El Patrimonio Paleobiológico de Orce

Bienvenido Martínez Navarro


Here we show the paleobiological heritage (including the archaeological one) of the Orce region, in the Guadix-Baza Basin, which is known in the scientific literature as the "Spanish Olduvai", and it is the most abundant and best preserved of the European continent related to the earliest Quaternary. It is described the paleontological site of Venta Micena (~1.5 Ma), and the archaeo-paleontological sites of Fuente Nueva 3 and Barranco León, where it is recorded the earliest evidences with human presence in western Europe, dated 1.3-1.4 Ma. This heritage is unfortunately little known by the great public, and it is necessary to begin to use the new techniques of virtual palaeontology and archaeology with aim to spread and put it in value.


Paleontology; Paleobiology; Orce; Quaternary; Scientific spreading

Full Text:



DUVAL, M. (2008): Evaluation du potentiel de la méthode de la datation par Résonance de Spin Electronique (ESR) appliquée aux gisements du Pléistocène inférieur: étude des gisements d’Orce (bassin de Guadix-Baza, Espagne) et contribution à la connaissance des premiers peuplements de l’Europe. Ph. D. Dissertation, Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Paris.

GIBERT, J., AGUSTÍ, J., MOYÀ-SOLÀ, S. (1983): Presencia de Homo sp. en el yacimiento Venta Micena. Paleont.Evolucio´, Publicacio´n Especial, pp. 1-12.

JIMÉNEZ-ARENAS, J. M., SANTONJA, M., BOTELLA, M., PALMQVIST, P. (2011): “The oldest handaxes in Europe: fact or artefact?”, en Journal of Human Evolution vol. 38, pp. 3340-3349. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2011.07.020

MARTÍNEZ-NAVARRO, B. (2002): “The skull of Orce: parietal bones or frontal bones?”, Journal of Human Evolution 42, pp. 265-270. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jhev.2002.0566

MARTÍNEZ-NAVARRO, B., AGUSTÍ, J., TORO, I., PALMQVIST, P. (2011): “The Quaternary of southern Spain: A bridge between Africa and the Alpine domain”. Quaternary International vol. 243, pp. 1-2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2011.05.046

MARTÍNEZ-NAVARRO, B., PALMQVIST, P. (1995): Presence of the African Machairodont Megantereon whitei (Broom, 1937) (Felidae, Carnivora, Mammalia) in the Lower Pleistocene Site of Venta Micena (Orce, Granada, Spain), with some Considerations on the Origin, Evolution and Dispersal of the Genus. Journal of Archaeological Science 22, pp. 569-582. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jasc.1994.0054

MARTÍNEZ-NAVARRO, B., ROOK, L. (2003): Gradual evolution in the African hunting dog lineage. Systematic implications. C. R. Paleovol 2, pp. 695-702. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crpv.2003.06.002

MARTÍNEZ-NAVARRO, B., TURQ, A., AGUSTÍ, J., OMS, O. (1997): “Fuente Nueva-3 (Orce, Granada, Spain) and the first human occupation of Europe”. Journal of Human Evolution vol. 33, pp. 611-620. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/jhev.1997.0158

OMS, O., PARÉS, J.Mª., MARTÍNEZ-NAVARRO, B., AGUSTÍ, J., TORO, I., MARTÍNEZ-FERNÁNDEZ, G. Y TURQ, A. (2000): Early human occupation of Western Europe: paleomagnetic dates for two paleolithic sites in Spain. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 97, pp. 10666-10670. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.180319797

PALMQVIST, P., ARRIBAS, A., MARTÍNEZ-NAVARRO, B. (1999): “Ecomorphological study of large canids from the lower Pleistocene of southeastern Spain”. Lethaia nº 32, pp. 75-88 . http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1502-3931.1999.tb00583.x

PALMQVIST, P. MARTÍNEZ-NAVARRO, B., PÉREZ-CLAROS, J. A., TORREGROSA, V., FIGUEIRIDO, B., JIMÉNEZARENAS, J. M., ESPIGARES, M. P., ROS-MONTOYA, S., DE RENZI, M. (2011): “The giant hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris: Modelling the bone-cracking behavior of an extinct carnivore”. Quaternary International vol. 243, pp. 61-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2010.12.035

PALMQVIST, P., TORREGROSA, V., PÉREZ-CLAROS, J. A., MARTÍNEZ-NAVARRO, B., TURNER, A. (2007): “A re-evaluation of the diversity of Megantereon (Mammalia, Carnivora, Machairodontinae) and the problem of species identification in extinct carnivores”. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology vol. 27, pp. 160-175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1671/0272-4634(2007)27[160:AROTDO]2.0.CO;2

Abstract Views

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License

This journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Universitat Politècnica de València

Official journal of Spanish Society of Virtual Archaeology

e-ISSN: 1989-9947   https://dx.doi.org/10.4995/var