Late Pleistocene Refugia and Neanderthal Extinction in Southern Iberia

Author(s): Jonathan Haws

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.

The Iberian Peninsula has long been regarded as a glacial refugium for humans, as well as temperate, Eurosiberian flora and fauna. The well-documented Cantabrian region served as an "active" and densely populated refugium during the LGM and Late Pleniglacial. In southern Iberia, the Mediterranean-type biota found refugia in small-scale pockets along the coastal strip and sheltered valleys in the interior. The bioclimatic zones generally shifted in elevation and latitude. Humans adapted to these environmental changes, maintaining populations through long-distance social networks. In contrast, models for late Neanderthal survival and the persistence of the Middle Paleolithic technology in southern Iberia imply a more "passive" refugium where species on the road to extinction may be found in low densities as the last remaining populations holdout in adjacent areas. In this scenario, southern Iberia may have been a suitable Neanderthal refugium, but abrupt climate shifts further reduced the conditions favorable to their survival. This paper uses new data from Lapa do Picareiro on the western edge of Iberia to evaluate the impact of abrupt climate change on different human socio-ecological systems.

Cite this Record

Late Pleistocene Refugia and Neanderthal Extinction in Southern Iberia. Jonathan Haws. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451537)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25980