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The rock shelter Abrigo del Molino (Segovia, Spain) and the timing of the late Middle Paleolithic in Central Iberia

  • Martin Kehl (a1), David Álvarez-Alonso (a2), María de Andrés-Herrero (a3), Andrés Díez-Herrero (a4), Nicole Klasen (a1), Janet Rethemeyer (a5) and Gerd-Christian Weniger (a3)...

Abstract

The timing of the late Middle Paleolithic and late disappearance of Neanderthals in the Iberian Peninsula are hotly debated subjects in Paleolithic archeology. Several studies suggested a late survival in South and Central Iberia until about 32 ka, but were probably subject to significant age underestimation due to contamination of dating samples, undiagnostic lithic assemblages, and/or lack of stratigraphic integrity. We conducted a radiocarbon and luminescence-dating study backed by detailed sedimentological and micromorphological investigations at the newly discovered rock shelter sequence of Abrigo del Molino (Central Spain). Accumulation of the sediment sequence was rapid. It started with deposition of paleoflood slack-water deposits at around 48 ka and continued until about 41 ka with deposition of colluvial and detrital sediments. These contain two Mousterian levels, which place the latest Neanderthal occupation at around 45 to 41 ka, i.e., between Heinrich Stadials 5 and 4, and probably during a time of climate amelioration. Abrigo del Molino thus provides a detailed and chronologically well-constrained record of Late Neanderthal presence and morphodynamic change in Central Iberia during times of millennial-scale climate changes. The site gives further evidence for an early disappearance of Neanderthals in Central Iberia.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author at: Institute of Geography, University of Cologne, Albertus Magnus Platz, 50923 Cologne, Germany. E-mail address: kehlm@uni-koeln.de (M. Kehl).

References

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The rock shelter Abrigo del Molino (Segovia, Spain) and the timing of the late Middle Paleolithic in Central Iberia

  • Martin Kehl (a1), David Álvarez-Alonso (a2), María de Andrés-Herrero (a3), Andrés Díez-Herrero (a4), Nicole Klasen (a1), Janet Rethemeyer (a5) and Gerd-Christian Weniger (a3)...

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