Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




ABOUT US
Neanderthals and Cro-magnons did not coincide on the Iberian Peninsula
by Staff Writers
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Apr 17, 2014


File image.

The meeting between a Neanderthal and one of the first humans, which we used to picture in our minds, did not happen on the Iberian Peninsula. That 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.

The paper, entitled The chronology of the earliest Upper Palaeolithic in northern Iberia: New insights from L'Arbreda, Labeko Koba and La Vina, has been published in the Journal of Human Evolution.

Until now, the carbon 14 technique, a radioactive isotope which gradually disappears with the passing of time, has been used to date prehistoric remains. When about 40,000 years, in other words approximately the period corresponding to the arrival of the first humans in Europe, have elapsed, the portion that remains is so small that it can become easily contaminated and cause the dates to appear more recent.

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.

And by using this technique, scientists have been arriving at the same conclusions at key sites across Europe: "We can see that the arrival of our species in Europe took place 8,000 years earlier than what had been thought and we can see the earliest datings of our species and the most recent Neanderthal ones, in which, in a specific regional framework, there is no overlapping," explained Alvaro Arrizabalaga, professor of the department of Geography, Prehistory and Archaeology, and one of the UPV/EHU researchers alongside Maria-Jose Iriarte and Aritza Villaluenga.

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 Arrizabalaga.

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 Labeko Koba curve is the most consistent of the three, which in turn are the most consistent on the Iberian Peninsula," explained Arrizabalaga. 18 remains were dated at Labeko Koba and the results are totally convergent with respect to their stratigraphic position, in other words, those that appeared at the lowest depths are the oldest ones.

The main conclusion -"the scene of the meeting between a Neanderthal and a Cro-magnon does not seem to have taken place on the Iberian Peninsula"- is the same as the one that has been gradually reached over the last three years by different research groups when studying key settlements in Great Britain, Italy, Germany and France.

"For 25 years we had been saying that Neanderthals and early humans lived together for 8,000-10,000 years. Today, we think that in Europe there was a gap between one species and the other and, therefore, there was no hybridation, which did in fact take place in areas of the Middle East," explained Arrizabalaga.

The UPV/EHU professor is also the co-author of a piece of research published in 2012 that puts back the datings of the Neanderthals.

"We did the dating again in accordance with the ultrafiltration treatment that eliminates rejuvenating contamination, remains of the Mousterian, the material culture belonging to the Neanderthals from sites in the south of the Peninsula. Very recent dates had been obtained in them -up to 29,000 years- but the new datings go back to 44,000 years older than the first dates that can be attributed to the Cro-Magnons," explained the UPV/EHU professor.

R.E Wood, A. Arrizabalaga, M. Camps, S. Fallon, M.-J. Iriarte-Chiapusso, R. Jones, J. Maroto, M. de la Rasilla, D. Santamaria, J. Soler, N. Soler, A. Villaluenga, T.F.G. Higham. The chronology of the earliest Upper Palaeolithic in northern Iberia: New insights from L'Arbreda, Labeko Koba and La Vina, Journal of Human Evolution (2014).

.


Related Links
UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ABOUT US
Evolution explains facial hair trends
Kensington, Australia (UPI) Apr 16, 2013
Beards may have once served an evolutionary purpose, providing men warmth and protection against the elements, but today they're mostly a fashion choice. Right now, they're a pretty popular fashion choice. And evolutionary biologists at the University of New South Wales think they know why. Beard trends follow an evolutionary principle known as "negative frequency-dependent sexual selec ... read more


ABOUT US
Malaysia vows to be transparent with 'black box' data

Solomons flood victims 'terrified' after quakes

Survey finds majority of Malaysians distrust govt on MH370

Mini-sub to dive again after aborting first MH370 search

ABOUT US
Vanguard Space Technologies Antenna Reflectors on Amazonas Satellite Launch

Middle Eastern country orders more border radar

Headwall Extends Global Reach in Asia/Pac and Israel

A new twist for better steel

ABOUT US
Mini-sub deploys to scour ocean depths in MH370 hunt

Uncharted depths provide reality check for MH370 hunt

Reef fish arrived in two waves

A small coral-eating worm may mean big trouble for reefs

ABOUT US
Growth of Antarctic ice sheet triggered warming in the Southern Ocean during Miocene

New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail

Canada boycotts Arctic Council meeting in Moscow

La Brea Tar Pit fossil research shows climate change drove evolution of Ice Age predators

ABOUT US
Climate: Farming emissions to rise 30% by 2050

Oyster aquaculture could significantly improve Potomac River estuary water quality

Danone says China recall weighs on first-quarter sales

GM crops under the microscope at international debate

ABOUT US
Increase in activity at DRC's Nyamulagira volcano

Magnitude 7.5 quake strikes off Solomon Islands: USGS

Cyclone warning lifted on Australia's Barrier Reef coast

Death toll rises to 23 in Solomons floods

ABOUT US
Obama to meet Djibouti President on May 5

Campaigning conservationist shot in DR Congo

US Marines headed to Chad park to fight poaching

Top Nigerian Islamic body accuses military over Muslim deaths

ABOUT US
Researchers say Neanderthals were no strangers to good parenting

Evolution explains facial hair trends

New method confirms humans and Neandertals interbred

Indigenous societies' 'first contact' typically brings collapse, but rebounds are possible




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.