Assessing the Spatial Patterning of Middle Paleolithic Human Settlement in Westernmost Iberia

Author(s): Joao Cascalheira; Celia Goncalves; Nuno Bicho

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Peninsular Southern Europe Refugia during the Middle Paleolithic" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Currently available data on the Pleistocene human occupation of the westernmost territories of Iberia attests the presence of Middle Paleolithic industries from c. 240 ka cal BP until c. 38 ka cal BP. Previous studies focusing on this timeframe have suggested that Middle Paleolithic populations were highly mobile and predominately utilized locally available raw materials, with many of cave and open-air sites being located near springs or fluvial settings. Other than these observations, no specific studies have focused on exploring the factors influencing human site location choice during that time range. Employing statistical and GIS approaches, this paper will provide an initial assessment of potential spatial patterning in human settlement during the Middle Paleolithic of Central and Southern Portugal, evaluating (1) whether the location of preserved sites was random or spatially biased and, if the latter is true, (2) what landscape features have a greater influence on site location choice, and (3) if there have been any changes in the influence of these features over time. Our data will help to shed light on the particularities of Neanderthal adaptations in a region regarded as refugium during periods of unfavorable climate during the Middle Paleolithic.

Cite this Record

Assessing the Spatial Patterning of Middle Paleolithic Human Settlement in Westernmost Iberia. Joao Cascalheira, Celia Goncalves, Nuno Bicho. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451536)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24690