Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-185
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2021-185

  05 Jan 2022

05 Jan 2022

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

The use of paleoclimatic simulations to refine the environmental and chronological context of archaeological/paleontological sites

Léa Terray1, Masa Kageyama2, Emmanuelle Stoetzel3, Eslem Ben Arous3,4,5, Raphaël Cornette1, and Pascale Braconnot2 Léa Terray et al.
  • 1Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB) – UMR 7205, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, EPHE, Université des Antilles, Paris, France
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE) – UMR 8212 / Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) – UMR 8112, CEA/CNRS/UVSQ, Centre CEA-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 3Histoire Naturelle de l’Homme Préhistorique (HNHP) – UMR 7194, CNRS, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Sorbonne Université, UPVD, Musée de l'Homme, Paris, France
  • 4Pan-African Evolution Research Group (Pan-Ev), Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany
  • 5Geochronology lab, Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana, Burgos, Spain

Abstract. To reconstruct the paleoenvironmental and chronological context of archaeological/paleontological sites is a key step to understand the evolutionary history of past organisms. Commonly used method to infer paleoenvironments rely on varied proxies such as faunal assemblages and isotopes. However, those proxies often show some inconsistencies. Regarding estimated ages of stratigraphic layers, they can vary depending on the dating method used. In this paper, we tested the potential of paleoclimate simulations to address this issue and contribute to the description of the environmental and chronological context of archaeological/paleontological sites. We produced a set of paleoclimate simulations corresponding to the stratigraphy of a Late-Pleistocene Holocene site, El Harhoura 2 (Morocco), and compared the climatic sequence described by these simulations to environmental inferences made from isotopes and faunal assemblages. Our results showed that in the studied site combined US-ESR ages were much more congruent with paleoenvironmental inferences than OSL ages. In addition, climatic variations were found to be more consistent with isotopic studies than faunal assemblages, allowing us to discuss unresolved discrepancies to date. This study illustrates the strong potential of our approach to refine the paleoenvironmental and chronological context of archaeological and paleontological sites.

Léa Terray et al.

Status: open (until 02 Mar 2022)

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Léa Terray et al.

Léa Terray et al.

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To reconstruct the paleoenvironmental and chronological context of archaeo/paleontological sites is a key step to understand the evolutionary history of past organisms. Paleoenvironmental proxies often show inconsistencies and age estimations can vary depending on the method used. We show the potential of paleoclimate simulations to address those discrepancies, illustrating the strong potential of our cross-disciplinary approach to refine the context of archaeo/paleontological sites.