Chronological methods 8 radiocarbon dating

Unfortunately, the chronology of the transition between the Middle and Upper Paleolithic has been clouded by doubts over the reliability of the chronological methods used, the extent to which taphonomic influences have blurred the association between the objects dated and the archaeological evidence, and the fact that the latest lithic assemblages are small and often undiagnostic, making them difficult to assign to the Mousterian (5, 16, 17).Because of this doubt, there is considerable debate regarding the extinction date of the “late” Neanderthals in Iberia and thus the length of any overlap with AMHs.Excavations at the montane site of Cueva del Boquete de Zafarraya (Fig.

Of 215 bones screened, only 27 contained enough nitrogen to attempt collagen extraction ( Two sites have been dated: Jarama VI, which provides the primary evidence for a late Mousterian in central Iberia, and the Cueva del Boquete de Zafarraya, containing the latest Neanderthal fossils in Europe.

A further nine sites were examined, but no suitable materials for radiocarbon dating were found (see ) and contained a rich Upper Paleolithic assemblage with blade and bladelet blanks.

The Levallois technique is present, and the complete reduction sequence is represented with cores and debitage products dominating the assemblages.

Some of the sparse assemblage in level 2.2 is arranged around a hearth feature.

This unit is separated from the underlying fluvial deposit by an erosive event.