Archaic humans were present for over a million years in western Mediterranean Europe where they left very many traces of their early stone-age activities and behaviour, and sometimes even human skeletal remains. This book evaluates archaeological findings about their life-ways at many important sites in Italy, southern France, and Spain.
Archaic humans were present for over a million years in western Mediterranean Europe where they left very many traces of their early stone-age activities and behaviour, and sometimes even human skeletal remains. This book evaluates archaeological findings about their life-ways at many important sites in Italy, southern France, and Spain, from the earliest ones 1,300,000 years ago, to those of Neanderthals fifty-thousand years ago, just before they were superseded by skeletally-“modern” humans. The cognitive and manual skills of archaic humans in western Mediterranean Europe are considered in the Pleistocene contexts of major climatic fluctuations and changing environmental circumstances. The book focusses on their remarkable capacity to adapt, frequently reinvent themselves, and persist for long periods of time, even though finally they did not endure. Their achievements and abilities withstand comparison to those of ancient humans in Africa or Asia during Early, Middle, and early Late Pleistocene times.
1. Introduction; 2. Background; 3. Significant Matters of Quaternary Early Human Palaeobiology; 4. Early Homo: Life-History, Stone artifacts, Stone tools, Dispersal; 5. Evidence from southern Europe before the Jaramillo sub-chron; 6. Humans in southwestern Europe between the Jatamillo sub-chron and the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary; 7. After the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary: the Early Middle Pleistocene in western Mediterranean Europe; 8. The later Middle Pleistocene and onset of the early Late Pleistocene in western Mediterranean Europe; 9. Problems of MIS-4 and MIS-3; 10. Whatever happened to…?; 11. References
About the Author
Michael Walker (Colchester, 1941) is Honorific Emeritus Professor in the Department of Zoology and Physical Anthropology at the University of Murcia in Spain, and directs field-work at Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar (Caravaca, Murcia) and Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo (Torre Pacheco, Murcia). He studied at University College, Oxford, graduated in Animal Physiology and Medicine, took the Postgraduate Diploma in Prehistoric Archaeology and gained his D.Phil. for research in S.E. Spanish prehistory and palaeoanthropology. Following a junior research fellowship at The Queen’s College, Oxford, he lectured at the universities of Edinburgh and Sydney before being appointed in 1988 to establish Physical Anthropology at the University of Murcia. Paleoanthropologist Erik Trinkaus (Washington University of St. Louis) and Michael Walker have edited The People of Palomas, Neandertals from the Sima de las Palomas del Cabezo Gordo, Southeastern Spain (Texas A&M University Press, 2017).