Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA

Madrid, Spain

Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA

Madrid, Spain
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

Rodriguez-Hidalgo A.,Complutense University of Madrid | Rodriguez-Hidalgo A.,Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA | Rodriguez-Hidalgo A.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social Iphes | Saladie P.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social Iphes | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Human Evolution | Year: 2017

Zooarcheological research is an important tool in reconstructing subsistence, as well as for inferring relevant aspects regarding social behavior in the past. The organization of hunting parties, forms of predation (number and rate of animals slaughtered), and the technology used (tactics and tools) must be taken into account in the identification and classification of hunting methods in prehistory. The archeological recognition of communal hunting reflects an interest in evolutionary terms and their inherent implications for anticipatory capacities, social complexity, and the development of cognitive tools, such as articulated language. Late and Middle Paleolithic faunal assemblages in Europe have produced convincing evidence of communal hunting of large ungulates allowing for the formation of hypotheses concerning the skills of Neanderthals anatomically modern humans as social predators. However, the emergence of this cooperative behavior is not currently understood. Here, faunal analysis, based on traditional/long-established zooarcheological methods, of nearly 25,000 faunal remains from the “bison bone bed” layer of the TD10.2 sub-unit at Gran Dolina, Atapuerca (Spain) is presented. In addition, other datasets related to the archeo-stratigraphy, paleo-landscape, paleo-environmental proxies, lithic assemblage, and ethno-archeological information of communal hunting have been considered in order to adopt a holistic approach to an investigation of the subsistence strategies developed during deposition of the archeological remains. The results indicate a monospecific assemblage heavily dominated by axial bison elements. The abundance of anthropogenic modifications and the anatomical profile are in concordance with early primary access to carcasses and the development of systematic butchering focused on the exploitation of meat and fat for transportation of high-yield elements to somewhere out of the cave. Together with a catastrophic and seasonal mortality pattern, the results indicate the procurement of bison by communal hunting as early as circa 400 kyr. This suggests that the cognitive, social, and technological capabilities required for successful communal hunting were at least fully developed among the pre-Neanderthal paleodeme of Atapuerca during the Lower Paleolithic. Similarly, the early existence of mass communal hunting as a predation technique informs our understanding of the early emergence of predatory skills similar to those exhibited by modern communal hunters. Resumen La zooarqueología es una importante herramienta para la reconstrucción de la subsistencia y también para inferir aspectos relevantes del comportamiento social en el pasado. En este trabajo presentamos el análisis faunístico del llamado “lecho de huesos de bisonte”, contenido en la subunidad TD10.2 del yacimiento Gran Dolina (Atapuerca, España). La composición taxonómica y perfil anatómico indican un conjunto monoespecífico fuertemente dominado por elementos del esqueleto axial de bisonte (Bison sp.). Las características y abundancia de las modificaciones antrópicas revelan un acceso primario e inmediato a las carcasas, así como el desarrollo de un procesado carnicero sistemático dirigido a la explotación de la carne y grasa, y a la preparación para el transporte de elementos de alto rendimiento hacia algún lugar fuera de la cavidad. Esas características unidas a un perfil de mortalidad catastrófico y estacional, sugieren la obtención de los bisontes mediante caza comunal. La frecuencia, localización e intensidad de las mordeduras de carnívoro en los restos indica un fuerte saqueo de las carcasas de bisonte una vez abandonadas éstas por los homininos en el yacimiento. La suma de decisiones antrópicas sobre el transporte y el posterior saqueo por carnívoros de los despojos abandonados resulta en un conjunto interpretado como lugar de matanza y procesamiento carnicero de bisontes carroñeados posteriormente por las fieras. Las analogías etnográficas, etnohistóricas y arqueológicas nos han permitido interpretar el “lecho de huesos de bisonte” como cazadero utilizado durante varios eventos estacionales de caza comunal en los que rebaños completos de bisontes fueron sacrificados para ser explotados intensamente por los homininos que ocuparon la cueva. El repetido uso estacional de un punto en el territorio para el desarrollo de tareas específicas muestra ciertas similitudes con el patrón logístico de gestión de los recursos. En el mismo sentido, la existencia temprana de la caza comunal como táctica depredatoria nos informa sobre la emergencia de habilidades cognitivas, tecnológicas y sociales similares a aquellas exhibidas por otros cazadores comunales modernos en un momento tan temprano como el Pleistoceno medio. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Arriaza M.C.,University of Witwatersrand | Arriaza M.C.,Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA | Yravedra J.,Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA | Yravedra J.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 10 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2017

Recent application of photogrammetric and geometric morphometric approaches to the study of cut marks on bones has yielded positive results in discriminating different types of tools and even some raw materials. Here, we apply this analytical technique to the study of carnivore tooth scores. The goal is twofold: on the one hand, we intend to differentiate carnivore types and on the other one, we show the application of this approach to a sample of tooth scores from long bones documented at the modern assemblage of the Olduvai Carnivore Site (OCS). Previous taphonomic work at OCS suggested that this bone assemblage constituted a good evidence of a carcass accumulation behavior by lions, followed by hyena ravaging. The application of these 3D techniques to the selected sample of tooth marks shows that lions, as well as spotted hyenas, did indeed impart marks on the OCS assemblage. This reinforces the dual nature of the assemblage and the implication of lions in its formation. © 2017.


