Dataset from the article "New insights for understanding spatial patterning and formation processes of the Neanderthal occupation in the Amalda I cave (Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain)".

Published: 1 April 2020| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/vvyk8m5ttx.2
Laura Sanchez-Romero, Alfonso Benito-Calvo, Ana Belen Marin-Arroyo, Lucia Agudo, Theodoros Karampaglidis, Joseba Rios-Garaizar


Database from the spatial analysis study carried out at Amalda I site (Gipuzkoa, Spain). This file provides all the information used for our study, in order to make it more accesible and open. This work is focused on the Level VII of Amalda I cave (Gipuzkoa, Spain), which represents one of the latest Middle Palaeolithic occupations in the Cantabrian Region. It is characterized by the presence of Middle Palaeolithic lithic industry and animal remains, with clear evidences of anthropic and carnivore manipulation. At this site, the Neanderthal presence has been questioned in relation to the role of carnivores in the accumulation of large, medium-sized and small mammals. It has also been proposed that the Neanderthal occupation could have consisted of short-term occupations, where different activities took place in a structured space within the cave. However, all hypotheses lacked any integrative analysis of the site formation processes. With the aim of understanding these processes, a combination of spatial techniques, based on GIS and inferential statistics (density analysis, hotspots tools and palaeotopographic reconstruction), along with the taphonomic study of identifiable and non-identifiable macromammals remains, were employed. This study has revealed distinct use of the cave space by Neanderthals and carnivores. The major concentrations of lithics and medium-sized mammal remains were clearly accumulated by humans at the cave entrance, while the small mammals were gathered by carnivores in an inner zone. The activities of the Neanderthals seem to be distinctly structured, suggesting a parallel exploitation of resources.



Centro Nacional de Investigacion sobre la Evolucion Humana, University of California Berkeley, Universidad de Cantabria


Spatial Analysis, Taphonomy, Middle Paleolithic