Continuity of the first human occupation in the Iberian Peninsula: Closing the archaeological gap


en Comptes Rendus Palevol 10 (4) - Pages 279-284

Published on 30 June 2011

The recent discovery of a site at Vallparadís (Terrassa), dated to the upper boundary of the Jaramillo sub-chron (0.98 Ma), allows us to close the archaeological gap in the Late Lower Pleistocene of the Iberian Peninsula and to propose the hypothesis that western Mediterranean Europe may have been continuously inhabited by humans from 1.4-1.2 Ma until the early Middle Pleistocene. Early hominid groups present in the area were capable of successfully withstanding the changing climatic conditions that they encountered, thanks to their specific adaptive strategies based on a Mode 1 lithic technology, and probably also on well developed social cohesion. These strategies enabled them to obtain meat by gaining primary access to herbivore carcasses and thus to successfully compete with other large carnivores. These first hominids in the western Mediterranean Europe succeeded in raising themselves to the top of the food chain, and in doing so guaranteed the continuity of human settlement.


Lower Pleistocene, Vallparadís, Mode 1 lithic technology, Cut-marks

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