New data on the chronology of the Vale do Forno sedimentary sequence (Lower Tejo River terrace staircase) and its relevance as a fluvial archive of the Middle Pleistocene in western Iberia

Pedro Cunha, Antonio Martins, Jan-Pieter Buylaert, Andrew Sean Murray, Luis Raposo, Paolo Mozzi, Martin Stokes

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    146 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    The Vale do Forno archaeological sites (Alpiarça, central Portugal) document the earliest human occupation in the Lower Tejo River, well established in geomorphological and environmental terms, within the Middle Pleistocene. In a staircase of six fluvial terraces, the Palaeolithic sites were found on the T4 terrace (+24 m, above river bed) which is made of a basal Lower Gravels unit (LG) and an overlying Upper Sands unit (US). Geomorphological mapping, coupled with lithostratigraphy, sedimentology and luminescence dating (quartz-OSL and K-feldspar post-IRIR290) were used in this study. The oldest artefacts found in the LG unit show crude bifacial forms that can be attributed to the Acheulian. In contrast, the US unit has archaeological sites stratigraphically documenting successive phases of an evolved Acheulian. Luminescence dating and correlation with the Marine Isotopic Stages suggest that the LG unit has a probable age of ca. 335 to 325 ka and the US unit an age of ca. 325 to 155 ka. This is in contrast to previous interpretations ascribing this terrace (and lithic industries) to the Last Interglacial and early phases of the Last Glacial. The VF3 site (Milharós), containing Micoquian (Final Acheulian) industries (with fine and elaborated bifaces), found in a stratigraphic level located between the T4 terrace deposits and a colluvium associated with Late Pleistocene aeolian sands, is younger than 155 ka but much older than 32 ka.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
    Volume166
    Pages (from-to)204-226
    Number of pages23
    ISSN0277-3791
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • Acheulean
    • Fluvial terraces
    • Geomorphology
    • Iberia
    • Luminescence dating
    • Middle Pleistocene
    • Palaeolithic
    • River Tejo

    Cite this

    @article{c557bcd3c74244b9b59c606a32d1a952,
    title = "New data on the chronology of the Vale do Forno sedimentary sequence (Lower Tejo River terrace staircase) and its relevance as a fluvial archive of the Middle Pleistocene in western Iberia",
    abstract = "The Vale do Forno archaeological sites (Alpiar{\cc}a, central Portugal) document the earliest human occupation in the Lower Tejo River, well established in geomorphological and environmental terms, within the Middle Pleistocene. In a staircase of six fluvial terraces, the Palaeolithic sites were found on the T4 terrace (+24 m, above river bed) which is made of a basal Lower Gravels unit (LG) and an overlying Upper Sands unit (US). Geomorphological mapping, coupled with lithostratigraphy, sedimentology and luminescence dating (quartz-OSL and K-feldspar post-IRIR290) were used in this study. The oldest artefacts found in the LG unit show crude bifacial forms that can be attributed to the Acheulian. In contrast, the US unit has archaeological sites stratigraphically documenting successive phases of an evolved Acheulian. Luminescence dating and correlation with the Marine Isotopic Stages suggest that the LG unit has a probable age of ca. 335 to 325 ka and the US unit an age of ca. 325 to 155 ka. This is in contrast to previous interpretations ascribing this terrace (and lithic industries) to the Last Interglacial and early phases of the Last Glacial. The VF3 site (Milhar{\'o}s), containing Micoquian (Final Acheulian) industries (with fine and elaborated bifaces), found in a stratigraphic level located between the T4 terrace deposits and a colluvium associated with Late Pleistocene aeolian sands, is younger than 155 ka but much older than 32 ka.",
    keywords = "Acheulean, Fluvial terraces, Geomorphology, Iberia, Luminescence dating, Middle Pleistocene, Palaeolithic, River Tejo",
    author = "Pedro Cunha and Antonio Martins and Jan-Pieter Buylaert and Murray, {Andrew Sean} and Luis Raposo and Paolo Mozzi and Martin Stokes",
    year = "2017",
    doi = "10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.11.001",
    language = "English",
    volume = "166",
    pages = "204--226",
    journal = "Quaternary Science Reviews",
    issn = "0277-3791",
    publisher = "Pergamon Press",

    }

    New data on the chronology of the Vale do Forno sedimentary sequence (Lower Tejo River terrace staircase) and its relevance as a fluvial archive of the Middle Pleistocene in western Iberia. / Cunha, Pedro; Martins, Antonio; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Murray, Andrew Sean; Raposo, Luis; Mozzi, Paolo; Stokes, Martin.

