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Adaptability, resilience and environmental buffering in European Refugia during the Late Pleistocene: Insights from La Riera Cave (Asturias, Cantabria, Spain

Abstract: Abstract: The Upper Palaeolithic in Europe was a time of extensive climatic changes that impacted on the survival and distribution of human populations. During the Late Glacial Maximum (LGM), southern European peninsulas were refugia for flora, fauna, and human groups. One of these refugia, the Cantabrian región (northern Atlantic Spain), was intensively occupied throughout the Upper Palaeolithic. Characterising how climatic events were expressed in local environments is crucial to understand human and animal survival. La Riera Cave (Asturias) has a rich geo-cultural sequence dating between 20.5kyr BP to 6.5kyr BP and represents an ideal location in which to explore this. Stable isotope analysis of red deer and ibex is used alongside other environmental and climatic proxies to reconstruct Late Upper Palaeolithic conditions. Results show that during the LGM, ibex adapted their niche to survive, and became a major prey species for humans. The diverse environmental opportunities offered in the high-relief and coastal environs of La Riera may help to explain the high human population levels in the Cantabrian Region throughout the Late Upper Palaeolithic. Despite fluctuating conditions, herbivores and humans had the flexibility and resilience to adapt, demonstrating the importance of southern European refugia for the survival of different species.

 Autoría: Jones, J.R., Marín-Arroyo, A.B., Straus, L.G., Richards, M.P.

 Fuente: Scientific Reports 10, Article number: 1217

 Editorial: Nature Publishing Group

 Año de publicación: 2020

 Nº de páginas: 17

 Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-57715-2

 ISSN: 2045-2322

 Proyecto español: HAR2012-33956

 Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-57715-2