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Site formation and chronology of the New Paleolithic Site Sima de Las Palomas de Teba, Southern Spain

  • Martin Kehl (a1), Christoph Burow (a1), Pedro Cantalejo (a2), Salvador Domínguez-Bella (a3), Juan José Durán (a4), Felix Henselowsky (a1), Nicole Klasen (a1), Jörg Linstädter (a5), Javier Medianero (a2), Andreas Pastoors (a6), José Ramos (a7), Klaus Reicherter (a8), Christoph Schmidt (a1) (a9) and Gerd-Christian Weniger (a6)...

The newly identified Paleolithic site Sima de Las Palomas de Teba hosts an almost seven-m-thick sediment profile investigated here to elucidate the rock shelter's chronostratigraphy and formation processes. At its base, the sediment sequence contains rich archeological deposits recording intensive occupation by Neanderthals. Luminescence provides a terminus ante quem of 39.4 ± 2.6 ka or 44.9 ± 4.1 ka (OSL) and 51.4 ± 8.4 ka (TL). This occupation ended with a rockfall event followed by accumulation of archeologically sterile sediments. These were covered by sediments containing few Middle Paleolithic artifacts, which either indicate ephemeral occupation by Neanderthals or reworking as suggested by micromorphological features. Above this unit, scattered lithic artifacts of undiagnostic character may represent undefined Paleolithic occupations. Sediment burial ages between about 23.0 ± 1.5 ka (OSL) and 40.5 ± 3.4 ka (pIRIR) provide an Upper Paleolithic chronology for sediments deposited above the rockfall. Finally, a dung-bearing Holocene layer in the uppermost part of the sequence contains a fragment of a human mandible dated to 4032 ± 39 14C yr BP. Overall, the sequence represents an important new site for studying the end of Neanderthal occupation in southern Spain.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. E-mail address: (M. Kehl), (C. Burow), (P. Cantalejo), (S. Domínguez-Bella), (J.J. Durán), (F. Henselowsky), (N. Klasen), (J. Linstädter), (J. Medianero), (A. Pastoors), (J. Ramos), (K. Reicherter), (C. Schmidt), (G.-C.Weniger).
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Kehl et al. supplementary material
Figure S1-S5

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