High-resolution Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, together with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software provide powerful new tools for the taphonomist. We have applied these techniques in our research on a massive Upper Cretaceous dinosaur bonebed in the Lance Formation in northeastern Wyoming, permitting centimeter accurate photographic reconstructions of the features of the quarry essential for taphonomic study. We can then query the resulting three dimensional mapping and answer essential taphonomic questions after returning from the field. We are able to process over two thousand specimens from a typical season’s excavation and convert the data into accurate and addressable virtual quarry maps. Using the resulting quarry maps, we can visualize the positions of every bone. The maps and photographs and data on the specimens are available on the internet so that the integrity of the taphonomic data, now in excess of sixteen thousand specimens, is assured for the future.
An Experimental Approach to Orientation Patterns in Trampling Processes and its Relevance to Site Formation Processes.
Marta Pernas-Hernández, Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo.
Keywords: TRAMPLING, ISOTROPY/ANISOTROPY, SITE FORMATION PROCESSES, ALLOCHTONY/AUTHOCHTONY, NEO-TAPHONOMY
[+info] VOLUME 14. ISSUE 1. 2016 (2 issue)
The study of orientation patterns is becoming a trend again in early Pleistocene archaeology. Anisotropy and isotropy can result from different biotic and non-biotic processes. Here an experiment was conducted in order to distinguish how trampling processes modify the orientation patterns of random bone distributions. After submitting 80 bones to the action of directional trampling, we have been able to verify the correlation between the trampling direction of trampling and the existence of anisotropy. This shows that physical and biotic processes in addition to water disturbance can generate anisotropic distributions.
Prey selection among Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers in the Northern Iberian Peninsula.
Alba García-Álvarez, Gonzalo Linares-Matas, José Yravedra Sainz de los Terreros.
Keywords: MIDDLE PALAEOLITHIC, UPPER PALAEOLITHIC, GIPUZKOA, SELECTION HUNTING RESOURCES
[+info] VOLUME 14. ISSUE 1. 2016 (3 issue)
During the last decades, archaeological research has demonstrated that hunting and primary access to animal resources have been a recurrent feature of early human behaviour. In addition to confirming this behavioural pattern, data from later Palaeolithic sites can be analysed to provide insights on the specific dynamics of human practices and how they inform subsistence strategies. Of particular interest are discussions on opportunistic versus selective hunting strategies, as well as the prey selection criteria that early human populations followed, if any, in the Palaeolithic period. We address these research questions throughout the paper, focusing on the second half of the Late Pleistocene in the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. We consider a sample of twelve archaeological and palaeontological sites from a bibliographical perspective. The results analysed suggest that the prey selection strategies adopted by Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers were influenced by a series of palaeoecological and sociocultural contexts, such as landscape, geomorphology and topography, seasonal prey mobility, and human mobility patterns. We suggest that the discussion is hindered by issues of data resolution, which can be improved through taphonomical analysis of the assemblages under consideration. Other limitations are derived from the incomplete nature of the available evidence, that are to be addressed through further future fieldwork.
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