Joan Daura

Joan Daura
University of Barcelona | UB · Department of Prehistory, Ancient History and Archaeology

PhD

About

91
Publications
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Introduction
My main research interest lies in the study of the Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer and in describing the ecological context in which our ancestors, primarily Neanderthals, survived in the highly seasonal climates of the Pleistocene. As such, I have developed other principal research lines: Neanderthal remains, Paleolithic hunter-gatherer behavior, climate conditions during the Pleistocene and understanding the relationship between humans and carnivores.

Publications

Publications (91)
Article
The environmental and climatic evolution of the late Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene of the Garraf Massif (northeastern Iberia) is determined for Marine Isotope Stage 7 (MIS 7) to MIS 3 on the basis of a study of the small-vertebrate (amphibian, squamate reptile, insectivore, bat and rodent) assemblages. This paper provides a synthesis of th...
Article
Full-text available
Lateral Gallery 1 (GL1) in Cova del Gegant is a Middle Palaeolithic assemblage yielding diagnostic Neanderthal remains, together with Mousterian tools and faunal remains. It is a good archive for evaluating the environmental conditions of the coastal areas during MIS 4 and MIS 3 in the NE of the Iberian Peninsula, and also the Neanderthals’ behavio...
Article
Palynological investigations on Gravettian coprolites of Abrigo do Lagar Velho (Vale do Lapedo, Leiria, Portugal) dated between ca. 30 to ca. 27.3 ka cal BP are presented. The palaeoecological data shows a semi-forested landscape with Pinus, Poaceae, Erica, Artemisia, Juniperus and Quercus as the dominant taxa. A diversity of trees, shrubs, and her...
Article
A nearly complete skeleton of an elephant calf was excavated between 2012 and 2014 from breccia deposits in a vertical karstic cavity named Cova del Rinoceront, exposed during limestone quarrying. The skeleton was found in the 120 cm-thick breccia layer III (Unit 1) of the 11 m-long sedimentary sequence filling the cavity. IRSL (128–129 ka) and AAR...
Article
The chronological framework for Neanderthal occupation and demise across Europe continues to be debated. In particular, there is still uncertainty regarding the nature, timing and regional expressions of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition associated with the disappearance of Neanderthals and the broader expansion of modern human population...
Article
Full-text available
The European climate during the Holocene period is characterised by frequent changes of temperature and precipitation. The North Atlantic plays a major role as a driver for European climate and is a dominant precipitation source, particularly for the western European and north African realm. Atmospheric pressure gradients over the Atlantic (North A...
Article
A group of beads from the artificial cave of La Molina (Lora de Estepa, Sevilla) and Cova del Gegant (Sitges, Barcelona) were made from biogenic raw material and intentionally covered by a layer of resin. This is the first time this type of treatment has been documented on elements of adornment in the Late Prehistory of the Iberian Peninsula. The c...
Article
The evolution and co-occurrence of equids in Europe during the Upper Pleistocene (125–10 ka) is a research line that has generated much debate owing to the difficulties in distinguishing between species. Here, we present a study of the dental remains of equids, dated by radiocarbon at ∼34.6 (∼39.6 cal) ka BP, from Terrasses de la Riera dels Canyars...
Article
Full-text available
The site of Gruta da Aroeira (Torres Novas, Portugal), with evidence of human occupancy dating to ca. 400 ka (Marine Isotope Stage 11), is one of the very few Middle Pleistocene localities to have provided a fossil hominin cranium associated with Acheulean bifaces in a cave context. The multianalytic study reported here of the by-products of burnin...
Article
This article reports the findings from a morphological and demographic analysis of the craniodental remains of the endemic continental deer Haploidoceros mediterraneus from the Late Pleistocene (MIS 5) of the Cova del Rinoceront (Castelldefels, Barcelona, Iberian Peninsula), the most complete assemblage of this species recorded in Europe. The prese...
