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Rodríguez-Hidalgo A, Morales JI, Cebriá A, Courtenay LA, Fernández-Marchena JL, García-Argudo GG, Marín J, Saladié P, Soto M, Tejero J, Fullola J.2019. The châtelperronian Neandertals of Cova Foradada (Calafell, Spain) used Iberian imperial eagle phalanges for symbolic purposes. PeerJ Preprints7:e27133v2https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.27133v2
Evidence for the symbolic behavior of Neandertals in the use of personal ornaments is relatively scarce. Eagle talons, which were presumably used as pendants, stand out due to their abundance. This phenomenon seems to appear concentrated in a specific area of Southwestern Europe during a span of ca. 80 Ka. Here we present the analysis of one eagle pedal phalange recovered from the Châtelperronian layer of Foradada Cave (Spain). Our research broadens the known geographical and temporal range of this aspect of Neandertal symbolic behavior, by providing the first documentation of its use among Neandertals in Iberia, as well as of its oldest use in the peninsula. The recurrent appearance of large raptor talons throughout the Neandertal timeframe, including their presence among the last Neandertal populations, raises the question of the survival of some cultural elements of the Middle Paleolithic into the transitional Middle to Upper Paleolithic assemblages.
Some changes, corrections and modifications have been included after discussion of our colleagues and reviewers, but the text, methods and conclusions are basically the same presented in the first version.