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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

Boundary lines of the three regions with the error probability (heat map) and the fossil samples.(A1) Rangifer tarandus from Portel-Ouest; (A2) Equus ferus from Portel-Ouest; (A3) Cervus elaphus from Portel-Ouest; (A4) Bos/Bison from Portel-Ouest; (B1) Cervus elaphus from Abric Romaní level K; (B2) Cervus elaphus from Abric Romaní level M; (C1) Rangifer tarandus from Salzgitter Lebenstedt; (D1) Bison priscus from Taubach; (E1) Equus ferus from Caune de l’Arago level G; (E2) Cervus elaphus from Caune de l’Arago level J; (E3) Rangifer tarandus from Caune de l’Arago level L.
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f7: Boundary lines of the three regions with the error probability (heat map) and the fossil samples.(A1) Rangifer tarandus from Portel-Ouest; (A2) Equus ferus from Portel-Ouest; (A3) Cervus elaphus from Portel-Ouest; (A4) Bos/Bison from Portel-Ouest; (B1) Cervus elaphus from Abric Romaní level K; (B2) Cervus elaphus from Abric Romaní level M; (C1) Rangifer tarandus from Salzgitter Lebenstedt; (D1) Bison priscus from Taubach; (E1) Equus ferus from Caune de l’Arago level G; (E2) Cervus elaphus from Caune de l’Arago level J; (E3) Rangifer tarandus from Caune de l’Arago level L.

Mentions: Finally, we also applied the tool to all the archaeological datasets to contrast the expected classification of each case with its positioning in the SD-CV plane. The results, presented in Fig. 7, show a significant agreement with previous interpretations of the archaeological record.


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)

Boundary lines of the three regions with the error probability (heat map) and the fossil samples.(A1) Rangifer tarandus from Portel-Ouest; (A2) Equus ferus from Portel-Ouest; (A3) Cervus elaphus from Portel-Ouest; (A4) Bos/Bison from Portel-Ouest; (B1) Cervus elaphus from Abric Romaní level K; (B2) Cervus elaphus from Abric Romaní level M; (C1) Rangifer tarandus from Salzgitter Lebenstedt; (D1) Bison priscus from Taubach; (E1) Equus ferus from Caune de l’Arago level G; (E2) Cervus elaphus from Caune de l’Arago level J; (E3) Rangifer tarandus from Caune de l’Arago level L.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f7: Boundary lines of the three regions with the error probability (heat map) and the fossil samples.(A1) Rangifer tarandus from Portel-Ouest; (A2) Equus ferus from Portel-Ouest; (A3) Cervus elaphus from Portel-Ouest; (A4) Bos/Bison from Portel-Ouest; (B1) Cervus elaphus from Abric Romaní level K; (B2) Cervus elaphus from Abric Romaní level M; (C1) Rangifer tarandus from Salzgitter Lebenstedt; (D1) Bison priscus from Taubach; (E1) Equus ferus from Caune de l’Arago level G; (E2) Cervus elaphus from Caune de l’Arago level J; (E3) Rangifer tarandus from Caune de l’Arago level L.
Mentions: Finally, we also applied the tool to all the archaeological datasets to contrast the expected classification of each case with its positioning in the SD-CV plane. The results, presented in Fig. 7, show a significant agreement with previous interpretations of the archaeological record.

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