Neanderthals and early humans did not meet on the Iberian Peninsula

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 12:08

Washington: Scientists have said that a research that they are taking part in has revealed that Neanderthals and Cro-magnons did not meet on the Iberian Peninsula.

This is the conclusion reached by an international team of researchers from the Australian National University, Oxford University, the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, University of Maryland, Universitat de Girona and the University of Oviedo, after redoing the dating of the remains in three caves located on the route through the Pyrenees of the first beings of our species: L`Arbreda, Labeko Koba and La Vina.
It was from 2005 onwards that a new technique began to be used; it is the one used to purify the collagen in DNA tests. Using this method, the portion of the original organic material is obtained and all the subsequent contamination is removed.

The three caves chosen for the recently published research are located in Girona (L`Arbreda), Gipuzkoa (Labeko Koba) and Asturias (La Vina); in other words, at the westernmost and easternmost tips of the Pyrenees and it was where the flow of populations and animals between the peninsula and continent took place.

"L`Arbreda is on the eastern pass; Labeko Koba, in the Deba valley, is located on the entry corridor through the Western Pyrenees (Arrizabalaga and Iriarte excavated it in a hurry in 1988 before it was destroyed by the building of the Arrasate-Mondragon bypass) and La Vina is of value as a paradigm, since it provides a magnificent sequence of the Upper Palaeolithic, in other words, of the technical and cultural behaviour of the Cro-magnons during the last glaciation", pointed out Alvaro Arrizabalaga, professor of the department of Geography, Prehistory and Archaeology, and one of the UPV/EHU researchers.
The selecting of the remains was very strict allowing only tools made of bones or, in the absence of them, bones bearing clear traces of human activity, as a general rule with butchery marks, in other words, cuts in the areas of the tendons so that the muscle could be removed.

The paper has been published in the Journal of Human Evolution.


First Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 12:08

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