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Type: Journal article
Title: Insights into the late stages of the Acheulean technocomplex of Western Iberia from the Arbo site (Galicia, Spain)
Author: Méndez-Quintas, E.
Demuro, M.
Arnold, L.
Duval, M.
Pérez-González, A.
Santonja, M.
Citation: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 2019; 27:1-28
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 2352-409X
Statement of
E. Méndez-Quintas, M. Demuro, L.J. Arnold, M. Duval, A. Pérez-González, M. Santonja
Abstract: The arrival and disappearance of the Acheulean technocomplex in Europe, and specifically in the Iberian Peninsula, is a longstanding topic of discussion with relevance for unravelling the Middle Pleistocene human occupation dynamics of the continent. Despite containing one of the first Acheulean sites excavated in Europe (As Gándaras de Budiño site), the Miño River basin (north-western Iberian Peninsula) remains understudied and has yielded relatively limited information on the temporal and spatial dynamics of the regional Acheulean technocomplex over the last fifty years. Here we present a systematic archaeological and numerical dating study of a previously undocumented Acheulean site located in the lower Miño River basin (Arbo site, Pontevedra, Spain). This newly discovered site preserves a late Middle Pleistocene Acheulean assemblage that has been dated to pre-Marine Isotope Stage 5 by a combination of post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence (pIR-IR) and electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of sedimentary silicates. The new excavations reveal that the site preserves a dense concentration of artefacts made from allochthonous raw materials. Detailed lithic analyses show that the industry has some elementary flake production systems devoid of Levallois cores, but with supplementary non-standardised flake tool types and some large cutting tools (LCTs) - mainly handaxes that are usually finalized with soft-hammer. The results obtained at Arbo complement those obtained recently at the nearby Porto Maior site, as well as the seminal study of As Gándaras de Budiño, and demonstrate an important Acheulean and hominin presence in the Miño River basin during the second half of the Middle Pleistocene.
Keywords: Acheulean; Iberian Peninsula; Middle Pleistocene; electron spin resonance (ESR) dating; luminescence dating; post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence(pIR-IR)
Rights: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.101934
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