    In: Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 166, 2017, p. 204-226.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - New data on the chronology of the Vale do Forno sedimentary sequence (Lower Tejo River terrace staircase) and its relevance as a fluvial archive of the Middle Pleistocene in western Iberia

    AU - Cunha, Pedro

    AU - Martins, Antonio

    AU - Buylaert, Jan-Pieter

    AU - Murray, Andrew Sean

    AU - Raposo, Luis

    AU - Mozzi, Paolo

    AU - Stokes, Martin

    PY - 2017

    Y1 - 2017

    N2 - The Vale do Forno archaeological sites (Alpiarça, central Portugal) document the earliest human occupation in the Lower Tejo River, well established in geomorphological and environmental terms, within the Middle Pleistocene. In a staircase of six fluvial terraces, the Palaeolithic sites were found on the T4 terrace (+24 m, above river bed) which is made of a basal Lower Gravels unit (LG) and an overlying Upper Sands unit (US). Geomorphological mapping, coupled with lithostratigraphy, sedimentology and luminescence dating (quartz-OSL and K-feldspar post-IRIR290) were used in this study. The oldest artefacts found in the LG unit show crude bifacial forms that can be attributed to the Acheulian. In contrast, the US unit has archaeological sites stratigraphically documenting successive phases of an evolved Acheulian. Luminescence dating and correlation with the Marine Isotopic Stages suggest that the LG unit has a probable age of ca. 335 to 325 ka and the US unit an age of ca. 325 to 155 ka. This is in contrast to previous interpretations ascribing this terrace (and lithic industries) to the Last Interglacial and early phases of the Last Glacial. The VF3 site (Milharós), containing Micoquian (Final Acheulian) industries (with fine and elaborated bifaces), found in a stratigraphic level located between the T4 terrace deposits and a colluvium associated with Late Pleistocene aeolian sands, is younger than 155 ka but much older than 32 ka.

    AB - The Vale do Forno archaeological sites (Alpiarça, central Portugal) document the earliest human occupation in the Lower Tejo River, well established in geomorphological and environmental terms, within the Middle Pleistocene. In a staircase of six fluvial terraces, the Palaeolithic sites were found on the T4 terrace (+24 m, above river bed) which is made of a basal Lower Gravels unit (LG) and an overlying Upper Sands unit (US). Geomorphological mapping, coupled with lithostratigraphy, sedimentology and luminescence dating (quartz-OSL and K-feldspar post-IRIR290) were used in this study. The oldest artefacts found in the LG unit show crude bifacial forms that can be attributed to the Acheulian. In contrast, the US unit has archaeological sites stratigraphically documenting successive phases of an evolved Acheulian. Luminescence dating and correlation with the Marine Isotopic Stages suggest that the LG unit has a probable age of ca. 335 to 325 ka and the US unit an age of ca. 325 to 155 ka. This is in contrast to previous interpretations ascribing this terrace (and lithic industries) to the Last Interglacial and early phases of the Last Glacial. The VF3 site (Milharós), containing Micoquian (Final Acheulian) industries (with fine and elaborated bifaces), found in a stratigraphic level located between the T4 terrace deposits and a colluvium associated with Late Pleistocene aeolian sands, is younger than 155 ka but much older than 32 ka.

    KW - Acheulean

    KW - Fluvial terraces

    KW - Geomorphology

    KW - Iberia

    KW - Luminescence dating

    KW - Middle Pleistocene

    KW - Palaeolithic

    KW - River Tejo

    U2 - 10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.11.001

    DO - 10.1016/j.quascirev.2016.11.001

    M3 - Journal article

    VL - 166

    SP - 204

    EP - 226

    JO - Quaternary Science Reviews

    JF - Quaternary Science Reviews

    SN - 0277-3791

    ER -