Volumen 4. Issue 1. Year 2006.

2020-03-28T19:17:25+02:00octubre 26th, 2019|Volumen 4. Issue 1. Year 2006.|

VOLUME 4. NUMBER 1. 2006

Dissolution Behavior of Calcareous Nannoplankton and Possible Alteration of Their Assemblages.

Kyoma Takahashi-Shimase, Satoru Nakashima.


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 1. 2006 (1 issue)

In order to evaluate alteration of calcareous nannoplankton assemblages during their deposition-diagenesis, a dissolution experiment of calcareous nannoplankton from a marine sediment sample was carried out. An assemblage of calcareous nannoplankton (coccoliths) found in surface sediments taken from the Caribbean Sea was put in stirred pure water with a fixed ionic strength (0.7 mol/l KCl) at 27.5°C to trace their dissolution behaviors. Temporal changes in pH and Ca concentration during the dissolution experiment indicated that the dissolution kinetics were similar to those found in the simple calcite system. By counting numbers of different species and taxonomic groups, the apparent dissolution rates were determined for each species and taxonomic group. The obtained individual dissolution rates differ among different species and taxonomic groups up to a factor of about 9. The resulted nannoplankton assemblages after dissolution were therefore very different from the original ones. This implies that the fossil assemblage can be altered during the deposition-diagenesis by carbonate dissolution processes.

Download [Restricted Access]

The Taphonomy of the Micromammals from the Late Middle Pleistocene Site of Hoedjiespunt 1 (Cape Province, South Africa).

Thalassa Matthews, John E. Parkington, Christiane Denys.


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 1. 2006 (2 issue)

The palaeontological site of Hoedjiespunt 1 (HDP1) has been dated to the late Middle Pleistocene. The rich mammalian fauna, recovered from the site, including four hominid teeth, is believed to have been accumulated by a hyaena. Micromammals were recovered from within the same horizons as the macro fauna. Previous analyses of the micromammals from the hyaena lair did not include a taphonomic analysis, and the agent of accumulation was assumed to be the hyaena responsible for the accumulation of the larger mammals. This assumption had not, however; been verified by a taphonomic analysis of the micromammal assemblages. A taxonomic and taphonomic study was thus carried out on the HDP1 micromammals in order to identify the predator(s) or agents responsible for the micromammal accumulation, and to evaluate the suitability of the assemblage for palaeoenvironmental analysis. The general pattern of species distribution of the murids from the two main fossil-bearing horizons at Hoedjiespunt 1 suggests that the micromammals have come from the same, original assemblage. The similarity observed in the micromammal taxonomy of these horizons is echoed in the taphonomy. The digestion on prey incisors, together with the range and activity patterns of prey species, suggests that the predator responsible for the fossil accumulation was a barn owl. The assemblage may provide a brief window into the micromammal population living on the west coast, in the immediate vicinity of the site, during the late Middle Pleistocene.

Download [Restricted Access]

Middle-Range Theory in Paleolithic Archaeology: The Past and the Present.

Levent Atici


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 1. 2006 (3 issue)

Middle-range theory (MRT), as the concept of intermediate theory between observed empirical data and general theories, was first formulated by the sociologist R.K. Merton in the context of the positivist waves of the 1960s as a reaction to the doctrinaire and descriptive paradigms of previous decades. Among the first archaeologists to employ this concept was L.R. Binford, whose work was particularly influential in the subsequent development of MRT in archaeology. Understanding site formation processes and the mechanisms responsible for generating, modifying and destroying traces of the past has been equated with MRT, particularly in Paleolithic archaeology. The development of MRT has played a crucial role in the formation and elaboration of field techniques, research designs, and new methodologies and, as such, has stimulated new directions and new questions in Paleolithic archaeology. This paper elaborates the definition of middle-range theory and discusses its development and application by archaeologists. Relevant components of MRT such as ethnographic analogy, ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology, taphonomy, and uniformitarianism are addressed, and some representative case studies are presented.

