Short human occupations in the Middle Palaeolithic level i of the Abric Romani rock-shelter (Capellades, Barcelona, Spain)

Journal of Human Evolution
By: , and 



This paper presents a multidisciplinary study on the size of the occupied surfaces, provisioning strategies and behaviour planning at the Romani rock-shelter, using the Middle Palaeolithic record of the level i. This level is dated around 46.000 BP through U/Th ages. A behavioural interpretation is proposed, which emphasises the activities and the systemic value of the archaeological artefacts and structures.

Occupation patterns are identified on the basis of the accumulations formed by human activities. These archaeological accumulations, consisting of artefacts and hearths, are easily defined visually as spatial units. The relationships between these accumulations, established by means of refitted remains, indicate that differences can be established between: 1) small and medium-sized occupation surfaces; 2) restricted and diversified provisioning strategies. This variability suggests that different modes of occupation are represented in the same archaeological level.

The human activities reveal the generalization of fire technology. In almost all sizes of the occupation surfaces, the exploitation of vegetal resources near the Abric Romani marks the threshold of the restricted provisioning strategy. Limited use and fragmented knapping activities are recorded in the lithic assemblage. Faunal remains show differential transport. The exploitation of lithic, faunal and vegetal resources characterizes the diversified provisioning strategy.

The small occupation surfaces and restricted provisioning strategies suggest short settlements in the Abric Romani. This shorter occupation model complements the longer diversified provisioning strategy recorded in both small and medium-sized occupied surfaces. The selection of precise elements for transport and the possible deferred consumption in the diversified provision strategy suggest an individual supply. In this respect, Neanderthal occupations in the Romani rock-shelter show a direct relation to: 1) hunting strategic resources; 2) high, linear mobility.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Short human occupations in the Middle Palaeolithic level i of the Abric Romani rock-shelter (Capellades, Barcelona, Spain)
Series title Journal of Human Evolution
DOI 10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.10.004
Volume 48
Issue 2
Year Published 2005
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Description 18 p.
First page 157
Last page 174
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N