The Pleistocene/Holocene transition in the Iberian Peninsula: Continuity and change in human adaptations

J E Aura, V Villaverde, M G Morales, C G Sainz, J Zilhao, L G Straus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Data obtained from recent excavations (as well as from selected older excavations) are used to outline the principal environmental, technological and economic aspects of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in three distinct regions of the Iberian Peninsula: Portugal, Cantabrian and Mediterranean Spain. The period covered extends From the terminal Paleolithic Magdalenian period to the initial Neolithic. Despite proximity to SW France and many similarities with that classic prehistoric culture area in terms of artistic/symbolic expression and technology, the Iberian regions show significant differences, especially in terms of subsistence strategies and their development during the Tardiglacial. While there are striking similarities among the three regions with respect to overall patterns of changes in technology, art and subsistence, there are interesting differences of detail: probably linked to environmental differences among these distinctive coastal zones. Changes in artistic activity are also examined, including the disappearance of cave art and the development of geometric motifs in mobile art in Cantabria, as well as a reinterpretation of Levantine art. (C) 1998 INQUA/Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-103
Number of pages17
JournalQuaternary International
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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