IAPH. Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico

Welcome 23/01/2017

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Applicant's personal data will be included in a IAPH's users file and will be treated in a confidential way as Organic Law 15/1999 sets, of personal character Data Protection. If you wish to make use of the access, rectification, cancellation and oposition rights you can go to Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico, placed in Isla de La Cartuja, Camino de los Descubrimientos s/n, 41092- SEVILLA.

Junta de Andalucía Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico Consejería de Cultura Logo del Instituto andaluz del Patrimonio histórico
Paleobiological research

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.

 


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Paleobiology and taphonomy

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.

 


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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:

  • Biostratinomy of vertebrates: Doñana Natural park and Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park are the selected areas of study to identify what differentiates a natural osseous deposit from an anthropic one.   
  • Biostratinomy of shell midden: “El Espigón” beach (Marismas del Odiel natural area, Huelva) and “La Sardina” beach (San Roque, Cádiz). The registry of shells in an archaeological site is not always due to the human consumption remains, but to the actual beach dynamics.
  • Biostratinomy of anthropic deposits. The evolution of human nourishing is linked to the evolution of the ecosystem natural resources and the introduction of new products from other cultures.
  • Some applications. These studies can not only be used to interpret fossil or semifosile deposits but also as criteria for natural area management regarding carcasses and corpses.

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Paleobiological/paleontological heritage

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.


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Documentation and Paleobiology

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.


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INSTITUTO ANDALUZ DEL PATRIMONIO HISTÓRICO

Sede Central:
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