Article
Full-text available
For decades, taphonomists have dedicated their efforts to assessing the nature of the massive leporid accumulations recovered at archaeological sites in the northwestern Mediterranean region. Their interest lying in the fact that the European rabbit constituted a critical part of human subsistence during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. How...
Article
Cova del Gegant (Barcelona, NE Iberian peninsula) is an Upper Pleistocene site that presents carnivore occupations with some sporadic human activity characterized by hearth remains, stone tools and human fossils during Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. We report the combined application of zooarchaeological and taphonomic analyses to determine the nat...
Book
En esta obra los autores, profesores universitarios de reconocido prestigio académico e investigador, nos ofrecen una original visión de la prehistoria desde sus inicios hasta las primeras sociedades con escritura. El libro ha buscado incidir en los principales procesos que han llevado a la humanidad a ser lo que es, desde sus orígenes hasta la épo...
Article
Marine food–reliant subsistence systems such as those in the African Middle Stone Age (MSA) were not thought to exist in Europe until the much later Mesolithic. Whether this apparent lag reflects taphonomic biases or behavioral distinctions between archaic and modern humans remains much debated. Figueira Brava cave, in the Arrábida range (Portugal)...
Chapter
Full-text available
Dated to ca. 400 ka (Marine Isotope Stage 11), the site of Gruta da Aroeira (Torres Novas, Portugal) is one of the very few Middle Pleistocene localities that have yielded a fossil hominin cranium associated with Acheulean bifaces, in a cave context. Our multi-analytical approach to the site’s archaeological record focused on different aspects: the...
Article
The article presents a description of cervid remains from the Middle Pleistocene Acheulean site of Gruta da Aroeira (= Galerias Pesadas) in central Portugal. The assemblage comprises the remains of four deer species: Cervus elaphus, Praedama cf. savini, Haploidoceros mediterraneus, and Dama cf. vallonnetensis, making Gruta da Aroeira the first site...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
La evolución y la diferenciación de las diferentes especies de équidos que habitaron durante el Pleistoceno superior en Europa es un tópico de investigación que ha generado un gran debate por la dificultad en asignar los restos a cada taxón. En este trabajo se estudian los restos dentarios procedentes del yacimiento de Terrasses de la Riera de Cany...
Article
During the Pleistocene, humans and hyenas co‐occurred at sites, which included cavities and rock‐shelters, accumulating bone assemblages attributable to both the hominids and carnivores. Studies of these co‐occurrences have given rise to much debate about the relationships established, suggesting that an interpretation of the nature of the biologic...
Article
Full-text available
A group of beads from the artificial cave of La Molina (Lora de Estepa, Sevilla) and Cova del Gegant (Sitges, Barcelona) were made from a biogenic raw material and intentionally covered by a layer of resin. This is the first time this type of treatment has been documented on elements of adornment in the Late Prehistory of the Iberian Peninsula. The...
Article
Full-text available
We assembled genome-wide data from 271 ancient Iberians, of whom 176 are from the largely unsampled period after 2000 BCE, thereby providing a high-resolution time transect of the Iberian Peninsula.We document high genetic substructure between northwestern and southeastern hunter-gatherers before the spread of farming.We reveal sporadic contacts be...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of archaeological amber has been used in Iberian prehistory to evidence long-distance exchanges and engage Iberia in networks that connect western Europe with central and northern Europe, the emergence of social complexity, and the consolidation of trade networks. However, until now, no comprehensive analytical study of the Iberi...
Article
The recent publication of a human cranium, dating to ca. 436–390 ka, from Gruta da Aroeira provides an important input to the debate about human evolution during the Middle Pleistocene in Europe and the origin of the Neanderthals. This cranium, chronologically located to Marine Isotope Stage 11c (MIS 11c), appears in association with Acheulean lith...
Article
Full-text available
Cova Bonica has yielded one of the few assemblages of Cardial Neolithic records of directly dated human remains (c. 5470 and 5220 years cal. BC – unmodelled) in the Iberian Peninsula and has provided the first complete genome of an Iberian farmer. A minimum of seven individuals and six age clusters have been ascribed on the basis of the disarticula...
