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Variation in lithic technological strategies among the Neanderthals of Gibraltar.

Shipton C, Clarkson C, Bernal MA, Boivin N, Finlayson C, Finlayson G, Fa D, Pacheco FG, Petraglia M - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: Some of the observed patterns in technology are statistically tested including raw material selection, platform preparation, and the use of formal and expedient technological schemas.The main parameters of technological variation are examined through detailed analysis of the Gibraltar cores and comparison with samples from the classic Mousterian sites of Le Moustier and Tabun C.We attribute this change to a reduction in residential mobility as the climate deteriorated during Marine Isotope Stage 3 and the Neanderthal population contracted into a refugium.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. c.shipton@uq.edu.au

ABSTRACT
THE EVIDENCE FOR NEANDERTHAL LITHIC TECHNOLOGY IS REVIEWED AND SUMMARIZED FOR FOUR CAVES ON THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR: Vanguard, Beefsteak, Ibex and Gorham's. Some of the observed patterns in technology are statistically tested including raw material selection, platform preparation, and the use of formal and expedient technological schemas. The main parameters of technological variation are examined through detailed analysis of the Gibraltar cores and comparison with samples from the classic Mousterian sites of Le Moustier and Tabun C. The Gibraltar Mousterian, including the youngest assemblage from Layer IV of Gorham's Cave, spans the typical Middle Palaeolithic range of variation from radial Levallois to unidirectional and multi-platform flaking schemas, with characteristic emphasis on the former. A diachronic pattern of change in the Gorham's Cave sequence is documented, with the younger assemblages utilising more localized raw material and less formal flaking procedures. We attribute this change to a reduction in residential mobility as the climate deteriorated during Marine Isotope Stage 3 and the Neanderthal population contracted into a refugium.

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The location of sites mentioned in the text.Inset: the location of Gibraltar on the Iberian Peninsula.
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pone-0065185-g001: The location of sites mentioned in the text.Inset: the location of Gibraltar on the Iberian Peninsula.

Mentions: The Rock of Gibraltar is a limestone klippe peninsula at the southern tip of Iberia (Figure 1) and represents the south-western extremity of the Neanderthal range. Both wave and solutional erosion have created a series of caves in the klippe, particularly on its more exposed eastern side, which were inhabited by Neanderthals and then Homo sapiens over the last 100 thousand years. Gibraltar is home to some of the world’s most significant Neanderthal sites. The region is historically significant as one of the first discoveries of Neanderthal skeletal remains was made in Forbes Quarry in 1848 [1], [2]. Important dietary information has been obtained from the Gibraltar caves, including the exploitation of a range of terrestrial and marine species unparalleled at other Neanderthals sites [3], [4]. Gibraltar also boasts having the youngest Mousterian sites in Europe, suggesting that the area served as a refugium for the final Neanderthals [5], [6].


Variation in lithic technological strategies among the Neanderthals of Gibraltar.

Shipton C, Clarkson C, Bernal MA, Boivin N, Finlayson C, Finlayson G, Fa D, Pacheco FG, Petraglia M - PLoS ONE (2013)

The location of sites mentioned in the text.Inset: the location of Gibraltar on the Iberian Peninsula.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3675147&req=5

pone-0065185-g001: The location of sites mentioned in the text.Inset: the location of Gibraltar on the Iberian Peninsula.
Mentions: The Rock of Gibraltar is a limestone klippe peninsula at the southern tip of Iberia (Figure 1) and represents the south-western extremity of the Neanderthal range. Both wave and solutional erosion have created a series of caves in the klippe, particularly on its more exposed eastern side, which were inhabited by Neanderthals and then Homo sapiens over the last 100 thousand years. Gibraltar is home to some of the world’s most significant Neanderthal sites. The region is historically significant as one of the first discoveries of Neanderthal skeletal remains was made in Forbes Quarry in 1848 [1], [2]. Important dietary information has been obtained from the Gibraltar caves, including the exploitation of a range of terrestrial and marine species unparalleled at other Neanderthals sites [3], [4]. Gibraltar also boasts having the youngest Mousterian sites in Europe, suggesting that the area served as a refugium for the final Neanderthals [5], [6].

Bottom Line: Some of the observed patterns in technology are statistically tested including raw material selection, platform preparation, and the use of formal and expedient technological schemas.The main parameters of technological variation are examined through detailed analysis of the Gibraltar cores and comparison with samples from the classic Mousterian sites of Le Moustier and Tabun C.We attribute this change to a reduction in residential mobility as the climate deteriorated during Marine Isotope Stage 3 and the Neanderthal population contracted into a refugium.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. c.shipton@uq.edu.au

ABSTRACT
THE EVIDENCE FOR NEANDERTHAL LITHIC TECHNOLOGY IS REVIEWED AND SUMMARIZED FOR FOUR CAVES ON THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR: Vanguard, Beefsteak, Ibex and Gorham's. Some of the observed patterns in technology are statistically tested including raw material selection, platform preparation, and the use of formal and expedient technological schemas. The main parameters of technological variation are examined through detailed analysis of the Gibraltar cores and comparison with samples from the classic Mousterian sites of Le Moustier and Tabun C. The Gibraltar Mousterian, including the youngest assemblage from Layer IV of Gorham's Cave, spans the typical Middle Palaeolithic range of variation from radial Levallois to unidirectional and multi-platform flaking schemas, with characteristic emphasis on the former. A diachronic pattern of change in the Gorham's Cave sequence is documented, with the younger assemblages utilising more localized raw material and less formal flaking procedures. We attribute this change to a reduction in residential mobility as the climate deteriorated during Marine Isotope Stage 3 and the Neanderthal population contracted into a refugium.

Show MeSH