Palaeodiets of Humans and Fauna at the Spanish Mesolithic Site of El Collado

Palaeodiets of Humans and Fauna at the Spanish Mesolithic Site of El Collado

The first human stable isotope results from the Spanish Levant, from the Mesolithic (ca. 7500 BP, Mesolithic IIIA phase) site of El Collado (near Oliva, Valencia) provide evidence for the consumption of marine protein by humans, estimated at approximately 25% of the dietary protein for some individuals. Isotopic analysis of human remains from other coastal Mesolithic sites in Europe, particularly along the Atlantic coast, also shows significant consumption of marine foods, but the amount of marine food consumed by the El Collado humans was much less than at those sites. This may be because of a different dietary adaptation or because the Mediterranean is much less productive than the Atlantic.


Figure 1. Spanish sites with Mesolithic human remains. 1, Abric del Cingle Vermell (Catalonia); 2, Cueva de Los Azules I (Asturias); 3, Cueva de Balmori (Asturias); 4, Poza l’Egua (Asturias); 5, Cueva de Nerja (Malaga); 6, El Collado (Valencia); 7, Cueva de Colomba (Asturias); 8, Cueva de los Canes (Asturias); 9, Abrigo de Aizpea (Navarre); 10, Cuartamentero (Asturias); 11, Colombres (Asturias); 12, Molino de Gasparı´n (Asturias); 13, Cueva de Mazaculos II (Asturias); A, Asturias, with a series of closely located sites. On the basis of the lithic material, Aparicio (1992, 89) placed the Mesolithic occupation of El Collado between 10,000 and 6500 BC, with the phase of most intense utilization around 7500–6500 BC. Subsequently, two radiocarbon determinations made on human bone from burial 12 yielded the ages of BP and BP (Aparicio 7,570160 7,640120 1992; Pe´rez-Pe´rez et al. 1995), which calibrate to 6630–6250 BC (Stuiver and Reimer 1993; Stuiver, Reimer, and Reimer.

It seems that everyones ancestors ate a lot of seafood if they lived on the coast.

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