Alejandro García-Moreno's research while affiliated with Universidad de Cantabria and other places

Publications (52)

Article
Full-text available
In this study of the location and physical characteristics of the surroundings of a series of decorated caves in the Nalón river basin in Asturias (northern Iberia), the spatial analysis, which included fieldwork and the use of GIS, has defined the external archaeological context (EAC) of pre-Magdalenian art in that area. The spatial information ha...
Chapter
Excavation of the Schöningen lignite mine in Germany produced the earliest examples of hunting spears to date, and a large assemblage of anthropogenically fragmented faunal remains deposited in anaerobic lacustrine silt sediments during the Middle Pleistocene. The exceptional preservation of the assemblage makes the site of prime importance to our...
Article
El Niño cave, located on the south-eastern border of the Spanish Meseta, hosts a discontinuous sequence including Middle Palaeolithic and Neolithic levels, along with Upper Palaeolithic and Levantine style paintings. It is a key site for understanding human occupations of inland Iberia during the Palaeolithic and early prehistory. This paper summar...
Article
The Schöningen 13II-4 site is well known for the discovery of multiple wooden spears in association with a large assemblage of Middle Pleistocene fauna. Such extraordinary organic preservation also extends to a wide array of bone surface modifications that can be used to reconstruct Middle Pleistocene hominin butchery practices. On bones with few h...
Article
The Middle Pleistocene Schöningen 13II-4 ‘Spear Horizon’ (Germany) is a key site for the study of human evolution, most notably for the discovery of Paleolithic wooden weaponry and evidence for developed hunting strategies. On the other hand, the ‘Spear Horizon’ offers an excellent opportunity to approach hominin spatial behavior, thanks to the ric...
Chapter
Full-text available
The high-resolution palaeoenvironmental record from the last interglacial (Eemian) lakeland at NeumarkNord (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) holds the rare potential to study Neanderthal subsistence ca.125,000 years ago in remarkable detail. Using the palynological record from the large lake Neumark-Nord 1 (NN1) and the adjacent small “pool” Neumark-Nord 2...
Chapter
In the course of human evolution, we have always succeeded in adapting to a wide variety of climatic conditions and habitats. Such adjustments can be excellently researched, particularly in warm-time environments. In the northern European lowlands, sinks often occur during warm periods, leading to the formation of landscapes characterized by inland...
Chapter
The high-resolution palaeoenvironmental record from the last interglacial (Eemian) lakeland at Neumark-Nord (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) holds the rare potential to study Neanderthal subsistence ca. 125,000 years ago in remarkable detail. Using the palynological record from the large lake Neumark-Nord 1 (NN1) and the adjacent small "pool" Neumark-Nord...
Book
Full-text available
During the course of human evolution, we have successfully adapted to various climates and habitats. Interglacial environments, in particular, offer an excellent opportunity to study these adaptations. On the north European plain, interglacials often correlate with the flooding of basins, resulting in the appearance of lacustrine landscapes. These...
Presentation
Full-text available
The spread of the Neolithic to the west of Europe implies, among other features, a modification in the settlement patterns. Open-air villages became the most representative evidence of daily life activities. However, this archaeological record is scarce in some areas of the continent, especially in the south of the Atlantic coast. The Prehistory in...
Chapter
Full-text available
The origins of bone tool technology lie with the use of bones in lithic manufacture and maintenance. Such behaviour extends as far back as a half million years, if not earlier, and continued until as recent as 5000 years ago. This volume examines in great detail the circumstances of these origins, particularly how these bone tools were integrated i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Human diet in the Pleistocene was substantially based on ungulate hunting. Ungulate carrying capacity in past ecosystems must have been a key factor influencing human subsistence in terms of prey choice, mobility as well as social organization and population size. Thus, defining the past biocoenosis, from which a studied thanatocoenosis originates,...
