Call it home: Mesolithic dwellings in the Ebro Basin (NE Spain)

Domingo, Rafael (Universidad de Zaragoza) ; Alcolea, Marta (Universidad de Zaragoza) ; Bea, Manuel (Universidad de Zaragoza) ; Mazo, Carlos (Universidad de Zaragoza) ; Montes, Lourdes (Universidad de Zaragoza) ; Picazo, Jesús Vicente (Universidad de Zaragoza) ; Rodanés, José María (Universidad de Zaragoza) ; Utrilla, Pilar (Universidad de Zaragoza)
Call it home: Mesolithic dwellings in the Ebro Basin (NE Spain)
Resumen: This paper summarises our knowledge of Mesolithic space management — which concerns the choice of the living place itself and the recognisable dwelling structures — in the Middle Ebro Basin, where more than fifteen accurately dated Mesolithic sites have been found and excavated in the last several decades.

In the last forty years, the Ebro Basin has emerged as the most important area for the study of the Mesolithic and Early Neolithic period in the Iberian Peninsula. Dozens of recently excavated sites with hundreds of accurate radiocarbon dates offer a good panorama of the transition from traditional hunting-gathering strategies to the gradual incorporation of Neolithic innovations. Nevertheless, much remains unknown in wide areas across the basin due to poor conservation or mere research defaults, so there is still much work to do. For brevity and research tradition, this paper will be restricted to the Middle Ebro Basin.

The vast majority of documented Mesolithic sites throughout the basin occupy the frequent limestone, sandstone or conglomeratic rockshelters that proliferate in the ranges flanking the north and the lower flat areas in the south. There, natural “roofed” refuges are scarce, and prehistoric groups inhabited open-air campsites. Archaeological surveys are difficult to conduct in these flat terrains due to high-scale Holocene erosive processes, which hamper our knowledge of the actual dwelling strategies in Mesolithic times. Across the basin, only one open-air site is known about compared to more than forty rockshelters. Of these, most share common elements: they are small, open to the rising sun and appear next to rivers or ravines, guaranteeing access to fresh water and control of potential game. Some show evidence of human presence from the Magdalenian times; others were in use in the Neolithic period and beyond. A common feature is the final prehistoric usage of funerary sites during the Chalcolithic period. Many sites are in close vicinity to one another, but due to the imprecision of our data, it is impossible to know with certainty whether different groups occupied them at the same time. Most habitual structures found in them are hearths, usually circled (or even paved) with local cobbles or slabs, but some space arrangements (rudimentary walls, postholes…) have been occasionally documented.

Idioma: Inglés
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.12.034
Año: 2018
Publicado en: JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE-REPORTS 18 (2018), 1036-1052
ISSN: 2352-409X

Factor impacto SCIMAGO: 0.906 - Archeology (Q1) - History (Q1) - Archeology (arts and humanities) (Q1)

Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MINECO/HAR2014-59042-P
Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MINECO/HAR2015-65620-P
Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MINECO/RYC-2013-12613
Tipo y forma: Article (PostPrint)
Área (Departamento): Área Prehistoria (Dpto. Ciencias de la Antigüed.)

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Exportado de SIDERAL (2023-03-13-13:54:37)

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