Year 2005

Volumen 3. Number 1. Year 2005.

2019-11-19T12:52:23+02:00October 26th, 2019|Volumen 3. Number 1. Year 2005., Year 2005|

VOLUME 3. NUMBER 1. 2005

Analysis of Bone Modifications of Bubo virginianus’ Pellets from Argentina.

Gustavo Norberto Gómez


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 4. 2005 (1 issue)

Two samples of pellets belonging to Bubo virginianus were collected from two different environments in Argentina. One of them was produced by experiment using a captive individual in the County Zoo. The other sample was obtained from a wild exemplar in the province of Catamarca. Both samples were analysed together with the aim of categorising the total sample of Bubo virginianus obtained in Argentina. The main goal of the work presented here is to find the necessary tools to analyse the possible activity of predators both in the paleontological and the archaeological record in the Pampean region. The methodological procedure used was the one designed by Andrews (1990) for predators of the Northern Hemisphere. The modifications produced by the two individuals allowed the categorisation of the Bubo virginianus as a predator of Category 2. The sample was compared with the results of other species which were presented in bibliography from different parts of the world, and with the results of some species from the Pampa region, such as Tyto alba, Asio flammeus and Athene cunicularia, and especially other species from the same genus Bubo.

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The Taphonomic Relevance of the Analysis of Bovid Long Limb Bone Shaft Features and Their Application to Element Identification: Study of Bone Thickness and Morphology of the Medullary Cavity.

Rebeca Barba, Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo.


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 4. 2005 (2 issue)

Recent debates on equifinality processes involved in skeletal part analyses have shown the accuracy of MNE identification by using long limb shaft fragments. Given the taphonomic and behavioural relevance of elaborating accurate skeletal part profiles at archaeological sites, the present work will show a combined set of features used to identify elements from shaft specimens. Landmark features (already in use by several researchers) are combined with shaft thickness/shape and with new diagnostic characteristics of medullary surfaces, which enable researchers to identify most of the shaft fragments from bovid animals that can be found in archaeological assemblages.

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Bone Accumulations at Brown Hyena (Parahyaena brunnea) Den Sites in the Makgadikgadi Pans, Northern Botswana: Taphonomic, Behavioral and Palaeoecological Implications.

Rodrigo Lacruz, Glyn Maude.


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 4. 2005 (3 issue)

Bone accumulations at five brown hyena den sites representing two clans in the Makgadikgadi Pans region of northern Botswana were studied. Our intent was to assess the correlation between the taxonomic abundance at these den sites and the local faunas. Our statistical interpretation shows that such accumulations significantly correlate with the local fauna. A previously proposed criterion which suggested a carnivore representation of 20 % or more of the total Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) at hyena-accumulated assemblages is re-assessed. The use of this criterion is important to assess the involvement of hyenas as accumulating agents in bone assemblages of unknown origin. We suggest that bone accumulations created by different hyena species may not always meet the proposed criterion. This is probably because of behavioral differences between hyena species. In agreement with other studies, we observed that juvenile brown hyenas are widely represented in the accumulations and that there is a high percentage of bones showing carnivore damage. We conclude that fossil assemblages purportedly accumulated by brown hyenas do provide information about the predominant ungulate taxa in the area and thus, the overall habitats.

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The Taphonomist´s Corner: Frozen Storage.

Fabiana María Martin


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Volumen 3. Number 2-3. Year 2005.

2019-11-19T12:51:14+02:00October 26th, 2019|Volumen 3. Number 2-3. Year 2005.|

VOLUME 3. NUMBER 2-3. 2005 [Special Issue: On Archaeology and Actualism Editors: Briana Pobiner & David Braun

Special Issue. On Archaeology and Actualism Editors: Briana Pobiner & David BraunEditors: Briana Pobiner & David Braun.

Applying Actualism: Considerations for Future Research.

Briana L. Pobiner, David R. Braun.


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 2-3. 2005 (1 issue)

This paper serves as an introduction and discussion of a collection of five papers originally presented in a symposium held at the 69th meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in 2004 entitled "Applied actualism: Experimental studies of hominid activity traces". These papers primarily present actualistic studies aimed at addressing questions of hominin carcass processing activities, generally using cutmark data. They serve as a reminder of the utility and importance of actualistic studies to test hypotheses of hominin behavior using zooarchaeological and taphonomic data. We review the manner in which actualism is used in these various studies of human butchery practices to construct models to generate test implications for the archaeological record. Finally, some considerations for future actualistic work are discussed.

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The Impact of Post-Depositional Processes on Bone Surface Modification Frequencies: A Corrective Strategy and its Application to the Loiyangalani Site, Serengeti Plain, Tanzania.

Jessica C. Thompson


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 2-3. 2005 (2 issue)

The frequencies of surface modification such as percussion, cut, and tooth marks on experimental faunal assemblages are not always directly comparable to those in fossil assemblages. Extensive post-depositional modification of bone surfaces may render many of these marks unidentifiable, depressing the overall frequencies or affecting some mark classes more than others. An analysis of the fauna from an open-air Middle Stone Age site on the Loiyangalani River in the Serengeti Plain, Tanzania, illustrates this point. A coding system is presented here that allows the elimination of heavily affected fragments from analysis so that the observed mark frequencies can more closely approximate their original ones.

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The Physics of Cutmarks.

Sheridan L. Potter


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 2-3. 2005 (3 issue)

Cutmarks are the most direct evidence of faunal butchery by humans. However, the physical properties of the creation of cutmarks are currently poorly understood. Experiments to quantify the minimum amount of force required to cut through muscle tissue and to produce a visible cutmark on the surface of bone were conducted. Those force values were then correlated with the maximum amount of force exerted by a human butchering with a stone tool. By quantifying such data, archaeologists can better understand the conditions conducive to creating cutmarks. Results show: 1) less force is required to cut through soft tissue when using obsidian as opposed to chert flakes; 2) the average depth of a visible cutmark is 65-80 mm; and 3) on average males can exert a greater maximum force using both large and small stone tools than females, but both can exert forces that far exceed the minimum force requirements tested in this experiment. These results present compelling data regarding the physical processes and agents involved in the formation of a cutmark on a bone, and offer incentive for future studies to be conducted.

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Strengthening the Inferential Link Between Cutmark Frequency Data and Oldowan Hominid Behavior: Results From Modern Butchery Experiments.

Briana L. Pobiner, David R. Braun.


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 2-3. 2005 (4 issue)

Cutmark frequencies are often cited in discussions of Oldowan hominid behavior, yet their interpretation remains enigmatic. To strengthen inferences derived from cutmark data, we conducted experiments with Turkana butchers. We test two hypotheses: (1) cutmark frequency is related to the amount of meat present, and (2) cutmark frequency is related to the size of the bone/carcass being butchered. Hypothesis 1 is not supported, while hypothesis 2 is supported. We document a positive correlation between bone/carcass size and cutmark frequency. We therefore advocate treating bones/carcasses of different sizes as analytically discrete units.

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A Study of Cut Marks on Small-Sized Carcasses and its Application to the Study of Cut-Marked Bones from Small Mammals at the FLK Zinj Site.

Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo, Rebeca Barba.


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 2-3. 2005 (5 issue)

Studies of cut marks have long been the subject of controversy regarding their ability to infer hominid carcass exploitation behavior, and the interaction between hominids and carnivores. Previous studies have emphasized the usefulness of cut mark frequency and distribution to reconstruct hominid access to carcasses. Still, one pending issue is how cut mark patterns vary between different carcass sizes (small versus large). This work presents new experimental results in which cut marks on small-sized carcasses are analysed and compared to both 1) experimental samples with larger-sized animals, and 2) the FLK 22 (Zinj) Plio-Pleistocene archaeological site.

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Application of Return Rates to Large Mammal Butchery and Transport among Hunter-gatherers and its Implications for Plio-Pleistocene Hominid Carcass.

Foraging and Site Use.

Charles P. Egeland, Ryan M. Byerly.


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 2-3. 2005 (6 issue)

The butchery and bone transport behavior of Plio-Pleistocene hominids has sparked much debate among paleoanthropologists because of the implications these behaviors have for hominid site use and socio-ecology. Contemporary hunter-gatherers provide useful test cases for zooarchaeologists interested in modeling these behaviors prehistorically. Among the set of available utility indices meant to aid in predictions of carcass resource use, return rates may be the most useful, as they estimate the net gain associated with nutrient extraction. This study presents experimentally-derived post encounter return rates associated with the butchery of meat-bearing appendicular skeletal elements from Size Class 2, 3 and 4 ungulates. Combining these new data with published data on marrow extraction allows composite return rates to be calculated. This study applies these data to ethnoarchaeological reports of bone transport among Hadza (Tanzania) and Kua (Botswana) hunter-gatherers. Results indicate that return rate does not systematically correlate with appendicular bone transport among contemporary foragers, suggesting: (1) the difference between zooarchaeologically-meaningful (i.e. individual skeletal elements and element portions) and behaviorally-meaningful (i.e. articulated limb segments) units of analysis exaggerate the differential transport potentials of these skeletal elements and (2) maximizing caloric gain per unit time at the site of carcass acquisition may not be a primary goal. Return rates also do not significantly correlate with skeletal part abundances from a number of important Plio-Pleistocene sites. This in turn suggests that current return rate data are probably not comprehensive enough to adequately account for the many variables influencing transport decisions. Given these findings, we suggest that return rates may be more productively applied to questions of carcass processing instead of carcass transport. Addressing these questions requires an analytical shift from skeletal part abundances to hominid-inflicted bone damage. We therefore integrate experimental return rates with data on surface modifications from some Plio-Pleistocene assemblages and examine the implications for hominid carcass processing and site use.