Download [Restricted Access]

Volumen 4. Issue 2. Year 2006.

2020-03-28T19:17:40+02:00octubre 26th, 2019|Volumen 4. Issue 2. Year 2006.|

VOLUME 4. NUMBER 2. 2006

Evidence of High-Frequency Storm Disturbance in the Middle Devonian Arkona Shale, Southwestern Ontario.

Cameron J. Tsujita, Carlton E. Brett, Michael Topor, John Topor.


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 2. 2006 (1 issue)

The importance of storms as agents of deposition and erosion is obvious in many ancient offshore marine
successions. Indeed, storm-generated shell beds are among the most prominent small-scale features in
otherwise monotonous successions, particularly those dominated by mudstones. Shell beds are usually
interpreted as products of rare episodes of storm-generated disturbance punctuating long periods (tens, to
hundreds, to thousands of years) of quiescence, the shell beds representing storms of greatest severity.
The taphonomic attributes of shell beds in the Middle Devonian Arkona Shale (southwestern
Ontario) indicate that even “simple” shell beds can have complex histories. Shell-rich beds dominated by
well-preserved remains of small rugose corals, spiriferid brachiopods, and a variety of crinoids, are
commonly associated with pavements of shell debris reworked by earlier storms. Taphonomic dissection
of five examples, informally called the lower Arthroacantha bed, the in situ Mucrospirifer bed, the upper
Arthroacantha bed, the auloporid bed, and the Microcyclus bed, reveals a common theme; initial priming
of the seafloor by one or more storms, was followed by colonization of the primed substrate by shelly
benthic fauna which, in turn, was followed by final disturbance and burial of the faunal remains by a later
For storms to have produced multiple signatures in single shell beds of the Arkona Shale, the
frequencies of seafloor disturbance must have been very high, probably on the order of a few years.
Such frequencies are much higher than those implied by stratigraphic occurrences of conspicuous shell beds
(i.e., without considering internal features of the shell beds). This implies that individual shell beds do
not necessarily represent the most severe storms recorded in mudstone successions but can, in some
cases, merely represent the most obvious products of storm disturbance by virtue of their shell content.
Regardless of storm severity, the disturbance of a muddy seafloor lacking abundant shell material would
produce an indistinct mud-on-mud contact that would be much less likely to be noticed than a shell-rich
horizon. By the same token, both low-magnitude (but high-frequency) storms and high magnitude (but
low-frequency) storms can produce shell beds, provided that sufficient shell material is available for
reworking. Obviously, the key to the formation of shell-rich horizon is an abundance of shelly material
on the seafloor. For this, a cause other than storm deposition must be sought; in most cases, these beds
also record interludes of relative sediment starvation and increased seafloor oxygenation.
Interpretations of storm severity from storm-generated shell beds should therefore be approached with
caution and be considered in context of the faunal dynamics and depositional characteristics of a
sedimentary succession as a whole.

Download [Restricted Access]

The Taphonomy of Owl-Deposited Fish Remains and the Origin of the Homestead Cave Ichthyofauna.

Jack M. Broughton, Virginia I. Cannon, Shannon Arnold, Raymond J. Bogiatto, Kevin Dalton.


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 2. 2006 (2 issue)

We report a case of fish prey dominating the diet of modern barn owls (Tyto alba) and conduct a
descriptive taphonomic analysis on the fish remains the owls deposited. From a sample of 14 barn owl
pellets collected on the floor of a Nevada barn, we identified 3294 tui chub (Gila bicolor) bones. These
remains, derived from very small-sized fish, comprised nearly 90% of the total pellet NISP and were
characterized by relatively complete skeletal part representation, and minimal bone fragmentation and
digestive surface damage. We use this data-set, along with tui chub samples deposited by other agents,
to evaluate the origin of fish remains derived from late Quaternary deposits of Homestead Cave, located
in the northern Bonneville Basin, Utah. Quantitative comparisons of skeletal part representation and
digestive damage show that the Homestead Cave fish assemblage is statistically indistinguishable from
the owl-derived collection but different from chub samples originating from coyote (Canis latrans) scat
and human faeces. Qualitative evaluations of other agents also suggest an owl-based origin of the fauna.
Our analysis calls attention to the important role that owls can play in depositing fish in caves and
rockshelters and provides useful information to researchers interested in deciphering the taphonomic
history of fish remains recovered from these settings around the world.

Download [Restricted Access]

Success in Identification of Experimentally Fragmented Limb Bone Shafts: Implications for Estimates of Skeletal Element Abundance in Archaeofaunas.

Travis R. Pickering, Charles P. Egeland, Amy G. Schnell, Daniel L. Osborne, Jake Enk.


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 2. 2006 (3 issue)

A strong pattern of high hindlimb representation (especially tibiae) was recognized in our survey of
zooarchaeological analyses that included limb bone shafts in estimates of element abundance in
assemblages from the Old and New Worlds, from widely spread time periods and with various hominid
species that acted as bone accumulators. Inter-element differences in bone mineral density and carcass
transport behavior by hominids do not explain the pattern satisfactorily. We hypothesized that shaft
fragments of hindlimb elements (especially tibiae) might be more “intrinsically identifiable” than are
fragments from other limb bones, and constructed an experiment to test this idea. Whole limb bones
were sectioned into shaft fragments of various sizes using a bandsaw. An experienced faunal analyst
(TRP), who was uninvolved in the bone selection and preparation, was required to identify the fragments
as accurately as possible to specific skeletal element. Identification bouts were divided into 14 individual
sorts, each consisting of 24 randomly assigned specimens. Sorts were constructed to replicate an
increasing degree of communition across three stages: two “Stage I” sorts contain large specimens, four
“Stage II” sorts contain smaller specimens and eight “Stage III” sorts contain the smallest specimens.
Refitting and guessing were not allowed and fragments identified to a non-element-specific category
(i.e.: upper limb segment, humerus or femur; intermediate limb segment, radius or tibia; lower limb
segment, metacarpal or metatarsal; limb bone shaft only) were not counted as a correct identification.
Of 336 total specimens, 195 (58.0 %) were correctly identified to element. Overall, the differences in
proportions of skeletally identified fragments for all six elements are not statistically significant. This
finding seemingly falsifies the hypothesis that shaft fragments from hindlimb elements (especially
tibiae) are more intrinsically identifiable than are fragments of other limb bones. However, our study
also highlights the need for additional testing of the hypothesis since most actual archaeofaunas preserve
many more specimens with complete or nearly complete diaphyseal circumference than does our
experimental sample, which is composed entirely of specimens with preserving <50 % of their original circumferences. Our results suggest that bone specimen cross-sectional information, mostly lacking in the experimental sample but not in real archaeofaunas, is one of the most important classes of data on which accurate identification of shaft fragments are made.

Download [Restricted Access]

Volumen 4. Issue 3. Year 2006.

2020-03-28T19:17:59+02:00octubre 26th, 2019|Volumen 4. Issue 3. Year 2006.|

VOLUME 4. NUMBER 3. 2006

Taphonomic Alteration and Evolutionary Taphonomy.

Sixto R. Fernández-López


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 3. 2006 (1 issue)

Every process of taphonomic alteration implies change and modification of the affected taphonomic elements, but it does not necessarily lead to the destruction of taphonomic elements. Taphonomic alteration can be of four types: elementary, populational, taphonic and taphocladal. In order to interpret the differential preservation of fossils and fossilization mechanisms it is necessary to take in mind not only the original architecture of taphonomic elements and the environmental changes, but also the successive changes in architecture of taphonomic elements and the activities carried out by taphonomic elements, as well as the evolutionary modifications of taphons and taphoclades. This systemic and evolutionist procedure allows to explain how the representatives of some taphons or taphoclades have been able to end up being preserved outside of the limits of tolerance of the originally produced taphonomic elements.

Download [Restricted Access]

Taphonomic Characteristics of Micromammals Predated by Small Mammalian Carnivores in South Africa: Application to Fossil Accumulations.

Thalassa Matthews


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 3. 2006 (2 issue)

Micromammal (Murid, Soricid, Macroscelid and Chrysochlorid) bones and teeth may become incorporated into palaeontological and archaeological sites through the deposition of scats from small carnivores, or the regurgitated pellets of owls or diurnal birds of prey. The pellets and scats disaggregate over time leaving behind accumulations of micromammal bones and teeth. Such accumulations are frequently used in palaeoclimatic and palaeoecological research. This paper presents the results of a comparative taphonomic study of the micromammal assemblages recovered from the scats of some African species of small mammalian carnivore (including the genet (Genetta genetta), caracal (Felis caracal) and serval (Felis serval)) with the aim of investigating the digestion patterns produced by these predators in order to ascertain what taphonomic signature they are likely leave in fossil micromammal accumulations. The incisor digestion patterns from the comparative assemblages suggest that certain African small carnivores produce assemblages with 100% of teeth showing light to moderate digestion. The taphonomic signature of the caracal is compared to that of other previously researched felid species and results indicate that there is considerable variation within the Felidae. The incisor digestion patterns of the small carnivores investigated suggest that the mixing of a small carnivore assemblage from a predator such as the genet with a category 1 predator would produce a pattern of incisor digestion similar to that produced by a category 2 or category 3 predator. It is clearly important to establish the taphonomic patterns of assemblages produced by southern African small carnivore species in order to ascertain exactly what characteristics distinguish the small carnivores scat assemblages from each other, and from other categories of predator. This is turn will provide information which can be used to identify and interpret fossil micromammal assemblages which have been accumulated by more than one species of predator.

Download [Restricted Access]

Surveying for Ungulate Skeletal Remains in Mediterranean Mountainous Habitats: a Quantitative Approach and Potential Use in Population Dynamics.

Emmanuel Serrano, Jesús M. Pérez , Charles P. Egeland, Pere Bover, Luis Gállego.


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 3. 2006 (3 issue)

Our research has estimated the frequency of occurrence of bone remains from ungulates in the Mediterranean area (Sistema Bético). We sampled a total of 36 transects and found an average of 4.9 ungulate bones per transect. Despite three fairly complete carcasses collected, still bearing soft tissues, long bones from the appendicular skeleton are the most common element type. The use of this source of data within global monitoring programs of wild ungulate populations is discussed.

Download [Restricted Access]

Volumen 4. Issue 4. Year 2006.

2020-03-28T19:18:11+02:00octubre 26th, 2019|Volumen 4. Issue 4. Year 2006.|

VOLUME 4. NUMBER 4. 2006

By Ice Age Spotted Hyenas Removed, Cracked, Nibbled and Chewed Skeleton Remains of Coelodonta antiquitatis (BLUMENBACH 1799) from the Lower Weichselian (Upper Pleistocene) Freeland Prey Deposit Site Bad Wildungen-Biedensteg (Hessia, NW Germany).

Cajus G. Diedrich


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 4. 2006 (1 issue)

Eighty percent of 74 fragmentary cranial and postcranial bones of the Upper Pleistocene woolly rhinoceros Coelodonta antiquitatis (BLUMENBACH 1799) from the Lower Weichselian (65.000-90.000 BP, OIS 5, Upper Pleistocene) ice age spotted hyena open air prey deposit site Biedensteg at Bad Wildungen (Hessia, NW-Germany) exhibit crack, bite and nibbling marks. The skeletal remains represent at least five woolly rhinoceros individuals. Individual carcasses of an early adult female and a calf have been identified. Both show carcass disrupting and destruction by the hyenas in form of partly articulated bones, bone cracking, nibbling and chewing. Articulated parts of the skeletons were removed from the carcass and were stored in mud pits with other prey bones. The long bones, which are filled completely by the bone spongiosa, were generally not cracked, but are always gnawn intensively starting from the joints, while the hyenas mostly left the bone shaft intact. Such bone spongiosa was also not uncommon in hyena coprolites at the site. Typical bone destruction stages are represented. Those described in detail here include the cranium, scapula, humerus, ulna, radius, femur, tibia, pelvis but also vertebrae and costae. The woolly rhinoceros bones at the Bad Wildungen-Biedensteg freeland prey deposit site take 53% of the prey animal bones of Crocuta crocuta spelaea (Goldfuss 1823) and prove with other prey bones a mixed feeding onto all huge ice age mammals. Remains of Mammuthus antiquitatis, Bison priscus, Equus ferus przewalskii, Megaloceros giganteus, Rangifer tarandus, Ursus spelaeus and C. c. spelaea itself are included in the hyeana-modified fauna with 5-12% each showing signs of scavenging. The high percentage of the Coelodonta bones results more of the fact, that those are, such as mammoth bones, the most massive ones of ice age animals. The taphonomic comparison of C. antiquitatis carcasses and bones of Westphalian cave and freeland hyena den and prey deposit sites indicate the most important destruction impact of woolly rhinoceros carcasses by the Upper Pleistocene spotted hyena.

Download [Restricted Access]

Possible Taphonomic Bias in the Preservation of Phosphatic Macroinvertebrates in the Uppermost Maquoketa Formation (Upper Ordovician) of Northeastern Iowa (North-Central USA).

Heyo Van Iten, Michael Lichtenwalter, Juliana de Moraes Leme, Marcello Guimarães Simões.


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 4. 2006 (2 issue)

Examination of acid digestion residues can be an indispensable tool in the detection and identification of fragmentary remains of rare and/or fragile, macroinvertebrate fossils preserved in shallow shelf carbonates. We recovered submicroscopic fragments of phosphatic conulariid, Sphenothallus (Cnidaria), and ?Trematis (Linguliformea) skeletons from a slab of highly fossiliferous lime packstone from the uppermost Brainard Shale Member of the Maquoketa Formation (Richmondian, Upper Ordovician) of northeastern Iowa, USA. The bedding planes of this and four similar Brainard Member slabs (total upper bedding surface area approximately 0.38 m2) lack macrofossil specimens of these three taxa, which have never previously been reported from this rock unit. Analysis of the preservation of the abundant calcitic fossils revealed evidence of wave current action, including pervasive disarticulation of the brachiopods, echinoderms, and trilobites, and bimodal alignment of the narrowly conical Cornulites shells and elongate Eoplectodonta valves, almost all of which are also oriented convex up. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that storm wave activity on the Brainard Member sea floor fragmented originally macroscopic conulariid, Sphenothallus, and ?Trematis skeletons, making it difficult to detect these taxa at low magnifications and thus making it appear that they were absent in the original bottom community. Together with results of similar studies of other Paleozoic rock units, our investigation suggests that there is a systematic, taphonomic bias against conulariids, Sphenothallus, and linguliform (phosphatic) brachiopods in storm-influenced shelf deposits.

Download [Restricted Access]

Taphonomic analysis of Plant Remains Contained in Carnivore Scats in Andean South America.

Mariana Mondini, M. Fernanda Rodríguez.


[+info] VOLUME 4. ISSUE 4. 2006 (3 issue)

Plant remains contained in carnivore scats from Puna rockshelters in the Argentinean Andean Puna are analysed. Only 31% of the scats (n=16) contained plant remains, all of them corresponding to the Poaceae family. Most of these are leaf and culm parts, and only in one case seeds were identified, possibly also corresponding to the same family. The lack of fleshy fruit seeds suggests a different pattern of plant intake as compared to other areas, possibly just for purging here. Plant anatomical structure has suffered no damage from digestive acids but some softening, and all anatomical features are perfectly recognizable. Plants can thus then enter the fossil record in rockshelters in the region via carnivore scats, and this should be taken into account, especially as these are the same kind of plants most commonly introduced by humans in the past according to the regional archaeological record.

Download [Restricted Access]

Ir a Arriba