Limits...
A tool for determining duration of mortality events in archaeological assemblages using extant ungulate microwear.

Rivals F, Prignano L, Semprebon GM, Lozano S - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: The seasonality of human occupations in archaeological sites is highly significant for the study of hominin behavioural ecology, in particular the hunting strategies for their main prey-ungulates.We propose a new tool to quantify such seasonality from tooth microwear patterns in a dataset of ten large samples of extant ungulates resulting from well-known mass mortality events.The tool is tested on a selection of eleven fossil samples from five Palaeolithic localities in Western Europe which show a consistent classification in the three categories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Barcelona, Spain.

ABSTRACT
The seasonality of human occupations in archaeological sites is highly significant for the study of hominin behavioural ecology, in particular the hunting strategies for their main prey-ungulates. We propose a new tool to quantify such seasonality from tooth microwear patterns in a dataset of ten large samples of extant ungulates resulting from well-known mass mortality events. The tool is based on the combination of two measures of variability of scratch density, namely standard deviation and coefficient of variation. The integration of these two measurements of variability permits the classification of each case into one of the following three categories: (1) short events, (2) long-continued event and (3) two separated short events. The tool is tested on a selection of eleven fossil samples from five Palaeolithic localities in Western Europe which show a consistent classification in the three categories. The tool proposed here opens new doors to investigate seasonal patterns of ungulate accumulations in archaeological sites using non-destructive sampling.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Map of location of the extant and archaeological samples.Extant samples: (1) Rangifer tarandus (barren ground caribou) from the Qamanirjuaq population (Canada), (2) Cervus elaphus (elk) from Mount Saint Helens, Pierce County, and Lewis County (Washington, USA), (3) Antilocapra americana (pronghorn) from Green River, Lamont and Rawlins (Wyoming, USA), (4) Odocoileus hemionus (mule deer) from Cache La Poudre River (Colorado, USA), (5) Cervus elaphus (red deer) from the Isle of Rum (Scotland, UK), (6) Cervus nippon (sika deer) from Kinkazan Island (Japan), (7) Lama guanicoe (guanaco) from Cardiel lake (Patagonia, Argentina) and (8) Equus quagga (plains zebra) from Mount Rumuruti (Kenya). Archaeological samples: (A) Portel-Ouest (France), (B) Abric Romaní (Spain), (C) Salzgitter Lebenstedt (Germany), (D) Taubach (Germany), (E) Caune de l’Arago (France). Source: own elaboration from maps available on Wikimedia Commons free media repository: BlankMap-World6.png (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BlankMap-World6.png), released into the public domain by the authors, and Blank_map_of_Europe.png (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blank_map_of_Europe.png), licensed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. The license terms can be found on the following link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4663483&req=5

f1: Map of location of the extant and archaeological samples.Extant samples: (1) Rangifer tarandus (barren ground caribou) from the Qamanirjuaq population (Canada), (2) Cervus elaphus (elk) from Mount Saint Helens, Pierce County, and Lewis County (Washington, USA), (3) Antilocapra americana (pronghorn) from Green River, Lamont and Rawlins (Wyoming, USA), (4) Odocoileus hemionus (mule deer) from Cache La Poudre River (Colorado, USA), (5) Cervus elaphus (red deer) from the Isle of Rum (Scotland, UK), (6) Cervus nippon (sika deer) from Kinkazan Island (Japan), (7) Lama guanicoe (guanaco) from Cardiel lake (Patagonia, Argentina) and (8) Equus quagga (plains zebra) from Mount Rumuruti (Kenya). Archaeological samples: (A) Portel-Ouest (France), (B) Abric Romaní (Spain), (C) Salzgitter Lebenstedt (Germany), (D) Taubach (Germany), (E) Caune de l’Arago (France). Source: own elaboration from maps available on Wikimedia Commons free media repository: BlankMap-World6.png (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BlankMap-World6.png), released into the public domain by the authors, and Blank_map_of_Europe.png (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blank_map_of_Europe.png), licensed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. The license terms can be found on the following link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/.

Mentions: The material available in museums and collections usually consists of samples coming from various populations and different geographic areas, most of the time without very precise information available. Conversely, in this study, we analysed large samples of animals (1) coming from single populations (i.e. from a very restricted geographic area) or (2) resulting from a catastrophic death (i.e. massive and sudden) with precise records of their date of death. Such samples are unique, and thus very rare to find. We have, however, located ten samples which fulfil these criteria and with mortality durations spanning from one day to a several years. The samples span a wide diversity of taxonomic groups including Cervidae (Cervus elaphus, Cervus nippon, Odocoileus hemionus, Rangifer tarandus), Antilocapridae (Antilocapra americana), Camelidae (Lama guanicoe), and Equidae (Equus quagga) as well as various geographical origins in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and South America. The locations where these data were collected from are shown in Fig. 1 (numerical identifiers).


