Las tortugas del yacimiento arqueológico portugués de Mealhada

Ayer se publicaron, en la revista Diversity, los resultados del estudio de los restos de tortugas recuperados en las excavaciones de finales del siglo XIX del clásico yacimiento del Paleolítico Medio de Mealhada (Coimbra, Portugal). Este trabajo ofrece una actualización sobre el registro de Testudines del Pleistoceno Superior en la costa atlántica, así como datos interesantes sobre su posible consumo por parte del ser humano. Su resumen es el siguiente:

The results of a review of the chelonian remains retrieved in the excavations carried out in Mealhada (Coimbra, central Portugal) are presented here. Mealhada is a Portuguese Middle Palaeolithic classical site, discovered at the end of the 19th century, and chronologically ascribed to the interglacial Riss-Würm (ca. 120 ka BP). This study has allowed the identification, justification, and figuration of remains attributed to three Iberian chelonian taxa, Testudinidae indet., Mauremys leprosa, and Emys orbicularis, the last one being recognized for the first time in this site. Thus, an update on the data concerning the chelonian record from Mealhada has been achieved, offering new justified taxonomic evidence regarding Iberian chelonian taxa distribution during the Upper Pleistocene. Furthermore, chelonian consumption amongst pre-Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer groups has been documented worldwide. Frequently a locally captured resource, archaeological turtle remains offer relevant information concerning the role that small prey has played in hominid nutritional choices. The potential presence of anthropic alterations (e.g., cutmarks) in some of the chelonian remains from Mealhada is here analysed and the human consumption hypothesis assessed

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