Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 3–14 | Cite as

Plant use at the end of the Upper Palaeolithic: archaeobotanical remains from Cova de les Cendres (Teulada-Moraira, Alicante, Spain)

  • Carmen María Martínez VareaEmail author
  • Ernestina Badal García
Original Article


The use and consumption of plant resources by Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer societies has traditionally been overlooked by researchers. Nevertheless, recent studies have started to point out the significant role of these resources in hunter-gatherer economies. This paper presents the results of the plant macrofossil (carpological) analysis of two levels dated to the Middle and Upper Magdalenian at Cova de les Cendres, Teulada-Moraira, Alicante, Spain. The results have been combined with the charcoal (anthracological) analysis, in order to improve the interpretation of the assemblage. Thirty-seven different taxa, which provide information of plant food, basketry, wood and fuel, etc., have been identified among the plant remains. Moreover, the identified taxa allow us to complete the landscape reconstruction based on the charcoal remains. Some fruits and charcoals have been dated to 13,980 ± 50–14,590 ± 50 bp.


Plant resources Seeds Gathering Landscape Palaeolithic Iberian Peninsula 



Archaeological research at Cova de les Cendres was funded by Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (HAR2011-24878; CGL2012-34717; HAR2014-5267º1-P) and by Generalitat Valenciana (Grant PROMETEOII/2013016). Seed analyses were carried out as doctoral research at the Departament de Prehistòria, Arqueologia i Història de l’Antiquitat (Universitat de València) with the financial support of an “Atracció de Talent” of VLC-Campus predoctoral grant to Carmen M. Martínez. We are grateful to the Servicio de Vida Silvestre-CIEF (Generalitat Valenciana), W. Szafer Institute of Botany (Polish Academy of Sciences) and Institute of Sciences de l’Évolution de Montpellier staff. We want to thank the reviewers for their insightful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen María Martínez Varea
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ernestina Badal García
    • 1
  1. 1.PREMEDOC-GIUV2015-213, Departament de Prehistòria, Arqueologia i Història AntigaUniversitat de ValènciaValenciaSpain

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