University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Pitt-Rivers Archaeological Science Seminar Series > Palaeoenvironmental change and stability at Shanidar Cave: The evidence from the micromammals

Palaeoenvironmental change and stability at Shanidar Cave: The evidence from the micromammals

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Shanidar Cave is a key site for the study of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic in Southwest Asia, with deposits encompassing the extinction of Neanderthals and the expansion of Modern Humans (from ~50-30ka BP in Eurasia). Various theories have been put forward to explain the replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans, and in recent years there has been a particular focus on whether Neanderthals were less resilient to abrupt climate change than Modern Humans. This talk presents the results of a study of the micromammal assemblage from Shanidar Cave (Iraqi Kurdistan) which was used to produce a palaeoenvironmental record for a stratigraphic sequence dated from c.85,000 to 30,000 years ago, encompassing periods of Neanderthal and Modern Human occupation of the cave. A variety of methods were applied to the material, which altogether indicate a broadly stable environment with smaller scale environmental fluctuations. The findings of this project emphasises the importance of investigating local environmental signals in addition to global signals.

This talk is part of the Pitt-Rivers Archaeological Science Seminar Series series.

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