Evolución paleogeográfica, paleoclimática y paleoambiental de la costa meridional de la Península Ibérica durante el Pleistoceno superiorel caso de la Cueva de Nerja (Málaga, Andalucía, España)

  1. Jordá Pardo, Jesús Francisco
  2. Maestro González, Adolfo
  3. Aura Tortosa, J. Emili
  4. Álvarez Fernández, Esteban
  5. Avezuela, Bárbara
  6. Badal, Ernestina
  7. Morales Pérez, Juan Vicente
  8. Pérez Ripoll, Manuel
  9. Villalba Currás, María Paz
Boletín de la Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural. Sección geológica

ISSN: 0583-7510

Year of publication: 2011

Tome: 105

Issue: 1-4

Type: Article

More publications in: Boletín de la Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural. Sección geológica


We present the palaeogeographic, palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental changes occurred during the Upper Pleistocene and the Early Holocene in the southern Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula in the eastern sector of the province of Malaga, at south of the Sierra de Almijara. The study of these changes has been made from the analysis of bathymetric and geomorphological mapping of the underwater coastal in the studied area, the record of the sea surface temperature of the Alboran Sea from the MD95-2043 core and the radiometric, archaeological and palaeobiological data provided by the stratigraphic record of the external chambers of the ancient entrance of the Nerja Cave (Nerja, Malaga, Andalusia, Spain). This sedimentary record was placed in the cavity between the final stages of the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene, covering the end of OIS 3, the OIS 2 and the first half of OIS 1 with a chronological span between 29600 and 3940 years cal BP, according to the information provided by radiocarbon dating. To be more precise: this sedimentation began in the interstadial complex GI 4 immediately after Heinrich event 3 and ended in the chronozone Subatlantic with twelve stages of development of erosion and sedimentation that have six occupational episodes well-defined (Gravettian, Solutrean, Magdalenian, Epipaleolithic, Neolithic and Chalcolithic) and a worse delimited period (Mesolithic) separated by hiatuses of varying duration. During the Upper Pleistocene and Early Holocene the position of the sea surface was located at different levels below their current position, which conditioned the emergence of a coastal strip of varying amplitude over time, in which, humans populations living in the Nerja Cave developed their activities. Throughout that period we also observed a marked variation in the surface temperature of sea water and a series of changes in the position of the bioclimatic belts in the Sierra de Almijara and in the composition of vegetation and vertebrate and invertebrate fauna that were consumed by the prehistoric inhabitants of the Cave of Nerja. In this context it should be noted the abundant presence in the record of the cavity of marine fauna (echinoids, crustaceans, molluscs, fish, birds, mammals), among which, several species of northern latitudes and colder waters are included, currently outside the Mediterranean.