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Journal of World Prehistory

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 83–104 | Cite as

Epipaleolithic and Mesolithic adaptations in Cantabrian Spain and Pyrenean France

  • Lawrence Guy Straus
Article

Abstract

The period of deglaciation from ca. 13,000 to ca. 9000 B.P. along the northern edge of the Cantabrian Cordillera and Pyrenees was characterized by marked climatic and environmental oscillations, culminating in the establishment of interglacial conditions. While along the Cantabrian coast, late Upper Paleolithic groups had long been developing diversified systems of adaptation, fully exploiting the wide range of food resources of that narrow but ecologically varied region (notably red deer and marine mollusks), Magdalenian hunters along the southern edge of the Aquitaine basin were becoming increasingly specialized in the hunting of one medium-size game species, reindeer. Thus, while the artifact industries and artistic traditions of the two adjacent regions along the forty-third parallel developed along similar lines in the Magdalenian and Azilian, and despite a common montane specialization in ibex hunting, the changes that came with the end of the Last Glacial affected the human groups of the two regions very differently, as reflected in the early Mesolithic records of Vasco-Cantabria and Gascony, respectively.

Key Words

Cantabrian Spain Pyrenean France Magdalenian Azilian Mesolithic Tardiglacial Early Holocene 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Guy Straus
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerque

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