Inside the Palimpsest: Identifying Short Occupations in the 497D Level of Cova Gran (Iberia)

  • Rafael Mora Torcal
  • Miquel Roy Sunyer
  • Jorge Martínez-MorenoEmail author
  • Alfonso Benito-Calvo
  • Sofia Samper Carro
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)


The identification of short-term occupations is a key topic in the discussion of prehistoric hunter-gatherers settlement patterns. These short-stays can conceal a rich behavioural and organizational record. However, the effect of site formation processes hampers the individualization of spatio/temporal clusters in the archaeological record. Level 497D of Cova Gran (Southeastern Prepyrenees, Iberian peninsula) illustrates these problems, which are embedded in the visualization of short-term events. The application of contextual analyses and spatio-statistical tests allows to identify cycles of occupation/abandonment/reuse, denoting internal and temporal diachrony. This scenario implies that 497D level was the result of a series of undefined and successive short-term occupations.


Palimpsest Short-term events 497D Intrasite spatial analysis Vertical/horizontal resolution Early Upper Palaeolithic Cova Gran Iberia 



We thank Joao Cascalheira and Andrea Picin for their kind invitation to participate in this volume on short-term occupations in Palaeolithic Archaeology. Cova Gran de Santa Linya is part of the project Human settlement during the Upper Pleistocene and Holocene in the South-eastern Pyrenees (HAR2013-42338 y HAR2016-75124) and the 2017SGR-1357 research group. Fieldwork has been supported by the Serveí d’Arquelogía – Generalítat de Catalunya. We thank the Institute for Field Research for its support and the Societat de Munts de Santa Linya for its kind permissions. We want to dedicate this article to our friend Norah Moloney.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d’Estudis del Patrimoni Arqueològic de la Prehistoria (CEPAP)Universitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Centro Nacional de la Evolucion Humana (CENIEH)BurgosSpain
  3. 3.Department of Archaeology and Natural History, School of Culture, History and LanguageCollege of Asia & the Pacific, Australian National UniversityCamberraAustralia

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