Volumen 10. Issue 1. Year 2012.

2020-03-28T19:22:31+02:00octubre 26th, 2019|Volumen 10. Issue 1. Year 2012.|

VOLUME 10. NUMBER 1. 2012

Small Mammal Bone Modifications in Black- Shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus Pellets from Algeria: Implications for Archaeological Sites.

Karim Souttou, Abdessalam Manaa, Emmanuelle Stoetzel, Makhlouf Sekour, Adel Hamani, Salaheddine Doumandji, Christiane Denys.


[+info] VOLUME 10. ISSUE 1. 2012 (1 issue)

In this taphonomic study we examine bone modifications to small mammal remains in regurgitated pellets from Algerian Black-shouldered Kites, Elanus caeruleus. This is the first paper to examine the diet and taphonomic alterations of this species. It is shown here that the majority of prey remains appearing in the diet of E. caeruleus come from small mammals (93%) and that the modifications on the small mammal bones by this predator are consistent with the "strong" predator modification category (type 4-5 predator) in the schemes proposed by Andrews (1990) and used by Fernando-Jalvo and Andrews (1992). The mean percentage of bone preservation is 28% and the mean percentage of bone fragmentation is 63%. For the most common prey species, Mus spretus, digestion marks occur on 63% of the isolated incisors, 77% of the isolated molars and 90% of femurs with predominantly light to moderate grades of etching. The effects of predation and digestion on different prey species are compared and some differences in preservation are highlighted. The potential role of Black-shouldered Kites as small mammal bone accumulators must not be neglected, particularly in North-African archaeological and palaeontological sites.

Download [Restricted Access]

Flint Patina as an Aspect of “Flaked Stone Taphonomy”: A Case Study from the Loess Terrain of the Netherlands and Belgium.

Philip J. Glauberman, Robert M. Thorson.


[+info] VOLUME 10. ISSUE 1. 2012 (2 issue)

This paper describes recent research into variable patinas observed on lithic artifacts from the loessmantled region of Southern Limburg, The Netherlands and Belgian Limburg. There, patina intensity and artifact typology and technology have long been used as indicators of the relative age of surface finds. Though it is true that Neolithic and later flint surface finds never possess the intensity of patina observed on Paleolithic artifacts, this study indicates that sub-aerial exposure likely plays a marginal role in flint patination. Rather, type and degree of patina development appear more closely related to depositional context. We consider data from local surface sites, inferences about the geochemical influence of plant roots, humic acids, soil pH, temperature, and site aspect; and microscopic analysis of thin sections produced from a small sample of artifacts. Finally, we propose a simple model of the flint patination process based on empirical and experimental research on glass hydration. This is a preliminary, conceptual study aimed at developing a working protocol for more extensive flaked stone taphonomy research. Excavations, lithic artifact assemblage analyses, and geochemical studies are currently ongoing, and continue to build on the results of this preliminary research.

Download [Restricted Access]

Much More Than It Was Expected: Preservational Differences of Diaphysis and Epiphyseal Ends of Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) Long Bones in Southern Patagonia (Argentina).

Juan Bautista Belardi, Diego Rindel, Tirso Bourlot.


[+info] VOLUME 10. ISSUE 1. 2012 (3 issue)

In archeofaunal assemblages from different parts of the world there is a predominance of diaphysis over articular ends. This differential proportion of diaphysis over epiphysis also characterizes a considerable proportion of the faunal samples from Patagonia, especially those from caves and rockshelters. However, the assemblages recovered from open-air contexts in south Patagonia shows an inverse pattern: a predominance of the epiphysis over the diaphysis of guanaco (Lama guanicoe) long bones, contrary to the expectations derived from their respective bone mineral density (BMD) values. The archeofaunal information obtained from six open-air sites is presented and the pattern is evaluated and compared considering the diaphyseal and epiphyseal long bone structure, the densitometric values obtained by Stahl (1999) for South American camelids, the environmental characteristics related with the substrates (lacustrine clay and sand dunes) of the sites and the regional taphonomic information. It is proposed that in dynamic environments such as those here considered, the observed pattern is related to weathering/abrasion, acting differentially on the types and position of the tissues that form the diaphysis and epiphysis. When the diaphysis begins to open and fragment the fracture stops in the epiphysis. Such process would be accelerated in cultural contexts as a result of obtaining nutrients from long bones -considered of low processing cost (sensu Marean & Cleghorn, 2003)- and blanks for artifacts, causes bone to be fractured. Besides, the lack of large carnivores in Patagonia is another important factor that would affect the differential representation on epiphysis over diaphysis. Similar results obtained on different substrates can sustain the expression of the pattern on a regional scale while indicating that it corresponds to openair site contexts in general. Thus, the correlation between present elements and BMD would result in a partial tool to evaluate the integrity of archaeofaunas from Southern Patagonia open-air sites.

