The paleolithic site Sima de las Palomas de Teba, Southern Spain. Site formation processes and chronostratigraphy.
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DepartmentHistoria, Geografía y Filosofía
Abstract (The Palaeolithic site Sima de las Palomas de Teba, Southern Spain –Site formation processes and chronostratigraphy): The rockshelter sequence consists of 6 m thick stone-rich silty clay loam including several archaeological levels with artefacts of Mousterian affinity, bone and charcoal. Stratigraphy and site formation processes were characterised by sedimentological, geochemical and micromorphological investigations. Sediments were dated using IRSL and OSL and the time of the last heating of burnt silex using TL. At the base of the sequence, sediment units 10 and 9 are in-situ deposits recording intensive occupation. Luminescence dating places these layers either before 33 ka (IRSL, OSL) or before 43 ka (TL).The occupation ends with a rockfall (unit 8), followed by archaeologically sterile sediments (unit 7). Mousterian occupation is again documented in scattered artefacts of units 6 to 4 which might be affected by reworking. IRSL age estimates indicated sediment deposition before 15 ka. The sequence ends with a dung rich Holocene layer including a fragment of a human mandible dated to 4032 ± 39 BP. Overall, the sequence represents an important new site for studying the presence of Neanderthals in Southern Spain.