Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Collapse of Gran Dolina cave, Sierra de Atapuerca

Layer TD10 of Gran Dolina, Atapuerca, during the campaign of excavation

The last hominin occupations of Gran Dolina cave at Atapuerca are represented by layer TD10-1; as stated in the article “The Collapse of Gran Dolina Cave, Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain: Site Formation Processes of Layer TD10-1” which, signed by Carolina Mallol and Eudald Carbonell (IPHES - URV), summarizes the results obtained by a micromorphological study carried out in this layer to reconstruct its formation processes as well as to document possible traces of anthropic activity in the sediments.This layer has yielded high densities of anthropogenic bone and lithic remains that suggest the existence of a referential hominin campsite.

Micromorphological analysis was carried out in order to reconstruct site formation processes and to find traces of hominin activity in the sediments. Results show that TD10-1 is an autochthonous deposit whose components are derived from a local, degraded cave entrance environment. The base of TD10-1 represents a moist, semi-sheltered environment associated with anthropogenic input and low sedimentary rates, while the rest of the deposit represents a non-anthropogenic, more open environment with higher rates of sedimentation. The TD10-1 archaeological assemblages have not undergone long transport or strong postdepositional disturbance. Further interdisciplinary analyses are needed to characterize the types and intensity of the hominin activities recorded in TD10-1.

Archaeological remains mixed wih the sediment of Gran Dolina TD10. Picture: Jordi Mestre – IPHES.

For further information: Carolina Mallol,