Chapter
Full-text available
The study of the landscape where an archaeological site is located is essential to understand the role the site played in the economic and social organization of hunter-gatherer communities. Landscape analysis must be based on a specific methodology allowing us to quantify the characteristics of the site territory. The objective analysis of the ter...
Article
Full-text available
Background Ancient protein sequences are increasingly used to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships between extinct and extant mammalian taxa. Here, we apply these recent developments to Middle Pleistocene bone specimens of the rhinoceros genus Stephanorhinus . No biomolecular sequence data is currently available for this genus, leaving phylogen...
Data
Protein sequence information. Origin of protein sequences used for phylogenetic analysis (accession numbers include Genbank, Uniprot and ENSEMBL accession numbers). †PMF40, *SCH3.
Data
Bayesian phylogenetic tree including sample SCH2. The COL1 sequence of SCH2 was very incomplete (30.3%) and no other proteins were detected in this sample. SCH2 should cluster with SCH3, but is placed at the base of sampled Rhinocerotidae. The SCH2 COL1 protein sequences were removed from further consideration once it was clear that no useful phylo...
Data
Rhinoceros protein sequences generated in this study. Sequences are separated by species/gene. X indicates unknown residues. Leucines (L) have been converted into isoleucines (I) as these two amino acids are isobaric. Telopeptides have been removed for collagen alpha-1(I) and alpha-2(I).
Article
Few sites with evidence for fire use are known from the Last Interglacial in Europe. Hearth features are rarely preserved, probably as a result of post-depositional processes. The small postglacial basins (<300 m in diameter) that dominate the sedimentary context of the Eemian record in Europe are high-resolution environmental archives often contai...
Article
Full-text available
The role played by the Magdalenian site of El Horno in the context of the Asón river basin (northern Spain) is considered in relation to its location and the physical characteristics of the surrounding area. This information has been integrated with data from the archaeological study. Special attention has been paid to the lithic tools and mammal r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Schöningen 13II-4 Spear Horizon provides an unparalleled view of Middle Pleistocene hominin technological and subsistence behaviors. The site preserves the remains of more than fifty butchered horses in addition to other large mammals, but the associated lithic assemblage is relatively small, amounting to ca. 1500 artefacts. Most of the lithic...
Book
Full-text available
It is the use of tools, together with our unique biology, which makes us human. From the Stone Age to the Digital Revolution, the human narrative is written in the technologies we have developed to meet the challenges of everyday life. How we accomplished increasingly complex tasks reflected the skills, materials and methods available at the time....
Article
This paper proposes a specific methodology for calculating the potential insolation received by a set of Late Palaeolithic (Upper Magdalenian and Azilian) sites in western Cantabria (northern Iberia). The goal of this study is to test whether insolation is linked to the mobility strategies of foraging communities, and if insolation is a conditionin...
Conference Paper
The first report of several well-crafted wooden spears and numerous butchered horse bones at the Schöningen 13II-4 site (Lower Saxony, Germany) drew international attention and altered the perception about the capabilities of Middle Pleistocene hominins [1]. Since its discovery, a wealth of research has sought to clarify the geological, palaeoenvir...
Conference Paper
INTRODUCTION Seasonality is essential for understanding Neanderthals’ settlement patterns and subsistence strategies. Studying the seasonal pattern of occupation of a site provides information regarding land use strategies and mobility, type of occupation (i.e. short, sporadic occupations vs. repeated, year-round use) as well as planning and strate...
Conference Paper
The European Plain – in its broadest sense - stretches from the northwestern foot of the Pyrenees in a long curve to the western foot of the Ural covering the largest part of what would have been the Neanderthal European home range. For most of the Pleistocene this vast area was covered by cool and temperate steppes. During the short Pleistocene in...
