Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 4539–4554 | Cite as

Lithic refitting and the analysis of Middle Palaeolithic settlement dynamics: a high-temporal resolution example from El Pastor rock shelter (Eastern Iberia)

  • Jorge MachadoEmail author
  • Alejandro Mayor
  • Cristo M. Hernández
  • Bertila Galván
Original Paper


Archaeostratigraphic study of the Stratigraphic Unit IV from the Middle Palaeolithic site of El Pastor (Eastern Iberia) has resulted on the definition of high-resolution analytical units mostly corresponding to “micro-palimpsests” formed during more than a single human occupation. Analysis of these anthropogenic assemblages has suggested their interpretation as remains from several short-term occupations performed by MIS 3-4 Neanderthals. In this paper, we present an evaluation of this interpretative proposal, focusing on the technical and spatial study of lithic refits. Our aim is to present an empirical work that also contributes to the methodological discussion about refitting studies and behavioural interpretation related to Palaeolithic settlement dynamics.


Middle Palaeolithic Neanderthals Settlement dynamics El Pastor Lithic assemblage formation Lithic refitting 



We thank the members of El Pastor teamwork for their field and post-excavation tasks, and Museu Arqueològic Municipal Camil Visedo Moltó d’Alcoi and the Alcoian town hall for their support. We also thank Francesca Romagnoli, Manuel Vaquero, and the anonymous reviewers who helped to improve the earlier versions of this paper.

Funding information

Archaeological research at El Pastor rock shelter is funded by the Spanish government project Neandertales en la montaña alicantina: un enfoque multianalítico (MEC-FEDER HAR2015-68321-P), and by the Valencian government through public research funding (DOGV P-0300900-H).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Machado
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alejandro Mayor
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cristo M. Hernández
    • 1
    • 3
  • Bertila Galván
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Grupo de Investigación Sociedades Cazadoras-Recolectoras Paleolíticas; Departamento de Prehistoria, Arqueología, Antropología e Historia Antigua; Sección de Geografía e Historia; Facultad de HumanidadesUniversidad de La LagunaSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Àrea de Coneixement de Prehistòria; Departament de Prehistòria, Arqueologia, Història Antiga, Filologia Grega i Filologia Llatina; Facultat de Filosofia i LletresUniversitat d’AlacantAlacantSpain
  3. 3.Área de Didáctica de Ciencias Sociales; Departamento de Didácticas Específicas; Facultad de EducaciónUniversidad de La LagunaSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain
  4. 4.Área de Conocimiento de Prehistoria; Unidad de Docencia e Investigación de Prehistoria, Arqueología e Historia Antigua; Departamento de Prehistoria, Arqueología, Antropología e Historia Antigua; Sección de Geografía e Historia; Facultad de HumanidadesUniversidad de La LagunaSanta Cruz de TenerifeSpain

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