Martínez Pillado, Virginia

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Martínez Pillado
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Upper Pleistocene and Holocene palaeoenvironmental records in Cueva Mayor karst (Atapuerca, Spain) from different proxies: speleothem crystal fabrics, palynology, and archaeology
    (Societé Speleologica Italiana, 2014) Martínez Pillado, Virginia; Aramburu Artano, Arantza; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Ruiz Zapata, María Blanca; Gil García, M. José; Stoll, Heather; Yusta Arnal, Iñaki; Iriarte, Eneko; Carretero, José Miguel; Edwards, R. Lawrence; Cheng, Hai
    The Cueva Mayor karst system of Atapuerca, in Northern Spain, hosts a highly significant record of human occupation from the Pleistocene. The climatic context of the human activities during the Pleistocene-Holocene for this inland site has not been well constrained, since existing records of the palaeoclimatic evolution of the Northern Iberian Peninsula are from more distal coastal and high-elevation sites. In this study, we interpret the palaeoenvironmental information recorded on the petrography of a stalagmite and the pollen spectra of the Sierra de Atapuerca karst system during the last 20 kyr. The integration of both types of records has allowed us to define four palaeoenvironmental stages. During the Upper Pleistocene and until 12.8 kyr BP, the climate was cold and dry, toward the end of the interval evolving to wetter and warmer conditions. From 12.8 to 7.7 kyr BP, during the Mesolithic-Neolithic, a major erosion event in both records marks the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Around 5.9 kyr BP, the Late Neolithic, environmental conditions indicate a climatic optimum with a marked seasonality. The environmental conditions became drier from 4.2 kyr BP until the present, with a decrease in the woodlands. This aridity signal might be amplified by the impact of a more intense human agricultural activity after 3.1 kyr BP, during the Bronze Age.
  • Publication
    The red coloration of Goikoetxe Cave’s speleothems (Busturia, Spain): An indicator of paleoclimatic changes
    (Elsevier, 2020-11-20) Martínez Pillado, Virginia; Yusta Arnal, Iñaki; Iriarte, Eneko; Alvaro, A.; Ortega, N.; Aranburu, Arantza; Arsuaga, Juan Luis
    The most commonly used paleoclimatic proxies in speleothem studies are the carbon and oxygen stable isotopes and the trace elements of calcite. However, assessing the incorporation of other components, such as organic matter, may also be of interest in interpreting and reconstructing the climate during speleothem growth. In this work, the incorporation of humic and fulvic acids derived from overlying soils is proposed as the cause of the red coloration of speleothems from the Goikoetxe Cave (Busturia, Bizkaia). Through the application of petrological studies combined with X-ray fluorescence, UV luminescence, Raman spectroscopy and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis, it has been possible to correlate a variation of organic content in the overlying soils and the red coloration, being this stain a main proxy to study and reconstruct the seasonal paleoclimatic parameters during the speleothem formation.
  • Publication
    Correlación de registros paleoambientales y ocupacionales en los últimos 14 ka de Cueva Mayor en Atapuerca (Burgos, España)*
    (Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural, 2012) Martínez Pillado, Virginia; Aramburu Artano, Arantza; Yusta Arnal, Iñaki; Stoll, Heather; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Ruiz Zapata, María Blanca; Gil García, M. José; Carretero, José Miguel; Adán Álvarez, Gema; Juez, Laura; Iriarte, Eneko
    El objetivo de este trabajo es correlacionar las señales ambientales registradas en dos de los yacimientos de Cueva Mayor (Atapuerca), la Galería de Estatuas y el Portalón, durante los últimos 14 ka. Durante este intervalo, en la Galería de Estatuas predomina el desarrollo de espeleotemas, con precipitados de tipo laminar (costras) y goteo (estalagmitas). A partir de la caracterización petrológica de una de las estalagmitas se han diferenciado distintas fábricas cristalinas relacionadas con disponibilidad hídrica, saturación en carbonato, estacionalidad y ocupación de la cavidad. Por otro lado, en el yacimiento del Portalón se conoce una secuencia estratigráfi ca detrítica que se inicia en el Pleistoceno Superior y registra ocupaciones humanas holocenas, con distinto grado de intensidad. Su secuencia polínica pone de manifi esto un fuerte contraste entre los paisajes relativamente abiertos, desarrollados en el inicio de la misma, frente a un mayor desarrollo de la masa arbórea de forma progresiva, siendo más signifi cativa a lo largo del Holoceno. La correlación de ambos yacimientos (14-2 ka BP) establece cuatro intervalos paleoclimáticos bien diferenciados, con tránsitos no graduales, y un hiato de al menos 7 ka que abarca el fi nal del Pleistoceno y el Holoceno inicial (ca. 13-6 ka BP).
  • Publication
    Bacteria, guano and soot: Source assessment of organic matter preserved in black laminae in stalagmites from caves of the Sierra de Atapuerca (N Spain)
    (International Journal of Speleology, 2021) Kaal, Joeri; Martínez Pillado, Virginia; Martínez Cortizas, Antonio; Sanjurjo Sánchez, Jorge; Aranburu, Arantza; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Iriarte, Eneko
    Speleothems are a recognized source of paleoclimatic information, but their value as a source of signals from human activities in caves with an archaeological record has rarely been explored. Previous studies of speleothems in the Sierra de Atapuerca karst system (Burgos, northern Spain) revealed an important human fossil record, provided information about human activities in and around these caves, and the impacts on their natural environment. The present study reports the results of molecular characterization of dark-colored laminae from the stalagmites Ilargi (Galería de las Estatuas) and GS1, GS2, and GS3 (Galería del Silo), by pyrolysis-GC-MS (Py-GC-MS) and thermally assisted hydrolysis and methylation (THM-GC-MS). The features of the organic matter demonstrate the presence of (1) a dominant aliphatic fraction probably from in situ bacterial and ex situ plant-derived lipids, (2) black carbon (from soot and/or charcoal), (3) polysaccharides and N-rich moieties (probably from bat guano and microbial sources), and (4) a signal of terpenoid derivatives that may originate from the overlying limestone (kerogen) and extant gymnosperm resin (soils) or cyanobacteria (cave). Some plant-derived lignin may be present as well but was not identified unambiguously. It is concluded that this approach allows identifying multiple general sources of organic matter which can help understand speleothem formation processes, and evidence of soot deposition could be clearly linked to human activities.