Download [Restricted Access]

The Taphonomist´s Corner: Organically preserved fossil soft tissues: a substrate for modern microorganisms.

Maria McNamara


Download [Restricted Access]

Volumen 10. Issue 2. Year 2012.

2020-03-28T19:22:55+02:00octubre 26th, 2019|Volumen 10. Issue 2. Year 2012.|

VOLUME 10. NUMBER 2. 2012

Can Colour Be Used as a Proxy for Paleoenvironmental Reconstructions Based on Archaeological Bones? El Harhoura 2 (Morocco) Case Study.

Yannicke Dauphin, Roland Nespoulet, Emmanuelle Stoetzel, Mohamed Abdeljalil el Hajraoui, Christiane Denys.


[+info] VOLUME 10. ISSUE 2. 2012 (1 issue)

The El Harhoura 2 cave (Temara region, Morocco) has yielded abundant micromammal remains. Eleven sedimentary layers have been identified in the Late Pleistocene-Middle Holocene series. Rodent bones show various colours from white to black. Conodont colour alteration index is a widely used technique for assessing maturation and diagenesis. Despite fossil and archaeological bones may be black due to mineral staining (manganese) or burning, a similar index does not exist. We perform colour measurements in the visible light of the external surface of archaeological Meriones bones. Specific wavelengths were then selected for multivariate statistical analyses to try to characterize and differentiate the sedimentary layers. In this preliminary study, the origin of the colour is not yet known, despite some spots are Mn deposits. In the future, we hope that colour measurement, a non destructive analysis, will be used as a taphonomic index to estimate the state of preservation and history of fossil and archaeological sites.

Download [Restricted Access]

Recent Indian Porcupine (Hystrix indica) Burrows and their Impact on Ancient Faunal and Human Remains: A Case Study from Tel Zahara (Israel).

Liora Kolska Horwitz, Susan L. Cohen, Wieslaw Wi?ckowski, Henk K. Mienis, Jill Baker, Emilia Jastrzebska.


[+info] VOLUME 10. ISSUE 2. 2012 (2 issue)

It has long been known that porcupines accumulate and modify bones, but few actualistic studies on the contents of porcupine burrows have been undertaken. Here we present the results of an investigation of recent Indian porcupine (Hystrix indica) burrows that riddle the archaeological site of Tel Zahara (Israel). Faunal remains were recovered from the den entrances and inside a burrow system that we excavated. Bones exhibiting typical porcupine gnaw-damage i.e., flat-bottomed parallel grooves, were recovered from all dens, but no clear porcupine damage was evident on human osteological remains that were encountered by the porcupines during excavation of their dens. The surface patina of many of the bones is dark, signifying long-term burial, and is probably indicative of their archaeological origin. Porcupine gnawed areas on these bones are lighter in colour and so post-date the patina. Compared to the Roman period deposits on the tel, the den assemblage contains significantly higher numbers of wild taxa, a lower proportion of large-sized taxa, but a similar proportion of bones of medium-sized taxa, suggesting preferential selection of smaller-sized bones. Both tel and den deposits comprise similar frequencies of burnt bones and body part breakdowns are alike. As expected, higher frequencies of rodent and carnivore gnawed bones were found in the den samples. The results suggest that the porcupine burrow sample is a selected sub-set of the Roman faunal assemblage from the tel. This study has led us to conclude that the Indian porcupine plays a significant role as an agent of bioturbation of archaeological sediments and also as a collector and modifier of bones.

Download [Restricted Access]

With Only One Flake. An Experiment About the Possibilities of Processing a Carcass with Flint during Hunting.

Santiago David Domínguez-Solera.


[+info] VOLUME 10. ISSUE 2. 2012 (3 issue)

Inspired on the present Inuit hunting techniques, a small experiment was designed to estimate the extent of butchery that could be carried out with only one flint flake in the process of preparing a female fallow deer (Dama dama) for transportation. The results are useful to understand the potential and economy of flint flakes in prehistoric times.

Download [Restricted Access]

The Taphonomist´s Corner: Out-of-water shells.

Juan Carlos Braga


Download [Restricted Access]

Ir a Arriba