Diet and subsistence in Upper Paleolithic Portugal

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This is a doctoral dissertation focused on the Magdalenian diet and subsistence organization. In this work I present a nutritional ecology model for a broad-based diet. The thesis highlights my research at Lapa do Picareiro and includes data from Lapa do Suão and other sites. I conclude with a model for coastal adaptations during this period.
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  An Investigation of Late Upper Paleolithic and Epipaleolithic Hunter-Gatherer Subsistence and Settlement Patterns in Central Portugal by Jonathan Adams HawsA dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements forthe degree ofDoctor of Philosophy(Anthropology)at theUNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON2003  An Investigation of Late Upper Paleolithic and Epipaleolithic Hunter-GathererSubsistence and Settlement Patterns in Central Portugal Jonathan Adams HawsUnder the supervision of Professor T. Douglas PriceAt the University of Wisconsin-MadisonThis study investigates the nature of Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherer subsistenceand settlement patterns in central Portugal. The primary research goal is to test the BroadSpectrum Revolution model which is the predominate explanatory framework used byarchaeologists in the region. Previous models characterized evidence of diachronic changesin subsistence as an indication of increased resource intensification, specialization anddiversification during the Late Upper Paleolithic. In Iberia, archaeologists characterizeintensification as the extraction of greater amounts of energy from the same resource.Specialization is seen through the occurrence of sites whose function centers around specifictasks and the focus on limited numbers of resource types.The goal of this dissertation is to show that the main components of the Broad SpectrumRevolution model, resource intensification and diversification, did not suddenly appearat the beginning of the Holocene, but that they have a much greater time depth. It isargued here that dietary diversity is part of our evolutionary heritage as omnivorousprimates and shifts between generalized and specialized diets reflect local climatic andenvironmental conditions, not a directional trend in human adaptation.To test this model, archaeofaunal assemblages from two Late Upper Paleolithic cavesin central Portugal were analyzed. In addition, plant exploitation was addressed by usingthe regional archaeological record, paleoenvironmental reconstruction and expectations  from evolutionary ecology. The assemblages from Lapa do Picareiro and Lapa do Suãorepresent the best samples that date to the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene. Each sitehas multicomponent occupations allowing the study of diachronic trends in resource useacross the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Results show that intensified use of smallgame animals, especially rabbit, occurred much earlier than the end of the Pleistocene. Inaddition, no discernible trend towards dietary diversification was found. Diets werediverse during the entire Upper Paleolithic sequence in Iberia. It is argued that theappearance of marine resource use at the end of the Pleistocene reflects changes in sealevel that have severely altered the archaeological record. The transport of marine resourcesinland during the Early Upper Paleolithic shows that coastal resource use occurred muchearlier.  iv For my Mom and Dad
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