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First data on the characterization of siliceous raw materials and the catchment areas from Cova de les Malladetes (Barx, Valencia)
Aleix Eixea  1@  , Alvaro Martínez-Alfaro, Miguel Angel Bel, Clodoaldo Roldán, Sonia Murcia, Maria Isabel Dias, Maria Isabel Prudêncio, Rosa Marques, Alfred Sanchis, Valentín Villaverde@
1 : Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social  (IPHES)  -  Site web
​Zona Educacional 4, Campus Sescelades URV (Edifici W3) 43007 Tarragona -  Espagne

The purpose of this communication is to present the preliminary results of raw materials and catchment areas from the new excavations carried out in Cova de les Malladetes. The cavity has a wide stratigraphic sequence that goes from the Aurignacian (without having reached the base) to the Neolithic period but our interest is focused on the part belonging to the Upper Palaeolithic. In relation to the raw materials used, the studies have not gone beyond simple and vague descriptions so it was necessary to study the new materials obtained and a review of the previous campaigns of the 40s and 70s. Currently, except for some case studies, investigations about siliceous resources exploited during prehistoric times in the Valencian region are still scarce and, generally, they did not employ methods which go deeply into the provenance characteristics.

Within a new program of prospections that we are carrying out in the central area of the Mediterranean Iberia, we include data from this site as well as others belonging to Upper and Middle Palaeolithic such as Cova Matutano, Cova Fosca, El Pinar, Abrigo de la Quebrada, Las Fuentes, Cova Negra, Petxina, Cova del Parpalló, Cova de les Calaveres, Cova de les Cendres or Ratlla del Bubo which also serve as a comparative framework. All of them are related to the outcrops found. To this first step of prospecting and macroscopic samples description, we add the analysis of both petrographic (petrographic microscopy and XRD) and geochemical analyses (ED-XRF and INAA).

The results show an outstanding component of local and semi-local catchment, but without forgetting the interesting presence of allochthones types that demonstrates long lithic raw material circulation and a high human mobility in the central region of Mediterranean Iberia during the Upper Palaeolithic.

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