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Title: Hunted or scavenged Neanderthals? Taphonomic approach to hominin fossils with carnivore damage
Authors: Camarós, Edgard
Cueto, Marián
Rosell, Jordi
Díez Fernández-Lomana, Juan Carlos
Blasco, Ruth
Duhig, Corinne
Darlas, Andreas
Harvati, Katerina
Jordá Pardo, Jesús Francisco
Montes Ramírez, Lourdes
Villaverde Bonilla, Valentín
Rivals, Florent
Keywords: Carnivores;Hominin fossils;Middle Palaeolithic;Neanderthals;Taphonomy
Issue Date: Aug-2017
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 2017, 27 (4), 606-620
Abstract: Carnivore damage on Neanderthal fossils is a much more common taphonomic modification than previously thought. Its presence could have different explanations, including predatory attacks or scavenging scenarios, which are both situations with important implications concerning Neanderthal behaviour. In the present paper, we analyse several Neanderthal hominin fossils from a taphonomic and forensic perspective in order to infer the nature of the modifications observed on the bone surfaces. Fossils displaying carnivore modifications from Spain, Germany, Belgium and Greece are evaluated from a taphonomic perspective for the first time in a significant sample of hominin specimens. Our results show that the materials analysed have been modified by small to large carnivores and that both attacks and strictly carnivore scavenging events can be inferred. This study also points out the importance of developing taphonomic approaches to the analysis of hominin bone surfaces, which can contribute significantly to knowledge of several aspects of Neanderthal behaviour.
ISSN: 1047-482X
DOI: 10.1002/oa.2584
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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