PALEOLITHIC

Volumen 10. Number 1. Year 2012.

2019-11-06T22:58:59+02:00October 26th, 2019|Volumen 10. Number 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.

Keywords: NEOTAPHONOMY, REGURGITATION PELLETS, NORTH AFRICA, DIURNAL RAPTOR

[+info] VOLUME 10. NUMBERS 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.

Keywords: STONE TOOLS, ARTIFACT TAPHONOMY, FLAKED STONE TAPHONOMY, CHERT, FLINT, PATINA, PALEOLITHIC, THIN SECTIONS

[+info] VOLUME 10. NUMBERS 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.

Keywords: SOUTHERN PATAGONIA, DIAPHYSIS/EPHYFISIS, OPEN-AIR SITES, BONE MINERAL DENSITY, WEATHERING/ABRASION

[+info] VOLUME 10. NUMBERS 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

Keywords

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Volumen 12. Number 1. Year 2014.

2019-11-06T23:04:03+02:00October 26th, 2019|Volumen 12. Number 1. Year 2014.|

VOLUME 12. NUMBERS 1. 2014

Arctic Wolf and Spotted Hyena Gnawing Damage on an Experimental Faunal Assemblage.

Alexander Nascou, Eugène Morin.

Keywords: CARNIVORE TAPHONOMY, HYENAS, WOLVES, EXPERIMENT, TOOTH MARKS, PALEOLITHIC

[+info] VOLUME 12. NUMBERS 1. 2014 (1 issue)

Humans compete with carnivores for animal resources. As a result of this competition and because carcasses can be used sequentially by different classes of predators, it is often difficult to identify the agent of accumulation in archaeological settings. If efficiency in feeding behaviour has been selected for, it may be possible to use such behavioural predispositions to predict the manner in which a faunal assemblage will be modified. To assess this problem, we performed a series of feeding experiments with captive arctic wolves and spotted hyenas. Our results suggest that these species produce predictable patterns of gnawing damage on skeletal elements when key variables are manipulated, including prey body size and the presence of intact marrow cavities. Patterns of gnawing damage also appear to be associated with bone density, developmental age, and the amount of adhering flesh. The effect of these factors also appears to vary between carnivore species. Further understanding of carnivore ecology and behaviour will be useful to archaeozoologists and palaeontologists who are faced with complex site formation processes involving multiple agents.

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Taphonomic analysis of small ungulates modified by fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Southwestern Europe.

José Yravedra Sainz de los Terreros*, Miriam Andrés, Philippe Fosse, Jean Pierre Besson.

Keywords: FOX, CARNIVORES, TOOTH MARKS, TAPHONOMY, SMALL UNGULATES

[+info] VOLUME 12. NUMBERS 1. 2014 (2 issue)

The interaction between humans and carnivores regarding bone modification is a frequent taphonomic phenomenon generating palimpsest where the activity of both agents is present. However, recent research has mainly been concerned with the identification of their individual action. In the case of carnivores, hyenas and felids were the most studied species, while other animals were virtually postponed in the agenda. Considering the abundance of fossil evidence of foxes in the European Pleistocene, this paper presents new data for the taphonomic characterization of fox behaviour. Thus, our interest is to improve the referential framework available for this carnivore's action aiming at its identification in the Pleistocene fossil record. Hence, we describe the analysis of two modern assemblages modified by foxes: the first one corresponds to a natural-death assemblage near Ayllón (Segovia, Spain) and the second to a den site in Ourtiaga (Pyrenées, France). In order to characterise fox action, we analyse its behaviour by means of the analysis of tooth marks and fracture patterns. Regarding the former, mark frequency, types, dimensions and distribution are considered. Finally, with the intention of discriminating fox behaviour from human action, we simulated tooth mark frequencies and distribution on a carcass which was previously fractured by humans.

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Taphonomy of a fish accumulation by the European Otter (Lutra lutra) in central France.

Emilie Guillaud, Philippe Béarez, Christiane Denys, Stéphane Raimond.

Keywords: OTTER, PREDATOR, DIGESTION, SPRAINTS, FISH BONES, TAPHONOMY

[+info] VOLUME 12. NUMBERS 1. 2014 (3 issue)

Fish remains are abundant and easily recognizable in many archaeological sites. But, the origin of such assemblages is generally poorly known. However, the ability to create small fish bone accumulations is restricted to a small number of predators (including raptors, carnivores, and humans). In order to recognize the agents responsible for these concentrations in archaeological sites, we have investigated the taphonomy of the fish remains from otter spraints to determine the potential role of otters in the formation of fossil assemblages. Currently, few data are available to characterize the accumulation of otter remains in natural or archaeological sites. We analyzed a collection of 29 otter spraints from Bugeat (Corrèze) in central France. We identified the remains of nine fish species including, brown trout ((Salmo trutta, Salmonidae), perch (Perca fluviatilis, Percidae), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus, Centrarchidae), and several Cyprinidae, rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus), minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus), bullhead (Cottus gobio) and the indeterminate pair chub/dace (Squalius cephalus/Leuciscus leuciscus). The species and the body parts present, along with the reconstruction of the fish weight and observations of any modifications, such as deformation, rounding and polishing, give us insight into otter prey categories and their transformation after digestion. Among the ca. 200 bones constituting the whole fish skeleton, only between 6 and 39 bones survived according the different species. Cyprinids display a high moderate digestion grade and seems to be the taxon most affected by digestion (64.67%). Based on surface modifications, such as breakage and digestion traces, as well as bone element representation, we produced a set of criteria as a new tool to be applied to the fossil record.

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The Taphonomist´s Corner: Deciphering dinosaur motion through a track.

Alberto Cobos, Luis Alcalá.

Keywords

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