Morphological, isotopic and proteomic study of the Pleistocene and Holocene fauna of Cova dos Santos (Abadín, Lugo, NW Spain)


Cova dos Santos is a karstic cavity in Abadín (Lugo), in a hitherto unexplored area that may have been the natural route between the well-known Quaternary faunas of the Cantabrian Mountain Range and those located further south in Galicia, such as in the Serra do Courel. The surface surveys carried out during the topographic layout revealed the presence of deposits of bone remains, usually extremely fragmented, of medium and large vertebrates. Due to the nature of these remains, different molecular techniques (ZooMS, stable isotopes), radiocarbon dating, and morphological and metric analysis were used to characterise the remains present at the site. Combining these methods, it has been possible to identify different taxa such as Ursus speleaeus, Ursus arctos, Panthera pardus, Cervus elaphus, Rhinocerotidae, and to confirm the occupation of this cave since at least 43000 years ago calBP. The presence of domestic species, such as Ovis aries, Equus sp. and Gallus gallus, also shows the use of this cave in more recent times.

Palabras clave

stable isotopes, ZooMS, leopard, cave bear, rhinoceros

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