A tool for determining duration of mortality events in archaeological assemblages using extant ungulate microwear.

Rivals F, Prignano L, Semprebon GM, Lozano S - Sci Rep (2015)

Map of location of the extant and archaeological samples.Extant samples: (1) Rangifer tarandus (barren ground caribou) from the Qamanirjuaq population (Canada), (2) Cervus elaphus (elk) from Mount Saint Helens, Pierce County, and Lewis County (Washington, USA), (3) Antilocapra americana (pronghorn) from Green River, Lamont and Rawlins (Wyoming, USA), (4) Odocoileus hemionus (mule deer) from Cache La Poudre River (Colorado, USA), (5) Cervus elaphus (red deer) from the Isle of Rum (Scotland, UK), (6) Cervus nippon (sika deer) from Kinkazan Island (Japan), (7) Lama guanicoe (guanaco) from Cardiel lake (Patagonia, Argentina) and (8) Equus quagga (plains zebra) from Mount Rumuruti (Kenya). Archaeological samples: (A) Portel-Ouest (France), (B) Abric Romaní (Spain), (C) Salzgitter Lebenstedt (Germany), (D) Taubach (Germany), (E) Caune de l’Arago (France). Source: own elaboration from maps available on Wikimedia Commons free media repository: BlankMap-World6.png (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BlankMap-World6.png), released into the public domain by the authors, and Blank_map_of_Europe.png (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blank_map_of_Europe.png), licensed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. The license terms can be found on the following link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4663483&req=5

f1: Map of location of the extant and archaeological samples.Extant samples: (1) Rangifer tarandus (barren ground caribou) from the Qamanirjuaq population (Canada), (2) Cervus elaphus (elk) from Mount Saint Helens, Pierce County, and Lewis County (Washington, USA), (3) Antilocapra americana (pronghorn) from Green River, Lamont and Rawlins (Wyoming, USA), (4) Odocoileus hemionus (mule deer) from Cache La Poudre River (Colorado, USA), (5) Cervus elaphus (red deer) from the Isle of Rum (Scotland, UK), (6) Cervus nippon (sika deer) from Kinkazan Island (Japan), (7) Lama guanicoe (guanaco) from Cardiel lake (Patagonia, Argentina) and (8) Equus quagga (plains zebra) from Mount Rumuruti (Kenya). Archaeological samples: (A) Portel-Ouest (France), (B) Abric Romaní (Spain), (C) Salzgitter Lebenstedt (Germany), (D) Taubach (Germany), (E) Caune de l’Arago (France). Source: own elaboration from maps available on Wikimedia Commons free media repository: BlankMap-World6.png (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BlankMap-World6.png), released into the public domain by the authors, and Blank_map_of_Europe.png (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blank_map_of_Europe.png), licensed under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. The license terms can be found on the following link: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/.
Mentions: The material available in museums and collections usually consists of samples coming from various populations and different geographic areas, most of the time without very precise information available. Conversely, in this study, we analysed large samples of animals (1) coming from single populations (i.e. from a very restricted geographic area) or (2) resulting from a catastrophic death (i.e. massive and sudden) with precise records of their date of death. Such samples are unique, and thus very rare to find. We have, however, located ten samples which fulfil these criteria and with mortality durations spanning from one day to a several years. The samples span a wide diversity of taxonomic groups including Cervidae (Cervus elaphus, Cervus nippon, Odocoileus hemionus, Rangifer tarandus), Antilocapridae (Antilocapra americana), Camelidae (Lama guanicoe), and Equidae (Equus quagga) as well as various geographical origins in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and South America. The locations where these data were collected from are shown in Fig. 1 (numerical identifiers).

Bottom Line: The seasonality of human occupations in archaeological sites is highly significant for the study of hominin behavioural ecology, in particular the hunting strategies for their main prey-ungulates.We propose a new tool to quantify such seasonality from tooth microwear patterns in a dataset of ten large samples of extant ungulates resulting from well-known mass mortality events.The tool is tested on a selection of eleven fossil samples from five Palaeolithic localities in Western Europe which show a consistent classification in the three categories.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA), Barcelona, Spain.

ABSTRACT
The seasonality of human occupations in archaeological sites is highly significant for the study of hominin behavioural ecology, in particular the hunting strategies for their main prey-ungulates. We propose a new tool to quantify such seasonality from tooth microwear patterns in a dataset of ten large samples of extant ungulates resulting from well-known mass mortality events. The tool is based on the combination of two measures of variability of scratch density, namely standard deviation and coefficient of variation. The integration of these two measurements of variability permits the classification of each case into one of the following three categories: (1) short events, (2) long-continued event and (3) two separated short events. The tool is tested on a selection of eleven fossil samples from five Palaeolithic localities in Western Europe which show a consistent classification in the three categories. The tool proposed here opens new doors to investigate seasonal patterns of ungulate accumulations in archaeological sites using non-destructive sampling.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus