Palaeoecology and biochronology based on the rodents analysis from the Late Pleistocene/Holocene of Toll Cave (Moià, Barcelona)


In this paper we present the chronological, environmental and climatic data obtained by analysing the remains of rodents collected from the water-screened sediments of Levels 2 and 3 of the Sector Entrada of Toll Cave (Moià, Barcelona), one of the caves belonging to the karstic system called the Coves del Toll. From these levels a total of 216 rodent remains have been recovered, corresponding to 10 rodent species. The biochronological results indicate a Late Pleistocene/Holocene chronology (<35 ka BP); Level 3 is Pleistocene (>13 ka BP), and Level 2 is probably Holocene (<13 ka BP). The palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental data denote an open wet forest with lower temperatures and higher precipitation than nowadays for this region. Level 3 could be correlated with the Last Glacial Maximum (18 ka BP), while Level 2 may belong to the Preboreal period (11.5-9.5 ka BP). From a comparison of our results with the data obtained from other sites in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula with a similar chronology, we can infer two transitional phases for this period. Finally, a comparison with studies of Teixoneres Cave allows us to deduce the climatic and environmental evolution of the area around Toll Cave between the Middle Palaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic/Neolithic. It can be asserted that Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans lived in similar climatic and environmental conditions

Palabras clave

Rodentia, biochronnology, palaeoenvironment, palaeoclimate, Late Pleistocene/Holocene

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