4.7 Article

A neanderthal hunting camp in the central system of the Iberian Peninsula: A zooarchaeological and taphonomic analysis of the Navalmaillo Rock Shelter (Pinilla del Valle, Spain)


Volume 269, Issue -, Pages -


DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2021.107142


Taphonomy; Pleistocene; Middle palaeolithic; Iberian peninsula; Neanderthals; Hunting camp; Carbonate rock shelter; Navalmaillo rock shelter


  1. Junta de Castilla y Leon - European Social Funds via the Consejeria de Educacion [BDNS 376062]
  2. Ministerio de Economia, Industria y Competitividad [PTA2018-015145-I]
  3. MAR [PTA2018-015145-I]
  4. MCIU/AEI/FEDER, UE [PGC 2018-094125-B-100]
  5. MICINN-FEDER [PGC 2018-093925-B-C32]
  6. AGAUR [2017SGR1040 IPHES-URV, 2017SGR859 IPHES]
  7. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion e Agencia Estatal de Investigacion [PGC 2018-093612-B100]
  8. I + D activities program for research groups run by the Education Secretariat of the Madrid Regional Government [H2019/HUM-5840]
  9. Grupo Mahou
  10. Canal de Isabel II-Gestion

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This study examined the faunal remains of the Navalmaillo Rock Shelter in Madrid, Spain, and concluded that it was a Neanderthal hunting camp with short-term occupations. The main agents responsible for the accumulation of faunal remains were Neanderthals, primarily of large bovids and to a lesser extent medium-sized cervids. Carnivores were also identified as having activity at the site, feeding on small prey or scavenging carcasses left by human hunters.
The interior of the Iberian Peninsula has few Middle Palaeolithic sites, especially when compared to other areas of the Mediterranean Basin and the northern Spanish region. Few in number too are the zooarchaeological and taphonomic studies that throw light on the relationships between Neanderthal groups, their environment, and the use they made of it. The present work examines, both zooarchaeologically and taphonomically, the faunal remains of levels F and D of the Navalmaillo Rock Shelter (Pinilla del Valle, Madrid, Spain) - the largest collection of such remains ever studied from the Iberian interior. The results allow this site to be interpreted as a Neanderthal hunting camp where occupations were short-term. Neanderthal people were the main agents that accumulated the site's faunal remains largely those of large bovids and to a lesser extent medium-sized cervids. The activity of carnivores was also identified, but these animals mostly left behind the remains of small prey or fed upon carcasses abandoned at the camp by human hunters. (C) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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