Geomorphological, chronological, and paleoenvironmental context of the Mousterian site at Roca San Miguel (Arén, Huesca, Spain) from the penultimate to the last glacial cycle

José Luis Peña-Monné, Lourdes Montes Ramírez, María Marta Sampietro-Vattuone, Rafael Domingo Martínez, Alicia Medialdea, Miguel Bartolomé, Virginia Rubio Fernández, Rosario García Giménez, Valentí Turú, Xavier Ros, Pere Baró, Juan Luis Bernal-Wormull, R. Lawrence Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Roca San Miguel (RSM) archaeological site was occupied during Mousterian times. Here we present a geoarchaeological and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the site. Five stratigraphic units (A to E) formed by different archaeological levels are identified. Three optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages show that Unit A dates to between 169.6 ± 9.1 and 151.9 ± 11.1 ka, during the penultimate glacial period (PGP), and contains numerous signs of recurring hearths. Unit B is unexcavated. Unit C dates to between 118.9 ± 11.5 and 103.4 ± 6.9 ka (late Eemian-marine isotope stage (MIS) 5d) and shows an abundance of lithic remains as well as some faunal elements. Unit C is covered by Unit D, which incorporates materials moved downslope, and is dated at 81.2 ± 4.7 ka. These OSL ages concur with U/Th ages (129.3 ± 1.5 and 123.6 ± 0.6 ka) derived from a flowstone covered by both -C and D- post-flowstone units. Finally, Unit E covers the archaeological site, which was partially eroded during MIS2. The robust and well-constrained chronology of the RSM site and surroundings enables the establishment of its evolutionary model from the PGP to the last glacial cycle. The RSM site is the oldest Neanderthal occupation accurately dated in the Pre-Pyrenean region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-181
Number of pages20
JournalQuaternary Research (United States)
Volume106
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 19 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Gaps and Sites (HAR2017-85023-P) and Gaps and Dates (PID2020-116598GB-I00) projects, funded by the MINECO/MICIN-AEI/FEDER, Spain/EU; and by the Research Group P3A from the Aragón Government (H14_20R). We warmly thank the village and municipality of Arén and the Diputación Provincial de Huesca for funding all the archaeological fieldwork between 2013 and 2019.

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Gaps and Sites (HAR2017-85023-P) and Gaps and Dates (PID2020-116598GB-I00) projects, funded by the MINECO/MICIN-AEI/FEDER, Spain/EU; and by the Research Group P3A from the Arag?n Government (H14_20R). We warmly thank the village and municipality of Ar?n and the Diputaci?n Provincial de Huesca for funding all the archaeological fieldwork between 2013 and 2019. We wish to thank the editors and reviewers of Quaternary Research for their observations and comments to improve this work.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2021.

Keywords

  • Fluvial terraces
  • Geoarchaeology
  • OSL dating
  • Paleolithic
  • Pleistocene
  • Pyrenees

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