In search of the 'broad spectrum revolution' : human-animal relationships at the Pleistocene Holocene transition in southern Europe
Can evidence of the so-called 'Broad Spectrum Revolution' be found across southern Europe at the end of the Pleistocene and the early Postglacial? If so, what is its significance? Archaeozoological material from four cave and rock shelter sites on the Mediterranean peninsulae was examined to test the evidence for change or continuity of diet over this important period. The sites are Theopetra, in Greece, Mondeval de Sora and Riparo Tagliente, in Italy, and Gruta do Caldeirao, in Portugal, all of which have evidence for late Upper Palaeolithic and/or early Mesolithic occupations by human groups. In addition to these case studies, the sites were put into context using the literature for other important sites in these regions. The conclusion is that there is considerable inter-site variability and indeed intra-site continuity of diet over the transitionary period, and that 'revolution' is a far too loaded term for what actually appears to have occurred.