An exceptional palaeontological site going back 100,000 years is unearthed in Arrasate
A multidisciplinary UPV/EHU team made up of researchers from the Department of Geography, Prehistory and Archaeology and from the Department of Stratigraphy and Palaeontology has presented the discovery of the new Artazu VII site located in the Kobate Quarry in Arrasate.
|Excavating at the Artazu VII site located in the Kobate Quarry in Arrasate (Gipuzkoa, Basque Country)|
In the Cantabrian Region and on the Iberian Peninsula there are very few sites belonging to the Upper Pleistocene such as Artazu VII without signs of human activity. And even fewer with such an abundance and wealth of species in an exceptional state of preservation and in which a multidisciplinary study has been conducted like the one being carried out in this project. The discovery of this site has been published in the journal Comptes Rendus Palevol led by the pre-doctoral researcher Aitziber Suárez-Bilbao, who is currently writing up her thesis at the UPV/EHU.
|General view of the Artazu VII site [Credit UPV/EHU]|
In the preliminary study published in the international journal, the taxonomic list numbers at least 40 species, including micro- and macro-vertebrates present at Artazu VII. Furthermore, most of the remains have been recovered whole or with post-depositional fractures and many of the bones have been preserved in anatomical connection. So the presence of species that are currently extinct or which today are absent because they have shifted geographically has been confirmed in the surroundings of Arrasate during a period dating back 100,000 years ago. The appearance of the following stand out: the cave lion (Panthera spelaea) and the leopard (Panthera pardus) among the carnivores, and the steppe bison (Bison priscus) and the red deer (Cervus elaphus) among the angulates. The research conducted so far on the micro-vertebrates (mammals, amphibians and reptiles) has confirmed a series of warm events at the moment the chasm at Artazu VII was filled.
|Skull of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) found at the site located in the Kobate Quarry (Arrasate, Gipuzkoa)|
Source: University of the Basque Country [September 06, 2016]