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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

Isolines of G(x,y), the total probability distribution for a mortality event to be found at position (x, y) in the SD-CV plane, corresponding to, from the most internal one, a total probability equal to 68%, 95%, 99.7%.Datapoints correspond both to the extant samples (triangles, squares, circles) and the fossil ones (diamonds).
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f8: Isolines of G(x,y), the total probability distribution for a mortality event to be found at position (x, y) in the SD-CV plane, corresponding to, from the most internal one, a total probability equal to 68%, 95%, 99.7%.Datapoints correspond both to the extant samples (triangles, squares, circles) and the fossil ones (diamonds).

Mentions: We computed three contour lines of corresponding to a total probability of 68%, 95%, and 99.5%, respectively, of finding a datapoint within the region of the SD-CV plane delimitated by such curves. Notice that all the fossil datasets fall inside the second curve (See Fig. 8). There is no difference between extant and fossil samples in terms of range of SD and CV values and this is precisely, from a statistical point of view, what allows us to use the former to develop a classifier for the latter.


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)

Isolines of G(x,y), the total probability distribution for a mortality event to be found at position (x, y) in the SD-CV plane, corresponding to, from the most internal one, a total probability equal to 68%, 95%, 99.7%.Datapoints correspond both to the extant samples (triangles, squares, circles) and the fossil ones (diamonds).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f8: Isolines of G(x,y), the total probability distribution for a mortality event to be found at position (x, y) in the SD-CV plane, corresponding to, from the most internal one, a total probability equal to 68%, 95%, 99.7%.Datapoints correspond both to the extant samples (triangles, squares, circles) and the fossil ones (diamonds).
Mentions: We computed three contour lines of corresponding to a total probability of 68%, 95%, and 99.5%, respectively, of finding a datapoint within the region of the SD-CV plane delimitated by such curves. Notice that all the fossil datasets fall inside the second curve (See Fig. 8). There is no difference between extant and fossil samples in terms of range of SD and CV values and this is precisely, from a statistical point of view, what allows us to use the former to develop a classifier for the latter.

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