Tuesday, March 16, 2010

830kya Hominid Pleistocene Site Found in Spain

A new Lower Pleistocene archeological site in Europe (Vallparadís, Barcelona, Spain)

1. Kenneth Martínez (a)
2. Joan Garcia (a)
3. Eudald Carbonell (a)
4. Jordi Agustí (a)
5. Jean-Jaques Bahain (b)
6. Hugues-Alexandre Blain (a)
7. Francesc Burjachs (a)
8. Isabel Cáceres (a)
9. Mathieu Duval (c)
10. Christophe Falguères (b)
11. Manuel Gómez (d)
12. Rosa Huguet (a)

Author Affiliations:

a. Institut de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, 43005 Tarragona, Spain;

b. Département de Préhistoire, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 75013 Paris, France;

c. National Research Center on Human Evolution, 09004 Burgos, Spain; and

d. Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya, 08006 Barcelona, Spain

1. To whom correspondence may be addressed. E-mail: kenneth@prehistoria.urv.cat or jgarcia@prehistoria.urv.cat.


Here we report the discovery of a new late Lower Pleistocene site named Vallparadís (Barcelona, Spain) that produced a rich archeological and paleontological sequence dated from the upper boundary of the Jaramillo subchron to the early Middle Pleistocene. This deposit contained a main archeological layer with numerous artifacts and a rich macromammalian assemblage, some of which bore cut marks, that could indicate that hominins had access to carcasses. Paleomagnetic analysis, electron spin resonance-uranium series (ESR-US), and the biostratigraphic chronological position of the macro- and micromammal and lithic assemblages of this layer reinforce the proposal that hominins inhabited Europe during the Lower Pleistocene. The archeological sequence provides key information on the successful adaptation of European hominins that preceded the well-known fossil population from Atapuerca and succeeded the finds from Orce basin. Hence, this discovery enables us to close a major chronological gap in the early prehistory of Iberia. According to the information in this paper and the available data from these other sites, we propose that Mediterranean Western Europe was repeatedly and perhaps continuously occupied during the late Matuyama chron.


.83 MYA was pre-sapiens, even pre-antecessor. This is erectus territory.

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