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Author:

[Estévez Escalera, Jordi|PublicAdministrativeSpace:Estévez Escalera, Jordi]

Title:

Vanishing Carnivores:What can the Disappearance of Large Carnivores tell us about the NeanderthalWorld?

Journal:

International Journal of Osteoarchaeology

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Volume:

14

Year:

2004

Pages:

190-200

Keywords:

cave bear; carnivores; Neanderthal; Middle Palaeolithic; extinctions; Iberian Peninsula

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Abstract:

This paper examines the relationship between the extinction of carnivores and the disappearance of the Neanderthals. The Iberian Peninsula, as the westernmost point of Eurasia, is the key for an understanding of either the replacement or the continuity of hominids. Cave bear evolutionary history shares some trends with that of the Neanderthals. This means that most of the causes cited to explain the disappearance of Neanderthals have some implications that are linked with this carnivore's history. Some of the causes for the extinction of both are presented together and discussed. We analyse the contrast between the evidence from both central Europe and the Iberian Peninsula, which suggests a cause different from mere climatic stress for the extinction. The problems of the Iberian archaeological record are revised and we stress the need for a large European research programme to verify the data.
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