Article
The discovery of a partial cranium at the site of Aroeira (Portugal) dating to 389-436 ka augments the current sample of Middle Pleistocene European crania and makes this specimen penecontemporaneous with the fossils from the geographically close Atapuerca Sima de los Huesos (SH) and Arago sites. A recent study of the cranium documented a unique co...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The aim of this work is to describe the taphonomic signatures of the Aroeira 3 cranium, with a specific focus on cranial breakage, comparing the cranium with other Middle and Upper Pleistocene hominin fossils in order to approximate the cause of death and the biological agencies and geologic processes involved in the taphonomic record of...
Article
Bifaces dominate the Acheulean stone tools recovered during the archaeological excavation of layer X of Gruta da Aroeira, dated to 389–436 ka. Faunal remains and a human cranium were found in association with this lithic assemblage. The raw materials used are mostly quartz and quartzite cobbles available in the vicinity of the site. Technological a...
Article
The Pleistocene (MIS5) site known as Cova del Rinoceront near Barcelona, Spain, contains a large assemblage of ungulate remains, among which the most dominant, in the uppermost Layer I, are those of the rare Mediterranean deer, Haploidoceros mediterraneus. In this paper, zooarchaeological and coprogenic analyses are used to evaluate the taphonomic...
Article
Marine isotope stage 3 (MIS 3) was characterised by marked oscillations of extreme cold episodes with very short warm events during the stadial, and several regional differences have been recorded in the ice cores and marine deposits. The aim of this study is to reconstruct this period by evaluating both terrestrial and regional responses. Cova del...
Article
Carnivores are the main biological agents identified in the Upper Pleistocene assemblage of Cova del Coll Verdaguer (NE Iberian Peninsula). At the site, ungulate bones were primarily accumulated and modified by hyenas, as shown by partly digested bones, coprolites and the pattern of damage on bones. However, other small- to medium-sized carnivores...
Article
In recent decades, the time depth of archaeological remains bearing evidence of the symbolic behavior of human groups has been considerably extended, reaching the first Paleolithic societies. This paper provides an overview of the main evidence pertaining to symbolic behavior among huntergatherer groups, with particular emphasis on Neanderthals and...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents archaeological layer XXV from Cova del Gegant (Sitges, Barcelona), ascribed to Bronze Age, and focuses on this period’s chronological issues. Cova del Gegant yielded Late Bell Beaker pottery featuring a decorative style akin to the “Northeastern Group” (generally ascribed to Early Bronze Age), human remains associated with a col...
Article
The dietary traits of the ungulates from the Canyars assemblage (Late Pleistocene; Gavà, Barcelona, Spain) are analysed through tooth mesowear and microwear to study their feeding behaviour as well as the climatic conditions during the time of the arrival of the early modern Europeans in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. During the Heinrich E...
Article
Full-text available
The Middle Pleistocene is a crucial time period for studying human evolution in Europe, because it marks the appearance of both fossil hominins ancestral to the later Neandertals and the Acheulean technology. Nevertheless, European sites containing well-dated human remains associated with an Acheulean toolkit remain scarce. The earliest European ho...
Article
This paper presents the results of anthracological analyses conducted to further the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of NE Iberia and to provide better insights into the impact of human activity on the landscape. This study is based on the analysis of charred plant remains from five archaeological sites located ∼20 km to the southwest of the cit...
Article
Excavations at Cova Bonica (Barcelona, Spain) have revealed 98 human remains, grouped into five age clusters and corresponding to a minimum of six non-articulated individuals. The remains are clearly associated with Cardial pottery, lithic artifacts, and ornaments suggesting an Early Neolithic horizon. The radiocarbon dating of three human individu...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents the results of a multi-proxy analysis conducted to improve our understanding of the palaeoenvironmental conditions of the freshwater and brackish marshes of Cal Maurici (Barcelona, Spain) and the human impact on them during the mid-Holocene (6171–3891 cal. yr BP). The study integrates data from pollen, phytolith, diatom, charcoa...
