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Title: Experimental approach to the energetic cost of resource procurement in the Middle Pleistocene populations from Sierra de Atapuerca
Authors: Vidal-Cordasco, Marco
Prado-Nóvoa, Olalla
Mateos Cachorro, Ana
Terradillos Bernal, Marcos
Rodríguez, Jesús
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (IUPPS)
Citation: XVII World UISPP Congress, 2014, p. 60
Abstract: The study of different aspects of the interaction between recent humans and their environment, allows us to reconstruct the relationship between the paleolithic hunter- gatherers, their ecosystems and resources availability. We present here a new approach to the catchment of lithic raw material and the gathering of vegetable resources. A bioenergetic point of view has been increasingly used to address key issues in Palaeobiology and Palaeocology. Currently, we have designed two experimental studies: the first one, focused on quartzite catchment from the Trinchera Dolina site; the second one, focused on collection of plant resources conducted by lactating women in the area of Sierra de Atapuerca. The experimental desings were carried out with a sample of 20 subjects in vivo, 10 men and 10 women. Several protocols have been applied to the participants in the Bioenergy Laboratory at CENIEH and at Sierra de Atapuerca. Protocols of Anthropometric, Bioelectrical Impedance and Indirect Ventilatory Calorimetry have been performed in the bioenergy. Height, weight, other body parameters, body composition and resting metabolic rate were measured in each participant. The activities of material procurement were recreated at Sierra de Atapuerca, monitoring the subjects with a calorimetry mobile device along a set of establiseh itineraries. The route for quartzite catchment run from the Trinchera Dolina site to the closer outcrop while a couple of routes were selected for vegetable gathering: a steep ground walk, and a smooth ground walk. The female participants walked the vegetable gathering routes twices: one to simulate they were carrying a baby, and other one unloaded. Several variables related to energy expenditure and body composition were obtained for each subject: Total Energy Expendirure, Resting Metabolic Rate, Fat Free Mass, Fat Mass, etc. All these data are useful to quantify the energy cost of each activity corrected by anthropometric measurements. These results have been compared between different physiological conditions. This experimental project opens new possibilites to correlate different body parameters with energy expenditure and, therefore, to estimate energy expenditure in hominin fossil populations with different body proportions and compositions. Estimation of energy requirements of the human population inhabiting the Sierra de Atapuerca during the Middle Pleistocene, based on their body parameters allow us to reconstuct the energetic costs during two daily tasks in a more reliable way. This research line will improve our understandind of the energetic efficiency of extinct populations.
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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