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Title: Evidence of Homo erectus subsistence activities from the Acheulean site of Tighennif (Algeria)
Authors: Chelli-Cheheb, Razika
Cáceres, Isabel
Sahnouni, Mohamed
Abdessadok, Salah
Harichane, Zoheir
Made, Jan van der
Keywords: Subsistence activities;Tighennif;Lower-Middle Pleistocene;Acheulean;Homo erectus;North Africa
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: PanAfrican Archaeological Association
Citation: 15th Congress of PanAfrican Archaeological Association for Prehistory and Related Studies (PanAf), 2018, p. 11
Abstract: The Tighennif site (formerly Ternifine) is located east of the city of Mascara in north-western Algeria. Earlier excavations at this site yielded a typical Acheulean industry associated with rich large and small mammalian faunas, as well as Homo erectus fossils, which are currently the oldest in North Africa. However, previous investigations were primarily paleontological, and therefore, several questions on H. erectus behavior remained unresolved. Since 2013, multidisciplinary investigations have been carried out at Tighennif, which involved excavating and assessing of the archaeological remains for site formation processes; firmly dating the site; reconstructing H. erectus paleoecology, subsistence patterns, and technological behavior. The new excavations yielded rich faunal assemblages associated with Acheulean stone tools. Here, we present the first results of the taphonomic analyses of the faunal assemblages from Locality A and D within the site, under lining the primary subsistence patterns of early Acheulean occupations in North Africa. The fossil assemblages comprise primarily Equidae, Bovidae (with several subfamilies represented), Elephantidae, Rhinocerotidae, Hippopotamidae, Suidae, Camelidae and Giraffidae. The carnivores include Felidae (Panthera leo) and Canidae (Lupulella), and primates are represented by Theropithecus oswaldi. Post depositional modifications (e.g., oxide stains, water activity, weathering, and root-etching) are abundant but similar in both assemblages, allowing us to recover well-preserved animal fossils adapted toopen environments. It was in this ecological context that hominins and carnivores conducted activities related to animal consumption. Anthropic bone breakage patterns and cut marked bones indicate hominin exploitation of meat and marrow from animal carcasses. The carnivore activities are poor and identified only by the presence of tooth marks. Based on our study of the Tighennif faunal assemblages, preliminary data suggest that from~1,0 Ma onwards, hominins had the necessary skills to successfully exploit animal resources, with early access to ungulates of different sizes.
ISBN: 978-9920-36-200-9
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Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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