Get access

Early Pleistocene palaeoenvironments at the time of the Homo antecessor settlement in the Gran Dolina cave (Atapuerca, Spain)

Authors

  • HUGUES-ALEXANDRE BLAIN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Àrea de Prehistòria, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Tarragona, Spain
    • IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Tarragona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • GLORIA CUENCA-BESCÓS,

    1. Área de Paleontología, Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • FRANCESC BURJACHS,

    1. IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Tarragona, Spain
    2. Àrea de Prehistòria, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Tarragona, Spain
    3. ICREA, Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Barcelona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • JUAN MANUEL LÓPEZ-GARCÍA,

    1. Gruppo di Ricerca di Paleobiologia e Preistoria, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistiche, Università degli Studi di Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • IVÁN LOZANO-FERNÁNDEZ,

    1. IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Tarragona, Spain
    2. Àrea de Prehistòria, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Tarragona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • JORDI ROSELL

    1. IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Tarragona, Spain
    2. Àrea de Prehistòria, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Tarragona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author

H.-A. Blain, IPHES, as above E-mail: hablain@iphes.cat

ABSTRACT

Hominin remains unearthed from level TD6-2 of Gran Dolina have been dated to slightly more than 0.8 Ma. Owing to the importance of this discovery, every effort is being made to reconstruct the environment where these hominins once lived. In this paper, the mutual climatic range and habitat weighting methods are applied to the herpetofaunal assemblages in order to estimate climatic and environmental parameters. TD6-2 is thus characterized by a warm and humid climate. Mean annual temperature is estimated at 2.1°C higher than at present in Burgos, with a greater increase in temperature during summer (+3.1°C) than during winter (+1.4°C). Rainfall was more abundant than at present (+407.2 mm), occurring as at present principally during spring and autumn. Humid meadows and riparian woody habitats were common. The association between warm climatic conditions and the not fully developed forest suggests that the several episodes of high-intensity occupation in TD6-2 may correspond to a recolonization by Homo antecessor of the high inland plateaus of the Iberian Peninsula from the Mediterranean seashore, using the Ebro valley as a savannah-type corridor after a cold glacial period. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary