The ‘Clisurean’ finds from Climente II cave, Iron Gates, Romania

Clive Bonsall, Adina Boroneanţ, Anna Evatt, Andrei Soficaru, Cristina Nica, László Bartosiewicz, Gordon Thomas Cook, Thomas F.G. Higham, Catriona Pickard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract Climente II cave, Iron Gates, Romania was excavated in 1968–9. Human remains were recovered from contexts identified as ‘Clisurean’ (Final Epigravettian), along with ca 6000 chipped stone artifacts, bone tools including awls, arrowheads and a fragment of a harpoon, and shell and animal tooth ornaments. This article presents a re-evaluation of the archaeological finds from Climente II. Osteological analysis of the human remains confirms at least three individuals: a robust, young adult male aged between 18 and 28 years, a second (older) adult, and a neonate. Single-entity 14C dating of human bone and humanly modified animal bones suggests the Clisurean occupation occurred during the Bølling–Allerød warm period. Carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope analyses highlight the importance of fish in human diet at Climente II. Comparison of the Climente II archaeological inventory with that from later, fisher-hunter-gatherer settlements in the Iron Gates indicates continuity of mortuary ritual, lithic tradition and subsistence practices from the Lateglacial into the Early Holocene.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuaternary International
Early online date22 Jan 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2016


  • Climente II
  • Iron Gates
  • Clisurean
  • Final Epigravettian
  • Burial
  • Paleodiet


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