In glacial environments beyond glacial terrains: Human eco-dynamics in late Pleistocene Mediterranean Iberia

C Michael Barton, Valentin Villaverde, João Zilhão, J. Emili Aura, Oreto Garcia, Ernestina Badal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Iberian Peninsula south of the Ebro River enjoyed one of the mildest climates of Pleistocene Europe, but still experienced significant and rapid environmental shifts caused by global climate regimes. We examine the interplay between technological, social, and land-use dynamics as culturally mediated responses to climate change outside the periglacial zone. We combine information from excavated sites across eastern and southeastern Spain with systematic survey data from an intensive study area within this larger region to examine Upper Paleolithic behavioral adaptations to the environmental shifts of the late Pleistocene (late MIS-3 through MIS-2). We define indexes that serve as proxies for land-use strategies, technological specialization, and hunting practices. Variation in these indices across space and through time provides the basis for a model of Upper Paleolithic eco-dynamics. A consistent pattern of land-use, involving inland (and possibly coastal) base-camps and near-coastal hunting zones spanned the Mediterranean facade and was sufficiently flexible and resilient to environmental change to persist throughout the late Pleistocene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-68
Number of pages16
JournalQuaternary International
Volume318
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 18 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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