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Volumen 3. Number 4. Year 2005.

2019-11-19T12:52:07+02:00October 26th, 2019|Volumen 3. Number 4. Year 2005.|

VOLUME 3. NUMBER 4. 2005

A Methodology for the Intraspecific Assessment of Heterogeneously Worn Hypsodont Teeth Using Computerized Tomography.

Justin W. Adams


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 4. 2005 (4 issue)

Computerized tomography (CT) has been used to address many diverse issues within several subfields of paleontology since its development in the 1970s. Here, an extension of CT based paleontological analysis is described that applies this technology intra-dentally in an attempt to mediate some of the difficulties posed in directly comparing hypsodont dental specimens that exhibit differing degrees of occlusal wear. As a case study, this report describes the use of CT scans to produce virtual occlusal wear on several third molar specimens of the extinct suid, Metridiochoerus andrewsi, from the Gondolin GD 2 South African Plio-Pleistocene faunal assemblage. The GD 2 assemblage has yielded a number of M. andrewsi third molar specimens, including several that exhibit only superficial occlusal wear which limits assessment of their occlusal morphologies. The resulting CT scanned teeth from the GD 2 assemblage are compared both to other more heavily worn third molar specimens from the GD 2 deposits, as well as to M. andrewsi third molar specimens from the Swartkrans Member 1 assemblage. Results indicate that once the appropriate CT slice level has been selected, individual specimens exhibiting essentially any occlusal wear stage can be directly compared to one another. The methodology described here has applications for virtually any taxonomic group with hypsodont dentitions and will provide a useful tool for more accurate specimen identifications, for assessing changes and intraspecific variation in occlusal surface morphology throughout wear, and for potentially understanding the variation, evolution and functional significance of hypsodont dental morphologies among certain taxa.

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Dragging and Scattering of Camelid Bones by Fluvial Action in the Real Grande Gorge, Province of Catamarca, Southern Argentinean Puna.

Atilio Nasti


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 4. 2005 (5 issue)

Research carried out in the southern sector of the Puna de Atacama, Argentina, enables taphonomic hypotheses concerning bone scattering and the fossil record to be tested. To that end, this study is based on bone samples from modern camelid (Lama sp.) carcasses. In the first stages of research I evaluated the role played by disarticulation and fluvial transport in relation to different skeletal elements. Subsequently, I tested the various sedimentary contexts where the bones were buried and their relative importance in the different topographic localities. In certain areas of the vega hydraulic transport power decreases in relation to certain topographic accidents and patches of vegetation that act as a retaining wall. The reduction of this form of transport produces bone sedimentation. As such, there is the possibility of elaborating certain expectations, when possible, for the formation of a future fossil record in some sectors of this environment. Without underestimating the importance of previously developed fluvial bone transport models, my research favours a model in which some skeletal parts are more affected by transport than others, allowing us to determine the existence of different patterns of bone scattering and fossil assemblage in this area. In brief, this article produces preliminary empirical evidence for fluvial transport of camelid bones in the high desert, evidence which could be used as an indicator of original conditions in environments where bones were accumulated and became fossilized.

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Taphonomic History of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Faunal Assemblage from Ortvale Klde, Georgian Republic.

Guy Bar-Oz, Daniel S. Adler.


[+info] VOLUME 3. NUMBERS 4. 2005 (6 issue)

We present the results of a detailed taphonomic and zooarchaeological study of the faunal remains from the late Middle Palaeolithic (LMP) and early Upper Palaeolithic (EUP) bone assemblage of Ortvale Klde, Georgian Republic. A series of taphonomic tests and analyses are employed to reconstruct the depositional history of the bone assemblage and investigate LMP (Neanderthal) and EUP (Modern human) hunting and subsistence strategies. We identify the maximum number of skeletal elements, document bone surface modifications, the mode of bone fragmentation, and the demographic structure of the main hunted ungulate population. The assemblage is characterized by significant density-mediated biases, yet in situ attrition and carnivore damage play a minimal role in assemblage formation. Data suggest that most bone destruction occurred during site occupation, probably in relation to marrow consumption as indicated by the mode of bone fragmentation. Caucasian tur (Capra caucasica) is the major prey species throughout the LMP and EUP, and body part representation, the absence of selective transport, and butchery marks from all stages of carcass processing suggest that Caucasian tur were subjected to extensive handling. Analysis of Caucasian tur dental eruption and wear indicates that prime-age adult individuals dominate the assemblage. The results of this study, the first zooarchaeological and taphonomic study carried out on a Palaeolithic bone assemblage from the southern Caucasus, indicates that hunting strategies and meat processing behaviors were not significantly different between Neanderthals and Modern humans.

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