Article
Full-text available
The end of the Middle Pleistocene is an interesting period for investigating the transformation of Neandertal behavior from the early Middle Paleolithic to the late Middle Paleolithic. Few sites in the Iberian Peninsula have sequences corresponding to the last interglacial (MIS5) and even fewer in the Cantabrian Region. One of the best places to in...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we discuss if the behaviour variability of Neanderthal soci- eties is the result of a simple adaptive response to environment transformations or if it reflects changes in the social structure of these societies. We focus on the Mouster- ian record of the rich and variable western Pyrenees region. We propose a hypothet- ical reconstr...
Conference Paper
During excavations of the large lake basin (c.24ha) of Neumark Nord 1 (NN1; Geiseltalsee, eastern Germany), an additional, smaller basin (1.6ha) was identified (Neumark Nord 2 [NN2]). Excavations of the sedimentary infill of NN2 were undertaken over an area of approximately 500m 2 and yielded c20,000 flint artefacts and more than 120,000 faunal rem...
Article
Visibility is one of the most common features considered when analyzing site location; visual control of a territory is usually considered to be a desirable characteristic for a prehistoric settlement. However, the role that visibility could have played in the perception of sites, as a significant element of palaeolithic landscapes, has been rarely...
Poster
Full-text available
El interés arqueológico de la Cueva de Baltzola (Dima, Bizkaia) se conoce desde el s. XIX pero la información disponible era escasa e imprecisa. Nuestro equipo ha realizado durante los años 2006 y 2007 varios sondeos mecánicos y arqueológicos en el yacimiento que nos han permitido definir al me-nos dos secuencias de interés, una junto a la boca pri...
Article
During the Upper Paleolithic, marine resources have traditionally been considered to be low-efficiency resources. However, in recent years, new data have emerged to demonstrate that their importance for human utilization was probably greater than previously thought. The assessment of their value has generally been from the perspective of their nutr...
Chapter
Full-text available
Here, we provide the first report on the ages of 54 archaeological levels in 38 caves in northern Spain by means of the aspartic acid D / L ratio measurements in Patella shells, with good results. For this purpose, we developed an age calculation algorithm that allows the numerical dating of deposits from other archaeological localities in the area...

Citations

... Teniendo en cuenta las limitaciones que presentan, resulta imprescindible que la búsqueda de remontajes se desarrolle de forma apropiada para aprovechar al máximo el tiempo invertido y optimizar los resultados. En este sentido, algunos autores han hecho especial hincapié en la necesidad de sistematizar el proceso de búsqueda, ya sea manualmente (Bordes, 2000) o mediante el uso de las nuevas tecnologías aplicadas tanto a restos líticos (Cooper y Qiu, 2006;Schurmans et al., 2002) como óseos (Holland et al., 2022). ...
... All bones were examined under magnification with a 10x hand lens or 20-40x digital microscope for surface modifications. Of primary interest here is damage produced by carnivore teeth during feeding, and identifications of all carnivore traces, notably tooth pits, punctures, and scores, were based on descriptions and images provided by various taphonomic manuals (e. g., Lyman, 1994;Fisher, 1995;Fernández-Jalvo and Andrews, 2016;Gifford-Gonzalez, 2018), and specifically outlined in Lehnig et al. (2021). Importantly, pits were distinguished from punctures in that punctures penetrate the cortical surface, whereas pits do not; pits were distinguished from scores in that score length is greater than or equal to three times the breadth, whereas pit length is less than three times the breadth. ...
... In addition, these studies allow an evaluation of the degree of integrity and/or the intensity of the sedimentary modifications and, therefore, the capacity of the site to provide relevant information that explains the behaviour of human groups. Currently, there are many literary examples of the application of these type of methods in Lower or Middle Palaeolithic contexts regarding different ages and sedimentary environments (Schick, 1986, 1987, Dibble, et al., 1997, Shea, 1999, Grosman, et al., 2011, Müller and Pasda, 2011, Shipton, 2011, Bertran, et al., 2012, Domínguez-Rodrigo, et al., 2012, Walter and Trauth, 2013, Hovers, et al., 2014, Byers, et al., 2015, García-Moreno, et al., 2016, Giusti and Arzarello, 2016, Lotter, et al., 2016, Giusti, et al., 2018, Stahlschmidt, et al., 2018, Baena Preysler and Torres Navas, 2019, Bertran, et al., 2019, Giusti, et al., 2019, Panera, et al., 2019, Chu and Hosfield, 2020, Peters and van Kolfschoten, 2020, García-Moreno, et al., 2021, Saladié, et al., 2021. These studies conclude that sedimentary processes can affect the shape of the artefacts, the composition and the final distribution of the archaeological remains. ...
