The Mesolithic of Atlantic Coastal Spain – a comparison with the Middle Ebro Basin

Geoffrey A. CLARK & C. Michael BARTON

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 21 (3) - Pages 39-114

Published on 17 January 2022

This article is a part of the thematic issue Palaeolithic of Northwest Iberia and beyond: multidisciplinary approaches to the analysis of Late Quaternary hunter-gatherer societies

This paper compares current evidence for Mesolithic adaptations along the north Spanish coast from Galicia in the west to the Basque Country in the east. Significant questions and issues pertinent to Mesolithic research are reviewed, followed by a brief discussion of advances in method and theory over the past 25 years. Cantabria, País Vasco, and Galicia are compared with each other and en bloc with evidence from the middle Ebro over the 12-6 ka BP interval considered to bracket the transition between foraging and domestication economies. Marked differences in the time-space grid, geology, and the resolution of the data hinder these comparisons. A radiocarbon database totaling 610 dates is compiled, cleaned, filtered and analyzed for each region individually using summed calibrated date probability distribution (SPD) curves as a proxy for population density fluctuations over time. Regional curves are then compared with each other and with a global model.


Spain, Mesolithic, Atlantic façade, paleodemography, mobility, SPD analysis

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