Tech UPTechnologyMore than a thousand fossils support the human presence...

More than a thousand fossils support the human presence in Orce 1.3 million years ago

orce-liticaThe archaeological excavation that from August 30 to September 20 has developed a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional team in thedeposits of Fuente Nueva 3 and Barranco León, in Orce (Granada), has come to an end with a balance of1,168 new fossils unearthed, between fauna and lithic industry, which support the human presence in this area 1.3 million years ago. “Its aboutrichest fossil assemblage of its age in Europe“, said Robert Sala, professor at the Rovira i Virgili University of Tarragona, head of the Teaching Area of the IPHES (Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution) and director of the excavation.

The stone artifacts found at Orce are characterized by the presence of polyhedral nuclei and simple flakes. “The objective of the manufacture of instruments was to obtainsingle and sharp edge flakes, basically for himbutchering of animals, as is the trend in other sites of the same time, “says Sala.

Paleontologists discovered 1,063 animal remains, mostly fromlarge mammals such as hippos, horses, hyenas, rhinos, deer, and mammoths. ? We analyze the surface of the bones with the microscope to detect the presence of grooves or marks left by the stone tools used by hominids to dismember them. Our first studies in the field laboratory have confirmed this anthropic activity and, therefore, we can ensure human access to these mammals 1.3 million years ago in Orce ?, comments Sala.

According to the scientists, the landscape of that time in Orce was characterized “by the presence ofa saltwater lake in a subtropical climate, with average temperatures of 23ºC. The localized fauna describes a very rich and diverse environment to which humans adapted and knew how to exploit it “, emphasizes Sala.

1.3 million years ago, the hominid living in Europe was theHomo predecessor. Although, for the moment, there are no known human remains in Orce, due to the geographical and temporal proximity, it must be considered that it was this species that also populated this region, according to paleontologists.

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