Joao Cascalheira

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Algarve, U. do

Grant number

Gr. 9729

Approve Date

October 23, 2018

Project Title

Cascalheira, Dr. Joao, U. of Algarve, Faro, Portugal - To aid research on 'Neanderthals and Early Modern Humans at Escoural Cave (Southern Portugal)'

JOAO CASCALHEIRA, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal, was awarded funding in October 2018 to aid research on ‘Neanderthals and Early Modern Humans at Escoural Cave (Southern Portugal).’ This project focused on the study of Neanderthal extinction and their replacement by Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) in southwestern Iberia. In September 2020, archaeological work was conducted at the cave of Escoural (Southern Portugal) to provide new absolute data on the timing of the transition and new archaeological data on Neanderthal and early AMH adaptations. Data was gathered from two different sections of the cave, recovering close to 500 archaeological remains, and a set of sediment samples that allowed to date and evaluate the integrity of the sequence. The overall goals were fulfilled, and the data collected shows that the archaeological sequence is composed of upper and middle paleolithic deposits. The first being dated to 35-46 thousand years ago, although further absolute dating results are pending. From the Middle Paleolithic sequence, it was attested that the sediments are most likely not in their original position but were redeposited in the inner part of the cave. However, the presence of thin carbonated crusts (only visible in the micromorphology thin sections) indicates that we can clearly separate different depositional moments and thus subdivide human occupations into separate timeframes.