Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 10, Issue 8, pp 1957–1969 | Cite as

Biological differences related to cultural variability during the Neolithic in a micro-geographical area of the Iberian Peninsula

  • Diego López-Onaindia
  • Mireia Coca
  • Juan Francisco Gibaja
  • Maria Eulàlia Subirà
Original Paper


This paper presents dental morphological data of Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age populations from the Catalan Pre-Pyrenean area. The Neolithic group, in particular, differs from those of surrounding areas in its funerary culture: the building of cists, which is not present in the Sepulcres de Fossa Culture. A minimum number of 118 individuals from this area were studied for this work, and the data were compared with those of other Iberian and European groups. The results indicate that the two micro-regional groups from the Catalan area (Pre-Pyrenean and Pre-Coastal) were biologically different during the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic, but not in the Bronze Age, when they also appeared to be more homogeneous culturally. In addition, both areas differ biologically from coetaneous Italian groups, although those closer to the coast show slightly smaller differences. Finally, the Bronze Age groups also present fewer differences with regard to the Italian Bronze Age’s group. Therefore, the results suggest that the Catalan Neolithic population had two separate origins, related to cultural patterns, and that differences between the groups decreased within time, probably due to trade-related activities. Moreover, the fact that the difference with Italian populations decreased during the Bronze Age suggests major population movements through the Mediterranean that would affect the biological composition of the human groups.


Dental morphology Pre-Pyrenean Cists Sepulcres de Fossa culture 



We would like to thank all the staff from "Museu Diocesal i Comarcal de Solsona" for the assistance they have provided us with during our works. Moreover, we would like to thank Crystal Rodgers and UALT (UAB) for the revision of the English language in the manuscript. This research has been funded by the projects HAR2011-23149, HAR2015-67323-C2-1-P of Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación and SGR2014-1420 consolidated research group by Generalitat de Catalunya.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego López-Onaindia
    • 1
  • Mireia Coca
    • 1
  • Juan Francisco Gibaja
    • 2
  • Maria Eulàlia Subirà
    • 1
  1. 1.Grup de Recerca Aplicada al Patrimoni Cultural (GRAPAC). Unitat d’Antropologia Biològica. Facultat de Biociències (Edifici C)Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institució Milà I Fontanals (IMF-CSIC)BarcelonaSpain

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