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Hutterer R.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Mikdad A.,Institute National Des Science Of Larcheologie Et Du Patrimoine Insap | Ripken T.E.J.,Prinses Margrietlaan 11
Archiv fur Molluskenkunde | Year: 2011

Terrestrial gastropods from Epipalaeolithic and Early Neolithic levels of the archaeological site Taghit Haddouch (NE Marocco) were studied. A total of 416 shells were recovered from 8 successive levels dating from calendar ages 4.898 ± 45 calBP (level 1) to 9.717 ± 105 calBP (level 8). Five species were found in the archaeological context: Otala punctata, Otala tigri, Alabastrina soluta, Sphincterochila maroccana, and Cernuella globuloidea. No significant size differences of shells were found within the 5.000 years sequence, but relative frequency of species changed drastically within the sequence. Sphincterochila maroccana prevailed in the older levels 8 to 4 but was replaced by Otala spp. in the upper levels 3 to 1. This faunal change reflects the onset of a pluvial phase around 8.000 years calBP. Shells of Otala tigi from levels 4 to 1 frequently show signs of intentional perforation, with an increase in abundance in the uppermost levels. Two types of perforation, puncture and slot, are interpreted as part of the preparation of the snail for consumption. The significance of the technique is unknown but it was probably an invention of an Early Neolithic population in the eastern Rif. © E. Schweizerbart'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung (Nägele u. Obermiller), 2011.

Dikrallah A.,Mohammed V University | Kabouchi B.,Mohammed V University | Hakam A.,Mohammed V University | Brancheriau L.,CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development | And 2 more authors.
Comptes Rendus - Mecanique | Year: 2010

An experimental approach was used to model stress wave propagation in green wood (Douglas fir). Based on the assumption that wood is an orthotropic material, the stress wave velocity through the cross section was calculated using plane strain motion equations. The experiments were carried out in two steps under axial restraint, while the wave propagation time was measured on discs and bars sliced from the discs. Mechanical and physical properties were determined in free vibration. The results showed a significant difference in propagation velocity between waves propagating throughout the whole disc volume and guided waves in bars. The acoustic anisotropy of green wood is discussed and the stress wave form simulation is presented. Good agreement between the simulation and experimental results was obtained. © 2010 Académie des sciences.

El Mouridi M.,Montpellier University | El Mouridi M.,Mohammed V University | Laurent T.,Montpellier University | Kabouchi B.,Mohammed V University | And 5 more authors.
Physical and Chemical News | Year: 2011

This work is an original contribution to the study of density and drying shrinkage of the root burl wood of thuja (Tetraclinis articulata (Vahl) Masters) coming from the forest of Khemisset (Morocco). The density is often used for prediction of mechanical properties of wood. As for the linear shrinkage, the degree of anisotropy between the radial, tangential and longitudinal shrinkage prefigure mechanical behaviour of wood. The measurements of these physical properties were performed on 77 samples (2×2×2cm3) cut according to radial, tangential and longitudinal directions. The analysis of density measurements allows to classify the wood of the root burl of thuja as a dense wood. The density of the root burl wood is higher than that of the thuja wood. This difference is explained by the presence of dark growths composed of cells with thicker walls than those of the thuja wood. The analysis of shrinkage measurements show a small anisotropy, explained in the microscopic scale by a very variable orientation of cells in a reference plan. This result presupposes a mechanical behaviour close to isotropic for the wood of the root burl of thuja.

Hutterer R.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig | Linstadter J.,University of Cologne | Eiwanger J.,Kommission For Archaologie Aussereuropaischer Kulturen Des Deutschen Archaologischen Institute | Mikdad A.,Institute National Des Science Of Larcheologie Et Du Patrimoine Insap
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

Shells of terrestrial gastropods (Helicidae, Sphincterochilidae) are common in rock shelter sediments and open-air sites of Iberomaurusian to Neolithic age in NE Morocco. Excavations at numerous sites in the eastern Rif yielded new sites with a rich record of well-preserved terrestrial gastropods, among which species of the genera Otala, Sphincterochila and Alabastrina dominate. In sites with sediments younger than 7500calBP, such as Taghit Haddouch, Hassi Ouenzga, Ifri Oudadane, Ifri Armas and Mtlili, a high percentage of shells were perforated in a regular manner. Narrow slots or squarish holes of a few millimetres width cut into the second or third whorl are regularly found in an apical position of the shell. We interpret these as evidence of human manipulation of the shell in order to facilitate consumption of the snail body. We discuss these new findings in the context of the settlement of this part of North Africa by different cultural groups. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Campmas E.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Michel P.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Costamagno S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Amani F.,Institute National Des Science Of Larcheologie Et Du Patrimoine Insap | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Human Evolution | Year: 2015

The influence of climate change on human settlements in coastal areas is a central question for archaeologists. This paper addresses this issue by focusing on the Témara region in Morocco. The study area was selected for two main reasons. First, it contains numerous caves with Upper Pleistocene deposits, which have yielded remains of anatomically modern humans in association with Aterian and Iberomaurusian artifacts. Second, these caves are currently located on the shore, thus this region is particularly sensitive to major climate change and sea level fluctuations. Diachronic taphonomic study of faunal remains from two sites in the region, El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra caves, shows alternating human/non-human predator occupations. The lower layers of El Mnasra Cave dating to Oxygen Isotope Stage (OIS) 5 have yielded diverse ungulate remains with significant anthropogenic impact marks, together with numerous mollusk shells, Nassarius shell beads, hearths, lithics, some bone tools and used pigments. Faunal remains from the upper layers dating to OIS 4, 3 and 2 of El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra caves, largely dominated by gazelles, provide evidence of carnivore activities, such as tooth marks, numerous semi-digested bones and coprolites alongside some anthropogenic signatures (cut marks and burnt bones). Non-human predators appear to be the main agents responsible for faunal modifications and accumulations. The 'non-intensive' nature of human occupation is confirmed by analyses of the lithic industry at El Harhoura 2. The 'intensive' human occupations date to OIS 5 and could have taken place during wet periods in connection with high sea levels, which allowed the exploitation of shellfish in this area. 'Non-intensive' human occupations generally correspond to arid periods and lower sea levels, during which the Témara area was further inland and may have been less attractive to humans. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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