum of Menorca has conducted an archaeological excavation project of a large rectangular building attached to the south side of a substantial and massive talayot, which is considered the western talayot. The main objective of this paper is to present the chronological framework of this building, specifying the period of use and the time of abandonment of the building, as well as the dating of the different phases of its construction. A total of 27 14C analyses were obtained from samples of the stratigraphic layers and architectonic structures inside the South Building (SB). This research has provided new insights concerning the early stages of the Talayotic culture. The 14C dates allow us to place the first recorded occupation phase of the SB in an interval dated within 1100-900 BC (phase 4). A second phase in the occupation of the SB dates to ~900-800 BC (phase 5). A final occupation phase could be situated between 800-600 BC (phase 6). However, this record provides evidence to suggest that the construction of the west talayot may pertain to a time before the beginning of the 1st millennium cal BC. © 2014 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona. Source

Portillo M.,University of the Basque Country | Portillo M.,University of Barcelona | Llergo Y.,University of Barcelona | Ferrer A.,Museu de Menorca | And 2 more authors.
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany | Year: 2016

Interdisciplinary methodological approaches are fundamental for studying tool use and crop processing patterns in the archaeological record. Many archaeological studies of plant microfossil evidence, primarily those of phytoliths, starch grains and pollen, are concerned with processing methods which can be replicated through experimentally produced plant residues. However, most of these studies rely on crop identification through the presence or absence of such microfossils while giving little or hardly any weight to taphonomy and formation processes, which are critical for interpreting archaeological contexts. An investigation of experimentally produced phytolith and pollen assemblages provides the opportunity to evaluate the impact of cereal processing on both microfossils. Controlled experiments were conducted at the Museum of Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, for assessing microfossil taphonomy using Iron Age Talayotic tools and Hordeum vulgare (hulled barley) grown nowadays on the island. For dehusking, a sandstone mortar and a wooden pestle were used outdoors, whereas grinding took place indoors using a limestone quern and handstone. The results indicate that the size of multicellular or anatomically connected phytoliths decreases as a result of mechanical degradation suffered through processing activities, whereas the proportion of cereal pollen grains increases through these processes. Additionally, experimental samples from dehusking and sieving provided abundant evidence of floral bracts, and also of other plant parts and even different plant species, such as phytoliths from leaves and stems and non cereal pollen taxa, which were also to be found on the surfaces of the ground stone tools. These findings highlight the importance of integrating different lines of microfossil evidence and taking into account formation and taphonomic aspects, as well as the value of experimentally produced data for a better understanding of tool use and crop processing. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source

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