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Romandini M.,University of Ferrara | Nannini N.,University of Ferrara | Tagliacozzo A.,Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico L. Pigorini | Peresani M.,University of Ferrara
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

One of the most widespread flaking methods in Europe was the Discoidal technique. However, technological analyses of these lithic artifacts are not yet sufficiently integrated into a corpus of zooarchaeological indicators that outline an ecological profile of Neanderthal mobility. To address this issue, this study presents evidence from Grotta di Fumane in northern Italy, where the exclusive use of the Discoid manufacturing technology is embedded in a Late Mousterian sequence with Levallois industries. The paper begins with a presentation of the regional ecological and contextual setting, and then explains the taphonomic and zooarchaeological data from the large and varied ungulate assemblage. Results show that hunting activity was shaped by the availability of game and that well-established, cost-effective patterns were used in carcass processing. Compared on a broader scale with other contexts where Discoid implements have been taken into account in relation to faunal assemblages, these foraging practices show that a common model for Neanderthal subsistence strategy cannot be applied. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Rodriguez-Varela R.,Complutense University of Madrid | Tagliacozzo A.,Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico L. Pigorini | Urena I.,Complutense University of Madrid | Garcia N.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 5 more authors.
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2015

The Iberian lynx, endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, is the most threatened carnivore in Europe and the most endangered felid in the world. Widely distributed throughout Iberia during the Pleistocene and Holocene it is now confined to two small populations in southern Spain. Lynx species differentiation, based solely on morphological analysis from skeletal traits, is a difficult task and can potentially lead to misidentification. In order to verify whether Iberian lynx had a wider geographical distribution in the past, we successfully sequenced 152 base pairs (bp) of the cytochrome b gene and 183. bp of the mitochondrial control region in 20 Late Pleistocene and Holocene fossil remains of Lynx sp. from southern Europe. Our results confirm the presence of Iberian lynx outside the Iberian Peninsula demonstrating that this is a palaeoendemic species that had a wider distribution range in southern Europe during the Holocene and the Late Pleistocene. In addition, we documented the presence of both Palaearctic extant lynx species in the Arene Candide (north Italy) site during the Last Glacial Maximum. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Volpato V.,Senckenberg Institute | Macchiarelli R.,UMR 7194 | Macchiarelli R.,University of Poitiers | Guatelli-Steinberg D.,Ohio State University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

We describe and analyze a Neandertal postcranial skeleton and dentition, which together show unambiguous signs of right-handedness. Asymmetries between the left and right upper arm in Regourdou 1 were identified nearly 20 years ago, then confirmed by more detailed analyses of the inner bone structure for the clavicle, humerus, radius and ulna. The total pattern of all bones in the shoulder and arm reveals that Regourdou 1 was a right-hander. Confirmatory evidence comes from the mandibular incisors, which display a distinct pattern of right oblique scratches, typical of right-handed manipulations performed at the front of the mouth. Regourdou's right handedness is consistent with the strong pattern of manual lateralization in Neandertals and further confirms a modern pattern of left brain dominance, presumably signally linguistic competence. These observations along with cultural, genetic and morphological evidence indicate language competence in Neandertals and their European precursors. © 2012 Volpato et al. Source

Gala M.,Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico L. Pigorini | Tagliacozzo A.,Soprintendenza al Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico L. Pigorini
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology | Year: 2014

Archaeological excavations at the site of Shahr-i Sokhta yielded many bird remains. The excellent state of preservation allowed for the identification of 2875 specimens attributed to 43 different species. The avifaunal assemblage is mainly characterized by aquatic species, such as the Eurasian coot (Fulica atra), representing 60% of the identified remains, and the Anseriformes. The presence of cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus), see-see partridge (Ammoperdix griseogularis), black-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis) and spotted sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus) suggests that near the urban center there were also some very arid and semi-desert areas. The bird remains of Shahr-i Sokhta confirm the existence of environmental and climatic conditions that can still be found in central and northern Iran, near the Caspian Sea. With the exception of the Suliformes, Pelecaniformes and Accipitriformes, there is evidence that most species were hunted for their meat. Furthermore, eggshell fragments found at the site suggest that eggs were collected and used as food. Taphonomic analysis showed that the Gruiformes and the Anseriformes were eaten, while the other species were exploited for non-food purposes. The use of bird bones as raw material is indicated by the presence of anthropic marks on the ulnae of large birds. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

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