Article
The habitat weighting method, chorotype classification and the bioclimatic model, as well as the Simpson diversity index, are applied to the small-vertebrate assemblage of Cova del Rinoceront (Castelldefels, Barcelona) in order to reconstruct the environmental and climatic fluctuations that are reflected in the MIS 5 sequence of the cave. The small...
Article
Full-text available
The Middle to Late Neolithic transition in NE of Iberian Peninsula is characterized by changes in mortuary practices and grave goods. In the Middle Neolithic single primary burials are associated with grave goods of variscite beads, honey-colored flint blades and occasionally obsidian. During the Late Neolithic these are replaced for collective inh...
Article
Cova del Gegant (Barcelona, NE Iberian Peninsula) is a Middle Palaeolithic site presenting evidence of carnivore occupations with some sporadic Neanderthal activity. The rapid, fine sedimentation in layer IIIa permitted the preservation of the remains of carnivore activity and an ephemeral combustion area, although lithics are absent. We used a det...
Article
Full-text available
Three morphotypes of fossil fecal material (coprolites) have been identified from the Upper Pleistocene site of Cova del Coll Verdaguer (NE Iberian Peninsula). Coprolites are commonly found in Pleistocene records and also in places in which human and carnivore activities co-occurred. However, coprolite identification is typically limited to hyenids...
Article
Full-text available
The spread of farming out of the Balkans and into the rest of Europe followed two distinct routes: An initial expansion represented by the Impressa and Cardial traditions, which followed the Northern Mediterranean coastline; and another expansion represented by the LBK (Linearbandkeramik) tradition, which followed the Danube River into Central Euro...
Poster
Full-text available
Restoration and conservation of two Homo neanderthalensis mandibles from the Cova del Gegant. Poster presented at the 2nd International Conservation Symposium-Workshop of Natural History Collections. Hostalets de Pierola, Spain.
Article
Abstract The Cova del Rinoceront, a site in NE Iberia, contains a thick sedimentary fill preserving a faunal archive from the penultimate glacial and the the last interglacial periods. Layers I to III have been dated to between 74 and 147 ka, coinciding with MIS 5a to 5e, a period poorly represented in the Mediterranean terrestrial record. The resu...
Article
This study presents the results of a multi-proxy analysis conducted to improve our understanding of the palaeoenvironmental conditions of the freshwater and brackish marshes of Cal Maurici (Barcelona, Spain) and the human impact on them during the mid-Holocene (6171–3891 cal. yr BP). The study integrates data from pollen, phytolith, diatom, charcoa...
Article
The Middle to Late Neolithic transition in NE of Iberian Peninsula is characterized by changes in mortuary practices and grave goods. In the Middle Neolithic single primary burials are associated with grave goods of variscite beads, honey-colored flint blades and occasionally obsidian. During the Late Neolithic these are replaced for collective inh...
Article
Full-text available
Karst landscape evolution has been widely studied in recent years on karst plateaus, but the use of dating methods has not usually been possible owing to a lack of data. The intensely karstified GarrafMassif, however, presents large solution dolines and several shafts that contain archaeological and palaentological remains that can be used for dete...
Article
Terrasses de la Riera dels Canyars (Gavà, Barcelona, Spain) is an Upper Pleistocene fluvial deposit dated to 39.6 cal. ka BP with a few Aurignacian stone tools. Faunal remains recovered in this site contained, apart from large mammals, an important assemblage of leporid remains. This taxon (especially the European rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus) is...
Article
Full-text available
Heinrich event 4 (H4) is well documented in the North Atlantic Ocean as a cooling event that occurred between 39 and 40 Ka. Deep-sea cores around the Iberian Peninsula coastline have been analysed to characterize the H4 event, but there are no data on the terrestrial response to this event. Here we present for the first time an analysis of terrestr...