Monday, January 28, 2013

Research Team Investigates Demise of Neanderthals in Spain

La Roca dels Bous, a Paleolithic site located near the southeastern Pyrenees of Spain, has been cited by archaeologists as a key location with Neanderthal-related remains that may shed light on the changes that may have contributed to the demise of the Neanderthals in Europe. Now, a team led by Dr. Rafael Mora of the University Autonomous of Barcelona will be returning to the site in 2013 to excavate and explore lithic assemblages, fossil bone, and other remains that may date as far back as 50,000 BP. The excavations may help research efforts focused on constructing a better understanding of the factors that may have contributed to the decline and eventual disappearance of humanity's most closely related extinct human species. 

The project, part of the European project POCTEFA, combines the efforts of the University Autonomous of Barcelona, ArchaeoBarcelona and resources from three countries -- France, Spain and Andorra -- and will employ innovative digital technology for collecting, organizing and storing data, in part through hand-held tablet devices. In this way a large body of information can be more efficiently and accurately collected and then more easily used for analysis and reporting of finds. The results should also provide a valuable reference for further study by researchers and students worldwide.  "It is the first archaeological site in Spain that has been turned into a museum exhibition with digital technology", reports the team leadership. "Using an iPad you can take an interactive tour through videos, photos and 3D applications. Furthermore, the exact location of the findings is mapped via laser triangulation to provide an unparalleled experience."[1]

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