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Journal Article

Sleeping Activity Area within the Site Structure of Archaic Human Groups: Evidence from Abric Romaní Level N Combustion Activity Areas

Josep Vallverdú, Manuel Vaquero, Isabel Cáceres, Ethel Allué, Jordi Rosell, Palmira Saladié, Gema Chacón, Andreu Ollé, Antoni Canals, Robert Sala, M. A. Courty and Eudald Carbonell
Current Anthropology
Vol. 51, No. 1 (February 2010), pp. 137-145
DOI: 10.1086/649499
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/649499
Page Count: 9
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Sleeping Activity Area within the Site Structure of Archaic Human Groups
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Abstract

The identification of different prehistoric activity areas and Neanderthal behavior is one of the main research goals at the Abric Romaní site, which is a well‐preserved and microstratified Mousterian archaeological site. A conspicuous occupation surface excavated in level N yielded a remarkably preserved set of aligned combustion activity areas in the inner zone of the living surface. This set of combustion activity areas suggests analogy with sleeping‐and‐resting activity areas of modern foragers. Multidisciplinary analyses suggest (1) diachronic occupation and (2) similar use of the inner zone of the living floor. The sleeping area comprises five combustion activity areas, spaced at approximately 1 m distance from each other. A large wood imprint of travertine was found near the inner zone, suggesting an architectural remain of a prehistoric dwelling. Descriptions of archaic human sleeping activity areas are very few in Paleolithic archaeology. This identification is a proxy for estimating the number of individuals of Mousterian groups that occupied the Abric Romaní rock shelter around 55 kyr BP.

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