Spaces and species: The Rodrigo Botet Collection (Valencia, Spain) and the palaeoecological relationships of early Homo sapiens during their dispersal in the southern cone of South America


In this paper we present the taphonomic analysis of the Rodrigo Botet Collection, an assembly of fossil bones excavated from the Region of the Pampas (Argentina) which display evidence of having been subject to anthropic action. This collection of South America mammals is housed at the Natural Science Museum of Valencia (Spain), and is the most important of this type in Europa. In order to better comprehend the evidence found in this collection a palaeoecological framework was applied. This framework was linked to the relations established between Homo sapiens and the native megafauna, which may have implied new forms of niche construction or colonization in South America spaces. The distribution of the different species over the landscape, the general ecological characteristics of these mammals, and the presence of possible competitors were taken into account during the research. In this context we emphasise that human beings behaved as an invasive species in this continent during the first peopling of America. Special attention is also placed on comparing different early human dispersal events in different scenarios. America and Europe are exemplary case studies for making further discoveries on the several anthropic impacts that our species has exerted in different times and spaces

Palabras clave

America peopling, megafauna, Pleistocene-Holocene, Transition, Pampean Region, Argentina

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