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Article

Human Activities, Biostratigraphy and Past Environment Revealed by Small-Mammal Associations at the Chalcolithic Levels of El Portalón de Cueva Mayor (Atapuerca, Spain)

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Archaeological Studies Program, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Albert Hall, Lakandula St., Quezon City 1101, Philippines
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Archéozoologie, Archéobotanique: Sociétés, Pratiques et Environnements (AASPE, UMR 7209), Sorbonne Universités, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, CNRS, CP56, 55 rue Buffon, F-75005 Paris, France
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National Museum of the Philippines, P. Burgos Drive, City of Manila 1000, Philippines
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Independent Researcher, Barrio Ergoien 60C, 48113 Gamiz-Fika, Spain
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Laboratorio de Evolución Humana, Departamento de Historia, Geografía y Comunicación, Universidad de Burgos, Edificio I+D+i, Plaza de Misael Bañuelos s/n, 09001 Burgos, Spain
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Aragosaurus-IUCA-Earth Sciences Department, University of Zaragoza, C/Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
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Museo Arqueológico Regional, Plaza de Las Bernardas s/n, Alcalá de Henares, 28801 Madrid, Spain
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Fundación General de la Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, C/Imagen 3, Alcalá de Henares, 28801 Madrid, Spain
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Centro Mixto UCM-ISCIII de Evolución y Comportamiento Humanos, C/Monforte de Lemos 5, Pabellón 14, 28029 Madrid, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jef Vandenberghe
Quaternary 2021, 4(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020016
Received: 12 April 2021 / Revised: 11 May 2021 / Accepted: 11 May 2021 / Published: 14 May 2021
The Chalcolithic levels of El Portalón de Cueva Mayor (Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain) offer a good opportunity to test whether the small-mammal contents of different archaeo-stratigraphical units may be useful to characterize them as independent entities. With that purpose, we studied representative samples of small-mammal remains from the two main contexts identified: the Early Chalcolithic (EC) funerary context and the Late Chalcolithic (LC) habitat/stabling context, with the latter comprising three different archaeological units according to their origin, namely prepared floors, activity floors and stabling surfaces or fumiers. Following the distribution of taxa in their respective contexts, we performed several statistical tests to check for significant discrepancies between archaeological units. The exclusive presence of certain taxa, together with the statistical difference in relative taxonomic ratios, points to the integrity and unpolluted condition of the EC context. The interspersed arrangement of the different LC context’s units made them prone to inter-pollution as they are not statistically different. The unexpected presence of Pliomys lenki and Chionomys nivalis in the prepared floors evidences their Upper Pleistocene allochthonous origin. The EC levels of El Portalón contribute the first Holocene records of nine taxa in the Sierra de Atapuerca. An environment dominated by woodland, shrubland and wet meadows, with moderate presence of grassland, inland wetlands and rocky areas, is inferred from the small-mammal association of the EC levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: small mammals; archaeological contexts; Chalcolithic; biostratigraphy; past environment; Holocene; Sierra de Atapuerca; Iberian Peninsula small mammals; archaeological contexts; Chalcolithic; biostratigraphy; past environment; Holocene; Sierra de Atapuerca; Iberian Peninsula
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rofes, J.; Ordiales, A.; Iriarte, E.; Cuenca-Bescós, G.; Galindo-Pellicena, M.Á.; Pérez-Romero, A.; Carretero, J.M.; Arsuaga, J.L. Human Activities, Biostratigraphy and Past Environment Revealed by Small-Mammal Associations at the Chalcolithic Levels of El Portalón de Cueva Mayor (Atapuerca, Spain). Quaternary 2021, 4, 16. https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020016

AMA Style

Rofes J, Ordiales A, Iriarte E, Cuenca-Bescós G, Galindo-Pellicena MÁ, Pérez-Romero A, Carretero JM, Arsuaga JL. Human Activities, Biostratigraphy and Past Environment Revealed by Small-Mammal Associations at the Chalcolithic Levels of El Portalón de Cueva Mayor (Atapuerca, Spain). Quaternary. 2021; 4(2):16. https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020016

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rofes, Juan, Amaia Ordiales, Eneko Iriarte, Gloria Cuenca-Bescós, María Á. Galindo-Pellicena, Amalia Pérez-Romero, José M. Carretero, and Juan L. Arsuaga 2021. "Human Activities, Biostratigraphy and Past Environment Revealed by Small-Mammal Associations at the Chalcolithic Levels of El Portalón de Cueva Mayor (Atapuerca, Spain)" Quaternary 4, no. 2: 16. https://doi.org/10.3390/quat4020016

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