Uribelarrea del Val D.,Complutense University of Madrid | Uribelarrea del Val D.,Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA | Dominguez-Rodrigo M.,Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA | Dominguez-Rodrigo M.,Complutense University of Madrid
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2017

BK site hosts 8 archaeological levels, preserved inside the channel of a meandering river. This river is not found in a floodplain, but encased in a wide karstified carbonate surface with no edaphic development. The river at BK has been recurrently used by hominins for carcass processing in the river channel, coinciding with a high concentration of vegetation and water resources along the channel banks. The spatial distribution of the different archaeological levels is the result of a complex sedimentary record. Such complexity in meandering river deposits is due to processes such as erosion, transport and sedimentation occurring simultaneously and coarse and very fine sediments being deposited at the same time throughout the same isochronal surface. BK site offers a unique opportunity, thanks to its abundance in archaeological remains and the quality of the outcrop, to geoarchaeologically depict and describe an archaeological site in a meandering channel. The geology of this fluvial environment is considered regarding a) fluvial architecture, b) facies distribution and c) fluvial dynamics. Furthermore, the abundance of archaeological remains and megafauna found inside the channel at BK contrasts with the absence of any remains outside the channel. We hypothesize that this area was preferred by hominins since it offers a high concentration of water resources and vegetation, as well as a greater protection against predators than an open plain. A detailed reconstruction of the paleolandscape will try to uncover the reason behind the huge contrast existing between the abundance of remains found inside and outside the channel, leading to the interpretation that an ecological or landscape related factor is conditioning the location and formation of the archaeological assemblage. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Uribelarrea D.,Complutense University of Madrid | Uribelarrea D.,Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA | Martin-Perea D.,Complutense University of Madrid | Diez-Martin F.,University of Valladolid | And 5 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2017

Based on detailed stratigraphic correlation and framework studies for FLK-W, in lowermost Bed II and containing the oldest Acheulian artifacts (dated to 1.7. Ma) in Olduvai Gorge, it is possible to document significant changes in the paleolandscape. This study uses outcrops up to 1.6. km from the FLK-W locality to aid in the understanding of the environmental setting available to Acheulian tool-makers. The reconstruction of the FLK-W isochronal paleosurface also provides a means to correlate FLK-W with other contemporary sites found at other lowermost Bed II localities. These sites, such as HWK, HWK-E and HWK-EE are associated with Oldowan artifact assemblages. The reconstruction of the sedimentary environment and geomorphology of the paleosurface indicates these sites are all part of the same fluvial system, although located at different sections along its course. The Oldowan levels are found in a set of small, shallow braided channels. The Acheulian artifacts are associated with a deeper, wider channel formed by the merging of several channels within the drainage network. Based on this analysis, water may have been more readily available at FLK-W and there might have also been a thicker vegetation cover when compared to the Oldowan localities. The sedimentologic and geomorphic contexts appear to help explain the typological/technological variability observed within this section of Bed II. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Organista E.,Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA | Organista E.,Complutense University of Madrid | Dominguez-Rodrigo M.,Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA | Dominguez-Rodrigo M.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 12 more authors.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2016

Excavations at BK have provided insights into the behavior of early hominins through the study of several archaeological levels. The present study shows the results for a new archaeological sub-level (BK4c). The main goal is to contribute to the knowledge of the different taphonomic processes that shaped BK4c and to better understand the role played by hominins in its formation. Due to the presence of a fluvial depositional context and a slight channel in BK4c, a spatial analysis has been applied in order to determine the impact caused by water flows. We conclude that water played a role in the rearrangement of the assemblage. However, the spatial properties of the assemblage indicate a limited impact of post-depositional disturbance processes, supporting the autochthonous nature of the site. The taphonomic study of this sub-level indicates that hominins had a primary role in the accumulation, bulk defleshing and demarrowing of carcasses. BK4 assemblages (BK4b and BK4c) indicate a repeated occupation of the site for short time periods. This is interpreted by the overall fast sedimentation recorded in the fluvial system and the paucity of highly-weathered bones showing extensive periods of sub-aerial exposure in between sedimentary episodes. The site functionality is potentially different from that inferred for earlier Oldowan periods, where sites were smaller and showed less marked spatial clustering of lithics and stone tools caused by hominin behavior. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Loading Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA collaborators
Loading Institute of Evolution in Africa IDEA collaborators