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Title: Rabbits as food at the end of the Upper Palaeolithic at Molí del Salt (Catalonia, Spain)
Authors: Martínez-Polanco, María Fernanda
Blasco, Ruth
Rosell, Jordi
Ibáñez López, Núria
Vaquero Rodríguez, Manuel
Keywords: Human diet;Food processing;Oryctolagus cuniculus;Molí del Salt;Upper Palaeolithic;Catalonia;Spain
Issue Date: Jun-2017
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 2017, 27 (3), 342-355
Abstract: Many factors have been causally linked to the diversification of hunting during the European Palaeolithic: declining supplies of high-ranked prey, considerable human demographic growth, reduced residential mobility, larger populations of ubiquitous small mammals and significant technological developments. However, small prey exploitation was not uniform: the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is the most frequent species in the Upper Palaeolithic archaeological record of the Iberian Peninsula – south and Mediterranean area – and Southern France. This is demonstrated at Molí del Salt, an Upper Palaeolithic site located at Vimbodí (Catalonia, Spain), whose mammal fauna stands out for the predominance of rabbits [91% of minimum number of individuals (n = 136)]. We analysed the faunal remains from one level [Asup (c. 12 700–13 000 cal BP)] in order to identify the agent responsible for the faunal accumulation, and to reconstruct aspects of procurement and consumption that shed light on Palaeolithic subsistence strategies in the Northeast Iberian Peninsula. Our results indicate that human agency rather than carnivore activity was responsible for the bone accumulation at Molí del Salt. We identified all the stages in the consumption sequence from skinning to ingestion. We argue that the rabbits were mostly harvested during summer or winter or both seasons. Clearly, the European rabbit was a target species for the human groups which lived at Molí del Salt providing meat, and skin.
ISSN: 1099-1212
DOI: 10.1002/oa.2541
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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