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The Mesolithic–Neolithic transition in southern Iberia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017


Miguel Cortés Sánchez
Affiliation:
Departamento de Prehistoria y Arqueología, Facultad de Geografía e Historia, Universidad de Sevilla, c/ María de Padilla s/n. 41004, Spain
Francisco J. Jiménez Espejo
Affiliation:
Insituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC-UGR), Avda. de las Palmeras, 4, Armilla. 18100 Granada, Spain Institute of Biogeosciences, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Natsushima-cho 2-15, Yokosuka 237-0061, Japan
María D. Simón Vallejo
Affiliation:
Fundación Cueva de Nerja, Crta. de Maro, s/n. 29787 Nerja, Málaga, Spain
Juan F. Gibaja Bao
Affiliation:
Departamento de Arqueología CSIC-IMF, Investigador Ramón y Cajal. C/ Egipciaques, 15. 08001 Barcelona, Spain
António Faustino Carvalho
Affiliation:
FCT, Universidade do Algarve, Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais, Campus de Gambelas, 8000-117, Faro, Portugal
Francisca Martinez-Ruiz
Affiliation:
Insituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC-UGR), Avda. de las Palmeras, 4, Armilla. 18100 Granada, Spain
Marta Rodrigo Gamiz
Affiliation:
Insituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC-UGR), Avda. de las Palmeras, 4, Armilla. 18100 Granada, Spain
José-Abel Flores
Affiliation:
Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
Adina Paytan
Affiliation:
Institute of Marine Sciences, Earth & Planetary Sciences Department, University of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
José A. López Sáez
Affiliation:
Research group “Arqueobiología”, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC, Albasanz, 26-28, 28037, Madrid, Spain
Leonor Peña-Chocarro
Affiliation:
Research group “Arqueobiología”, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC, Albasanz, 26-28, 28037, Madrid, Spain
José S. Carrión
Affiliation:
Departamento de Biología Vegetal (Botánica), Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, 30100, Murcia, Spain
Arturo Morales Muñiz
Affiliation:
Laboratorio de Zooarqueología, Departamento de Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049, Madrid, Spain
Eufrasia Roselló Izquierdo
Affiliation:
Laboratorio de Zooarqueología, Departamento de Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049, Madrid, Spain
José A. Riquelme Cantal
Affiliation:
Insituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC-UGR), Avda. de las Palmeras, 4, Armilla. 18100 Granada, Spain
Rebecca M. Dean
Affiliation:
Division of Social Sciences, University of Minnesota-Morris, 600E, 4th St., Morris, Minnesota, 56267, USA
Emília Salgueiro
Affiliation:
Unidade de Geologia Marinha, LNEG (ex-INETI), Apart. 7586, 2720-866, Amadora, Portugal CIMAR Laboratório Associado, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto, Portugal
Rafael M. Martínez Sánchez
Affiliation:
Área de Prehistoria, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Córdoba, Plaza Cardenal Salazar, s/n. 14071, Córdoba, Spain
Juan J. De la Rubia de Gracia
Affiliation:
Archivo Municipal de Mijas, Avda. Virgen de la Peña, 2. 29650 Mijas, Málaga, Spain
María C. Lozano Francisco
Affiliation:
Museo Municipal Paleontológico de Estepona, Matías Prats, s/n. 29680, Estepona, Málaga, Spain
José L. Vera Peláez
Affiliation:
Museo Municipal Paleontológico de Estepona, Matías Prats, s/n. 29680, Estepona, Málaga, Spain
Laura Llorente Rodríguez
Affiliation:
Laboratorio de Zooarqueología, Departamento de Biología, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049, Madrid, Spain
Nuno F. Bicho
Affiliation:
FCT, Universidade do Algarve, Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais, Campus de Gambelas, 8000-117, Faro, Portugal

Abstract

New data and a review of historiographic information from Neolithic sites of the Malaga and Algarve coasts (southern Iberian Peninsula) and from the Maghreb (North Africa) reveal the existence of a Neolithic settlement at least from 7.5 cal ka BP. The agricultural and pastoralist food producing economy of that population rapidly replaced the coastal economies of the Mesolithic populations. The timing of this population and economic turnover coincided with major changes in the continental and marine ecosystems, including upwelling intensity, sea-level changes and increased aridity in the Sahara and along the Iberian coast. These changes likely impacted the subsistence strategies of the Mesolithic populations along the Iberian seascapes and resulted in abandonments manifested as sedimentary hiatuses in some areas during the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition. The rapid expansion and area of dispersal of the early Neolithic traits suggest the use of marine technology. Different evidences for a Maghrebian origin for the first colonists have been summarized. The recognition of an early North-African Neolithic influence in Southern Iberia and the Maghreb is vital for understanding the appearance and development of the Neolithic in Western Europe. Our review suggests links between climate change, resource allocation, and population turnover.


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Original Articles
Copyright
University of Washington

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