Further Radiocarbon Dates for the Upper Paleolithic of El Mirón Cave (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria, Spain)
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CitationStraus, L. G., & González Morales, M. R. (2007). Further radiocarbon dates for the Upper Paleolithic of El Mirón Cave (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria, Spain). Radiocarbon, 49(3), 1205-1214.
AbstractThis article expands the date list from the Stone Age cave site of El Mirón in the Cantabrian Cordillera of northern Spain to a total of 62 radiocarbon determinations, one of the longest series from a single prehistoric site in Iberia. All the assays (accelerator mass spectrometry [AMS] and conventional, run on charcoal and bone collagen) were done by a single laboratory (Geochron, GX). The 11 new dates confirm 1) the late spread of Neolithic economy and technology into the Atlantic environment of Cantabrian Spain by about 4500 cal BC; 2) the horizontally extensive, but not intensive, use of the whole cave vestibule by Upper Magdalenian foragers about 12,000-14,000 cal BC; 3) extensive and very intensive, repeated occupations of the cave during the Middle and Lower Cantabrian Magdalenian about 14,200-17,000 cal BC; and 4) a long, gradual technological transition from the Solutrean to the Archaic Magdalenian between about 20,000-17,000 cal BC. El Mirón joins a list of culturally very rich, frequently occupied, Lower Magdalenian residential hub sitesmost of the rest of which (including Altamira) are located in the coastal lowlands of Cantabria which have yielded distinctive red deer scapulae that are decorated with striated engraved images of game animals (mainly red deer hinds), now most precisely dated at El Mirón between 16,200-17,200 cal BC.