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Letters to Nature
Nature 332, 68 - 70 (03 March 1988); doi:10.1038/332068a0

Uranium-series dating of the Mousterian occupation at Abric Romani, Spain

J. L. Bischoff*, R. Julia & R. Mora

*U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA
Institute de Geologia Jaime Almera, Marti i Franqués, Barcelona 08028, Spain
Museu d'Historia de la Ciutat, Carrer de la Força, Gerona 17004, Spain

The precise evolutionary position of the Neanderthal people con-tinues to be a major uncertainty in human evolution. Their origin and their relationship to anatomically modern people are unclear and are clouded by poor chronology. Lithic artefacts of' the Mousterian type, found throughout Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, are believed to be the tool kit of the Neanderthals, but dates within Mousterian-bearing deposits are extremely rare. We report here on 20 high-quality uranium-series dates from Mousterian beds at Abric Romani, a rock shelter near Barcelona, Spain. The dates range from 39 to 60 kyr before present (BP) in an orderly stratigraphic succession and provide precise chronological control on an important Mousterian archaeological site.

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