This really isn't much more than a big tease, but here's the download link anyway: UISPP Burgos 2014 abstracts book. The conference website is here. I'd like to see the following papers online ASAP:
THE UNUSUAL HUMAN CONSUMPTION OF EQUIDS FROM THE EARLY BRONZE AGE OF THE EL PORTALÓN SITE (SIERRA DE ATAPUERCA, BURGOS, SPAIN)
Galindo-Pellicena et al., page 54
The horse has played an important role in the prehistoric societies along the time. During the Paleolithic the horse was frequently hunted and consumed by man. In the Iberian Peninsula, the horse was a common element at the end of the Late Pleistocene, after which there was a long period during the Early Holocene when sites containing horse remains were very rare. It was not until the Chalcolithic or Bell Beaker culture when more equine remains were found in certain regions. The horse was exploited for various reasons in the Iberian Peninsula during the Bronze Age. In some cases, horses were used for their meat. They were also used as pack or draft animals, and only after they fulfilled this purpose, were eventually consumed. Another possible purpose of horse exploitation could be to obtain milk. Nonetheless, no evidence has been found at any site in Iberia that indicates mare’s milk consumption.
Lastly, during the Bronze Age, horses could have been considered goods that represented prestige. The possession and consumption of horses could have served to distinguish between different social classes living in settlements in that period. This is difficult to verify with the zooarchaeological record. In this study, an exceptional consumption of horse remains in Early Bronze Age is documented. These remains were discovered during the sixth excavation campaign of the El Portalón site directed by J. M. Apellániz in 1979. The material consists of 103 bones and teeth, belonging to a minimum number of six individuals of Equus sp., recovered in a thin stratigraphic interval (around 70 centimeters) and a 2 m2 of area (called Horse stratigraphic unit: HSU). It is dated c. 2000 yr cal B.C. The mortality profile (three of the six individuals were slaughtered before reaching four years of age), butchery marks (on 27.18% of the bone remains), thermal alteration and the percussion marks suggest horse meat as an important resource for the inhabitants from the Bronze Age of El Portalón. This is unusual among other Iberian sites where ovicaprines, bovids and suids provide the majority of the meat. The high percentage of equid remains identified in the HSU (43% of total NISP) makes this place one of few Holocene Iberian sites (with Cerro de La Encinaand the phase III of Pic del Corbs) where the horse is the most abundant species.
The mentioned evidences and the low representation of the equid remains in the other levels of the whole site’s stratigraphic sequence bring forward the exceptional character of equid consumption represented in this site, and, together with other contextual evidences, suggest that this accumulation of horse remains could be the result of a feast.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST? NEW ANCIENT DNA DATA FROM PREHISTORIC IBERIA
Roth et al., page 980
Ancient DNA studies focusing on the Iberian Peninsula have mainly investigated the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in few areas due to the limited data available. Within a comprehensive international project founded by the German Research Foundation, we genetically analysed more than 300 Mesolithic to Early Bronze Age individuals from the Iberian Peninsula. Altogether, mitochondrial results of 250 individuals could be successfully reproduced.
Together with published data from the Iberian Peninsula, results were pooled into 19 groups of different chronological and regional context all over the research area. We applied several statistical methods to reveal continuities and discontinuities among populations on chronological as well as spatial level and will here present the results for the first time.
CHALCOLITHIC MITOCHONDRIAL DNA DIVERSITY IN IBERIAN HORSES FROM EL PORTALÓN SITE (ATAPUERCA, BURGOS): INSIGHTS INTO HORSE DOMESTICATION
Lira et al., page 1013
Horse domestication was a complex process with a principal episode in the Eurasian steppes around 5.000 years BP, enriched with recurrent introgression events from local wild populations through Eurasia. Archaeological studies as well as genetic analyses with modern samples have pinpointed the Iberian Peninsula as an important area involved in the horse domestication process. Mitochondrial DNA analyses with horse ancient remains have supported this hypothesis. In this context, a Bronze Age sample sequences from El Portalón site (sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos), showed the significance of a specific maternal lineage among others, a lineage currently found exclusively on Iberian horse populations and horses from Iberian origin.
With the aim to know in detail the presence and diversity of this Iberian lineage in Iberian Peninsula in earlier times, in this study we analyse the mitochondrial DNA from 22 Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age horse remains recovered from El Portalón site. Furthermore, we study their relationships with the 19 Iberian Bronze Age Portalón samples previously published, and the persistence of their maternal lineages in the Iberian populations through the time.
TRACING THE GENETIC HISTORY OF FARMING POPULATIONS OF EL PORTALÓN CAVE IN THE SIERRA DE ATAPUERCA, SPAIN
Valdiosera et al., page 1016
One of the most important and influential changes in human behaviour has been the change from small hunter-gathering/fishing bands to sedentary agrarian societies. This transition is generally characterised by the contrast between the two subsistence strategies and the accompanying cultural, technological and behavioural changes that occurred, and can be generalised (in Eurasia) as the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. One of the characteristic features of this transition is how quickly the agrarian lifestyle spread and its impact on the demographic patterns of Europe; however, the nature of how it was spread remains open to debate. Ancient genomics applied to human skeletal remains from well-dated contexts allow us a precise understanding of population origins, genetic variation, migrations and admixture and comparisons between populations over time. Previous studies have shown close relationships between early Scandinavian and modern-day southern Europeans, as well as strong differences between hunter-gatherers and early farmers. However, with migration routes from the south and the modern mitochondrial DNA composition on the Iberian peninsula, the population history of southwestern Europe appears to have been different.
We sampled bone remains corresponding to 10 individuals excavated from El Portalón Cave. Radiocarbon dates were obtained for each sample. DNA was isolated using a conventional silica-based extraction method. DNA extracts were further converted into multiplexing illumina libraries and shotgun sequenced on a HiSeq platform.
Five of the 10 individuals analysed have not yielded sufficient coverage for genomic analysis. We present low coverage genomic sequences (average depth between 0.2 and 1%) of five early Iberian farmers dated to between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, from El Portalón. These individuals display a similar pattern to that observed for central and northern European farmers and all show genetic similarities to modern-day southern Europeans, particularly to Sardinians, in contrast to the recently published 7,000 year old hunter-gatherer from near-by La Brana in Spain.
Our results are important to uncover the genetic origin of farming populations in the Iberian peninsula as well as the impact on demographic patterns. Moreover, these results will contribute to the clarification of the complete demographic picture of the neolithisation in Europe. This is an on-going study and we are currently increasing genome coverage and sample numbers to obtain a higher resolution of the patterns observed.