Abstract

abstract:

This article presents an analysis of faunal remains from Laonainaimiao, a late Middle Palaeolithic site in Henan Province. The site deposit is subdivided into five layers, among which Layer 3 yielded the most abundant archaeological remains including lithics, animal bones, and fireplaces. There are a series of repeated human occupations dating to about 40,000 b.p. Taphonomic observations demonstrate that the animal bones accumulated in Layer 3 are the result of human activities. The assemblage is dominated by horse and aurochs, followed by gazelle, deer, wild boar, and rhinoceros. The equids and bovids show a prime-age dominated profile indicating the capability for hunting large game during the Middle Palaeolithic. According to detailed analysis of skeletal parts, bone fracture patterns, and bone modifications, the carcasses were probably transported to the site whole for butchery. Marrow and grease were fully extracted. The intensive utilization of the carcasses reflects a very high food demand. Such a behavioral pattern may result from lower availability of food due to the palaeoenvironment, seasonality, or group size or from the poor quality of the food, which pushed people to maximize the carcasses.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 210-221
Launched on MUSE
2018-09-22
Open Access
No
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