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.

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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.

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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.

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

Maria McNamara


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Volumen 11. Issue 1. Year 2013.

2020-03-28T19:23:28+02:00octubre 26th, 2019|Volumen 11. Issue 1. Year 2013.|

VOLUME 11. NUMBER 1. 2013

Neotaphonomic Analysis of the Feeding Behaviors and Modification Marks Produced by North American Carnivores.

Chrissina C. Burke.


[+info] VOLUME 11. ISSUE 1. 2013 (1 issue)

Tooth marks and bone-breakage caused by carnivores have been important topics of research in African neotaphonomy, but North American research has typically been limited to the effects of wolves. This paper presents the results of actualistic feeding experiments with North American wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, grizzly bears, and black bears which were fed articulated limb elements of cattle and sheep. This research illustrates that important differences in feeding behaviors exist between carnivore families. Wolves and coyotes gnaw at soft tissue on bones with their posterior dentition and utilize their paws frequently to hold down limbs for leverage when pulling tissue away. Mountain lions and bobcats do not utilize their paws for leverage to remove flesh and instead gnaw on the entire limb with all their teeth in unison. Black bears employ their paws to hold, grasp, and manipulate the limb to gnaw away at soft tissue with their incisors, and grizzly bears leave impressive furrowing marks on the proximal and distal ends of limb elements. A clear understanding of how each taxon of carnivore uses its dentition and jaws to create bone modification is necessary for distinguishing taxon-specific taphonomic patterns in North American archaeological assemblages.

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Biofabric Analysis of Palaeocave Deposits.

Dominic J. Stratford


[+info] VOLUME 11. ISSUE 1. 2013 (2 issue)

This paper reviews the use of faunal remains as fabric indicators in fossil-bearing cave deposits. Faunal remains, once deposited underground, conform to colluvial slope particle dynamics and develop recognisable fabric patterns. Assessment of fabric patterns has been shown to be a powerful tool for deciphering depositional processes. The hominid-bearing cave deposits of the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa have yielded some of the most important hominid fossils yet discovered, but are renowned for their stratigraphic complexity. In these contexts, faunal remains have primarily been used in more conventional taxonomic and taphonomic analyses. In addition to their potential for ex situ analysis, faunal remains can represent a valuable component for in situ analysis where natural clasts are unsuitable as fabric indicators. This paper presents the first application of biofabric analysis to the plio-pleistocene palaeocave deposits of the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. Data from two depositionally distinct deposits found in one of the deeper, more stratigraphically complex areas of the Sterkfontein Caves are presented. Detailed analysis of the biofabric, applied during stratigraphically sensitive excavations, is shown to help determine depositional processes, identify probable source deposits and slope formation dynamics, and assess underlying receptacle morphology. This in situ analysis is a simple yet useful tool for increasing stratigraphic resolution in these complex and challenging depositional environments.

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Shape and Distribution of Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) Scavenging Marks on a Bovine Skull.

Rafal A. Fetner, Arkadiusz Soltysiak.


[+info] VOLUME 11. ISSUE 1. 2013 (3 issue)

During a three week long experiment, a male bovine head was scavenged by an adult Griffon vulture. Twenty five linear scavenging marks were identified on the defleshed cranium and mandible, ranging in length from 2 to 31 mm with an average of 9.02 mm. Based on the experimental observations, the following criteria may be used for diagnosis of vulture scavenging marks: a _/ cross-sectional shape, tapered width, a tendency toward clustering into parallel sets of 2-4 lines, and the presence of V- or L-shaped double lines. Although reliable identification of a single line as a vulture scavenging mark is impossible, a number of features meeting these criteria may allow for a more confident diagnosis. Scavenging lines appear significantly longer on more exposed areas of the cranium, such as the frontal bone in this experiment, and shorter on less accessible areas, such as the mandible.

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The Taphonomist´s Corner: Exceptional fossilization in Marbles.

Casto Laborda López, Julio Aguirre.


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