In this essay, I describe two major Upper Paleolithic sites and compare them to one another. Specifically, this essay focuses on Franchthi Cave in Greece and El Miron in Spain.
Upper Paleolithic Climatic Conditions
El Miron’s cave site is situated in the Rio Ason Valley of Cantabria, Spain. Its opening stretches to approximately 260 meters above sea level and the opening is about 13 meters high with a depth of about 120 meters. During the upper Paleolithic period, El Miron has a full glacial climate (Straus et al 423). The existence of such condition is evident in the presence of black powder in charcoal found in the area. The black powder is usually the one that causes the greatest spark (Straus et al 418). Climatic condition on the Franchthi Cave experienced massive variations. During the Paleolithic period, the climate in the area appeared to be markedly drier and cooler and vegetation was bare in the neighborhood area (“Franchthi Cave and the Beginning of Settled Village Life in Greece” 305).
Cultural Divisions of the Upper Paleolithic
In El Miron, remains discovered a series of cultural occupations of the early Upper Paleolithic, Magdalenian, Mesolithic, and Bronze Age. All these were found through coherent radiocarbon determinations. In Franchthi Cave, there remain traces of early Holocene cultures. It was also discovered that the Franchthi Cave served as a place for mortuary rituals. Inhabitants were mostly hunters.
Technological Advances of the Upper Paleolithic
Technology during the Upper Paleolithic was made up of series of innovations. Lithic technology transitioned during those periods. The trend was geared towards increasing the effectiveness of producing stone tool and the development of the new blade technology. A number of events during the prehistory of human confronted the break-through in technology inherent in the production of prismatic blades. Techniques including Levallois Core and the Disk Core helped enhance production efficiency.
Human Artistic Achievements
In El Miron, there were dense deposits of stones, bone tools, and animal bones, fire cracked rock, and ochre. Animal bones signified the Magdalenenia including fish bones, red deer, and ibex. There were also perforated shell beads and portable art. In Franchthi Cave, shells of Cyclope neritea, Dentalium, and Homolopoma Sanguineum were recovered from all levels of the Upper Paleolithic period. During the Upper Paleolithic time, the beginnings of extensive fishing and communal hunting developed. The first evidence of magic and supernatural belief systems also flourished. The first shelters made by mad known as pit houses were made. Clothing was sewn and painting and sculpture originated. Tools such as projectile points, obsidian blades, and flints also thrived. The Aurignacian culture went to Europe and developed distinctive culture. The stones they made were of eight-shaped blade. They made use of horn, bone, and ivory and created personal ornaments and necklaces. Weapons were varied and refined and harpoons and sheet boats developed.
Technology is the method of applying knowledge or science to industry and commerce. Various fields of science have long acquired advantages from technology. The thing that differentiates intelligent life is its capacity to find answers to problems. From the time the first stone tools was used during the Paleolithic Era, people have been devising ways on how to come up with innovative and highly inventive techniques to enhance the standards of living. Both El-Miron Cave and Franchthi Cave exhibited massive improvements in their domain. Franchthi Cave, however, was not as greatly developed as El-Miron Cave. Both Upper Paleolithic sites experienced the same climatic fluctuations. El-Miron was more into hunting and fishing while Franchthi was focused on vegetations. El-Miron and Franchthi had shells which they used as ornaments. But what is most distinct is the use of El Miron of different bones of animals as well as shell beads to form their art masterpieces. Franchthi also made use of shells to generate its own work of art.
Definition of Terms
Bands are small nomadic groups. These groups were made up of twenty-five to a hundred members. These bands were also consisting of small families. Bands may group together to form larger bands. They were known as macrobands. Merging usually happens when two people unite as mates or whenever there were celebrations or each group has rich resources.
2. Absolute Chronology
Absolute chronology determines the events or age in years. The arrangement of dates and events are arranged in chronological order.
Pleistocene is a word introduced by Charles Lyell in 1839 to depict strata in the city of Sicily that had approximately 70% of their Molluscan fauna. The Pleistocene period is marked by human geographic development as well as cultural expansion. There were glacial events and series of climatic fluctuations.
4. A Cave Art
During the Paleolithic age, cave paintings demonstrated the capacity of humans to communicate with other people and their ability to provide meaning to their environment. Among the famous cave art during the Paleolithic era includes humans, animals, and abstract designs.
'Cave Paintings - The Paleolithic Period'. Boundless (2014): n. pag. Web. 13 Jun. 2014.
Jacobsen, Thomas W. 'Franchthi Cave And The Beginning Of Settled Village Life In Greece'. Hesperia(1981): 303--319. Print.
Straus, Lawrence Guy et al. 'The Human Occupations Of El Miron Cave During The Last Glacial Maximum Or Solutrean Period'. Espacio, Tiempo y Forma 1 (2013): 418 and 423. Print.