... To date, 79 bones have been assigned to taxon ( [116,117]). Small cervids (roe deer), goat, and sheep with a weight range of 20-120 kg are attributed to size class 2. Size class 3 represents a range of 120-260 kg of medium ungulates (e.g., red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, wild ass, boar). ...
... After the first trials in the 1990s, Geographical Information Systems are being widely used in the region for detailed understanding of the location and physical characteristics of the environment around archaeological sites, and to propose more robust hypotheses about the nature of Upper Palaeolithic occupations (Fano et al., 2016;Fano and García-Moreno, 2017;García-Moreno, 2013). They are also used to generate predictive models about the vegetation and the potential distribution of ungulates, in the framework of studies on Neanderthal behaviour and mobility (Ríos-Garaizar and García-Moreno, 2015). ...
... The traceological terminology employed in this paper was based on the systems for classifying technological and use-wear traces extensively described in the subject literature (Olsen, 1984;Averbouh, 1999Averbouh, , 2000Christidou, 1999;Korobkowa, 1999;Averbouh and Bodu, 2002;Patou-Mathis and Schwab, 2002;Legrand, 2007;Buc, 2011;Mallye et al., 2012;Bello et al., 2013;Rigaud et al., 2013;van Kolfschoten et al., 2015;Hutson et al., 2018). Due to the high specificity of traces formed on hammers, the 'standard' set of analysed functional damage, such as fractures, polish, and linear traces, was expanded by the following categories: ...
... Ancient proteins from fossilized or semi-fossilized remains can yield phylogenetic information at broad temporal horizons, in some cases even millions of years into the past. In recent years, peptides extracted from archaic hominins and long-extinct mega-fauna have enabled unprecedented insights into their evolutionary history [1,2,3,4,5,6]. In contrast to the field of ancient DNA -where several computational methods exist to process and analyze sequencing data -few tools exist for handling ancient protein sequence data. ...
... When we began, conventional wisdom told us that the last place on earth where we would find evidence for heavy reliance on putrid meat would be in the tropics, especially in areas like the hot humid rainforests of the Congo Basin. But 2016; Hlubik et al. 2017;MacDonald 2017;MacDonald et al. 2021;McCauley et al. 2020;Peris et al. 2012;Pop et al. 2016;Sandgathe et al. 2011;Shimelmitz et al. 2014;Thompson et al. 2021;Wrangham 2009). ...
... Evaluations of the formation processes affecting archaeological sites and the way post-depositional dynamics affect artifact associations and anthropic-induced patterns are essential issues for time-space interconnection. For this purpose, we have combined the following parameters: (a) object orientation has been analyzed with the Minimum Bounding Geometry function of ArcGis data management toolkit (Boschian and Saccà 2010;García-Moreno et al. 2016;Sánchez-Romero et al. 2016;de la Torre and Benito 2013). The option rectangle-by-width calculates the orientation angle of the major axis in each specimen ≥ 20 mm and with an elongation index ≥ 1.6 (Bertran and Lenoble 2002). ...
... At that site, the study of retouched and non-retouched artefacts (omitting fragments and debris) showed the great variability in the frequency of the siliceous rocks, which were predominated by Flysch flint (70 km), whose outcrops are about 60 km from this cave. Also found were Monte Picota flint (8 %) from about 50 km away, and Urbasa and Treviño flint (2 % each), from outcrops about 160 km and 100 km away in a straight line, respectively (Fano et al., 2016). ...