Taphonomic and spatial analyses from the Early Pleistocene site ofVenta Micena 4 (Orce, Guadix‑Baza Basin, southern Spain)
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Luzón, C., Yravedra, J., Courtenay, L.A. et al. Taphonomic and spatial analyses from the Early Pleistocene site of Venta Micena 4 (Orce, Guadix-Baza Basin, southern Spain). Sci Rep 11, 13977 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93261-1
SponsorshipRegional Government of Andalusia, with both contracts associated to General Research Project BC.03.032/17; Spanish Public Employment Service (Spanish Ministry of Labour and Social Economy); Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, with an FPI Predoctoral Grant (Reg. PRE2019-089411) associated to project RTI2018-099850-B-IOO and the University of Salamanca; Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES-CERCA) has received fnancial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the “María de Maeztu” program for Units of Excellence (CEX2019-000945-M); Projects 2017SGR-859 (Gov. of Catalonia, AGAUR), and CGL2016-80000-P (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness); Research Group HUM-607 (Junta de Andalucía).
Venta Micena is an area containing several palaeontological sites marking the beginning of the Calabrian stage (Early Pleistocene). The richness of the fossil accumulation including species of Asian, African and European origin, makes Venta Micena a key site for the the palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental study of southern Europe during the Early Pleistocene. Thus, research has been focused on Venta Micena 3, which was originally interpreted as a single palaeosurface associated with a marshy context, in which most of the fauna was accumulated by Pachycrocuta brevirostris. Recent excavations have unearthed a new site, Venta Micena 4, located in the same stratigraphic unit (Unit C) and in close proximity to Venta Micena 3. Here we show the frst analyses regarding the taphonomic and spatial nature of this new site, defning two stratigraphic boundaries corresponding to two diferent depositional events. Furthermore, the taphonomic analyses of fossil remains seem to indicate a diferent accumulative agent than Pachycrocuta, thus adding more complexity to the palaeobiological interpretation of the Venta Micena area. These results contribute to the discussion of traditional interpretations made from Venta Micena 3.