The earliest evidence of hearths in Southern Europe: The case of Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain)

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Title: The earliest evidence of hearths in Southern Europe: The case of Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain)
Authors: Fernández Peris, Josep | Barciela González, Virginia | Blasco, Ruth | Cuartero, Felipe | Fluck, Hannah | Sañudo, Pablo | Verdasco, Carlos
Research Group/s: Prehistoria y Protohistoria
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Prehistoria, Arqueología, Historia Antigua, Filología Griega y Filología Latina
Keywords: Bolomor Cave | Valencia | Hearths | Pleistocene
Knowledge Area: Prehistoria
Issue Date: 9-Jan-2012
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Quaternary International. 2012, 247: 267-277. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2010.10.014
Abstract: Most researchers agree about the importance of the fire during the Pleistocene. The controlled use of fire could allow advances in the ways of life, not only for its value as a constant source of light and heat, but also because it contributed to the processing of food, to warding off the carnivores, and especially, to human socialization, as fire can be understood as a focus of concentration of activities and structuring of inhabited space. Apart from the many utilities that the hearths may have had during the Pleistocene, this research does not allow specification of the chronological and geographical context of the first controlled use of fire. From this perspective, the present study contributes to this discussion with the data from Bolomor Cave (Valencia, Spain). This site contains a sedimentary deposit composed of seventeen stratigraphical levels ranging from MIS 9 to MIS 5e (c. 350–100 ky). The stratigraphical series presents clear evidence of the controlled and reiterative use of fire. The used analytic techniques have confirmed the presence of hearths at levels II, IV, XI and XIII of the site. This paper discusses the hearths from level XIII, chronologically located in MIS 7c with an amino-acid racemization (AAR) date of 228 ± 53 ky. These combustion structures are the most ancient known today not only at Bolomor Cave and in Spain, but also in Southern Europe. From this perspective, the aim of this study is to make known the hearths from Level XIII of Bolomor Cave and to provide data that contribute to the general debate about the presence, knowledge and use of fire in the European Middle Pleistocene.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/73091
ISSN: 1040-6182 (Print) | 1873-4553 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2010.10.014
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2010.10.014
Appears in Collections:INV - Prehistoria y Protohistoria - Artículos de Revistas

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