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Investigation of late Pleistocene and early Holocene palaeoenvironmental change at El Mirón cave (Cantabria, Spain): insights from carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of red deer

Abstract: Abstract: El Mirón Cavewas occupied by humans for over 40,000 years. Evidence of LateMousterian,Gravettian, Solutrean, Magdalenian, Azilian, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age and Mediaeval occupations has been found in the cave. Understanding the local environmental conditions during the occupations is crucial for gaining an insight into the lifeways of El Mirón's inhabitants as they relied on the surrounding region and its natural resources for their subsistence. 170 bones of hunted red deer recovered from the cave were sampled for carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses with the aim of reconstructing the palaeoenvironment and palaeoclimate during the human occupation. The results show that the surrounding landscape underwent considerable environmental change during the Late Pleistocene and Early to Mid-Holocene. Shifts in d13C values between the Last Glacial Maximum, Heinrich stadial 1, Heinrich event 1, the Late-glacial interstadial and the onset of the Holocene are likely to reflect changes in water availability and temperature. Deer d15N generally increased over time indicating the regeneration of soil biological activity and nitrogen cycling, which was temporarily halted during the Younger Dryas. Comparison of the El Mirón results with those of 300 deer from other regions of Europe shows geographical variations in the timing and magnitude of the variation in d13C and d15N values. This variation tracks local climate (temperature andwater availability) and environmental (vegetation and forest development) changes

 Autoría: Stevens, R.E., Hermoso-Buxán, X.L., Marín-Arroyo, A.B., González-Morales, M.R., Straus, L.G.

 Fuente: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 414 (2014) 46–60

Editorial: Elsevier

 Año de publicación: 2014

Nº de páginas: 15

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.05.049

ISSN: 0031-0182,1872-616X

Url de la publicación: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2014.05.049