Human occupation of Lapa do Picareiro (Portugal) during the Last Glacial Maximum

Author(s): Jonathan Haws

Year: 2016


During the Last Glacial Maximum, abrupt climate changes created highly variable paleoenvironments inhabited by human populations across the Iberian Peninsula. Pollen and sedimentary analyses from deep-sea cores off Portugal provide records of regional-scale paleoenvironmental responses to the climate shifts that punctuated the LGM. Archaeological assemblages from caves and rockshelters offer a more local-scale understanding of human-environment interactions during this period. One site in particular, Lapa do Picareiro, has yielded a continuous, stratified sedimentary sequence that provides a diachronic record for MIS 2 human occupation and environmental change. Here I present archaeological data from the Late Gravettian and Solutrean (Levels U-O). The taphonomic study of the faunal remains informs on local paleoenvironments and human diet choice during the LGM. Sedimentological analyses including magnetic susceptibility link the cave deposits with global scale records of LGM climate from the Greenland ice cores. The results are used here to understand human responses to long-term environmental change in central Portugal. The spatial distribution of artifacts, animal bones and charcoal concentrations suggest sporadic, short term visits to the cave prior to and during the LGM.

Cite this Record

Human occupation of Lapa do Picareiro (Portugal) during the Last Glacial Maximum. Jonathan Haws. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403202)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;