Mariana Nabais

Neanderthal Small Prey Consumption in Central Portugal

It has been widely accepted that a broadening of the human diet occurred in MIS 1 (c. 11.5 ka cal BP), when the climate became warmer and more species were available to human populations which, consequently, underwent a demographic increase. However, faunal assemblages from Gruta da Figueira Brava, Gruta Nova da Columbeira and Gruta da Oliveira, in Central Portugal, dating from c. 90 to 35 ka BP (MIS 5 to MIS 3), show evidence of human consumption of small prey and of a diversified Neanderthal diet far earlier. Such data shed new light on the so-called Broad Spectrum Revolution and the putative role of an over-specialized diet in Neanderthal extinction.

Other aspects of Neanderthal economy will be assessed, namely those concerning mobility and seasonality. As the three caves are located at different distances from the sea, the existence of migratory movements between inland and coastal occupations can be investigated.

Supervisors

 Educational background

  • BA Archaeology, University of Lisbon, 2008
  • Post-Graduation Geoarchaeology, University of Lisbon, 2009
  • MSc Environmental Archaeology, University College London, 2010

Publications:

Nabais, M., 2012. Middle Palaeolithic Tortoise Use at Gruta da Oliveira (Torres Novas, Portugal). IV Jornadas de Jovens em Investigação Arqueológica (Faro, 11, 12 e 13 de Maio de 2011). JIA 2011. Faro, 251-257.

Nabais, M., 2012. Animal bones from the Roman site of Tróia (Grândola, Portugal). Mammal and bird remains from the fish-salting workshop 2 (2007/08). Report for Troiaresort

Nabais, M., 2011. The Neanderthal Occupation of Gruta da Oliveira (Almonda Karstic System, Torres Novas, Portugal). Analysis of the Burnt Bones. In OrJIA (eds), II Jornadas de Jóvenes en Investigación Arqueológica (Madrid, 6, 7 y 8 de Mayo de 2009). JIA 2009, Tomo I. Madrid: Libros Pórtico, 381-385.

Zilhão, J., Angelucci, D., Argant, J., Brugal, J.P., Carrión, J., Carvalho, R., Fuentes, N. & Nabais, M., 2010. Humans and Hyenas in the Middle Paleolithic of Gruta da Oliveira (Almonda Karstic System, Torres Novas, Portugal). Actas de la 1ª Reunión de cientificos sobre cubiles de hiena (y otros grandes carnívoros) en los yacimientos arqueológicos de la Península Ibérica. Alcalá, 299-308.

Conferences:

2nd ICAZ Taphonomy Working Group Meeting, Sanatnder, Spain, September 2012. “Burnt bones from Gruta da Oliveira: evidence of fuel or food during the Portuguese Middle Palaeolithic” (poster)

Museu de Mação, Mação, Portugal, May 2012. “A ocupação neandertal da Gruta da Oliveira (Torres Novas, Portugal) através do estudo dos ossos de animais queimados”

1st Zooarchaeology Conference in Portugal (ZAP), Lisbon, Portugal, March 2012. “Animal bones from the Roman site of Tróia (Grândola, Portugal): mammal and bird remains from the salt-fishing workshop 2 (2007/08)”

Museu Nacional de Arqueologia, Lisbon, Portugal, December 2011. “O Consumo de Tartaruga no Paleolítico Médio: o exemplo da Gruta da Oliveira (Torres Novas, Portugal)”

4th Jornadas de Jovens em Investigação Arqueológica (JIA), Faro, Portugal, May 2011. “Middle Palaeolithic Tortoise Use at Gruta da Oliveira (Torres Novas, Portugal)”

2nd Jornadas de Jóvenes en Investigación Arqueológica (JIA), Madrid, Spain, May 2009. “The Neanderthal Occupation of Gruta da Oliveira (Almonda Karstic System, Torres Novas, Portugal). Analysis of the Burnt Bones” (poster)

  • Study of tortoises from Gruta da Oliveira, National Museum of Archaeology, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Excavation of Gruta da Oliveira, Middle Palaeolithic cave, Torres Novas, Portugal
  • Excavation of Gruta da Figueira Brava, Middle Palaeolithic cave, Setúbal, Portugal
  • Excavation of Gruta da Figueira Brava, Middle Palaeolithic cave, Setúbal, Portugal

Bookmark and Share
editprofile.gif