Paleobiology comprises a series of sciences and techniques that analyse the registries of organic remains preserved throughout the time in order to reconstruct the old ecosystems and the evolution of each human group’s trophic behaviour.
Paleobiological information on the past of our ecosystems and cultures depends on the methodology used. Biology establishes the species that are part of those old ecosystems and those that humans domesticate. This information will be widened thanks to Genetics (aDNA) in the next few years, which will possibly reveal the geographic and biological origin of the currently domesticated species, whose expansion has always depended on our specie.
The Andalusian Historical Heritage Institute (IAPH) is specialised in paleophaunistic studies (also called archeozoological/zooarcheological studies), as well as taphonomic, biostratinomic and documentary studies. It often collaborates in R+D projects related to such fields.
The Andalusian Historical Heritage Institute tries to classify paleodumps as part of the archaeological historical heritage.Each of the registries studied provides information about humans’ daily life evolution since around 8,000 years ago in the south of the Iberian peninsula.
It is thanks to taphonomy that it is possible to interpret the origin and processes that buried organics (or taphocenosis) have undergone. This interpretation depends on the actualistic results from biostratinomy.
Biostratinomy is a discipline within taphonomy, that is essential to interpret paleodumps.This science studies de formation of deposits in current organisms, the results being considered to interpret the origin and preservation of old natural or anthropic dumpsites. These are some of the projects carried out by the Andalusian Historical Heritage Institute:
Both regional and national legislations consider the paleontological heritage as an integrating part of the historical and natural heritage. Therefore, the Andalusian Historical Heritage Institute promotes its protection, research and spreading working in the future Paleontological Chart of Andalusia, among others.
Paintings, sculptures, a plan or a text are sources of information on our culture ecological past, a past that helps to understand the current nourishing customs of our people and the modifications in the territories. For example, the paintings by Francisco Barrera (17th century, Museum if Fine Arts of Seville) are a good example of the products we used to eat in every season of the year. With this information we can understand some paleodumps preserved on the subsoil of our towns and cities.
Camino de los Descubrimientos, s/n. 41092 Sevilla
Tel. 955037000 | Fax 955037001
Centro de Arqueología Subacuática:
Balneario de la Palma. Duque de Nájera, 3. 11004 Cádiz.
Tel.956203394 | Fax.956203417