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Title: Small carnivores’ cave-dwelling: neo-taphonomic study of a badger (Meles meles) sett and its archaeological implications
Authors: Arilla Osuna, Maite
Rufà Bonache, Anna
Rosell, Jordi
Blasco, Ruth
Keywords: Taphonomy;Actualism;Animal behaviour;Meles meles;Palimpsests
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: Historical Biology, 2020, 32 (7), 951-965
Abstract: The interaction between hominins and carnivores can lead to archaeological scenarios where these relationships materialise in palimpsests. The alternate use of caves and shelters results in overlapped occupations where the action of both predators becomes difficult to trace. Their presence in archaeological sites like cave/shelter-environments have been sufficiently contrasted, but despite this, few neo-taphonomic studies of small carnivore burrows have been developed, and mostly in open-air sites. Here we present data from a cave identified as a badger sett through photo/video-trap systems. The material recovered was located in 3D, and subsequently analysed from a taphonomic perspective. The scavenging behaviour of this small carnivore shows a wide range of animals with a bias for appendicular elements. Taphonomically, pits/punctures and scores are the most abundant alteration, although some other mechanical damage has been identified, such as crenulated edges and crushing. Small-sized bones present the highest percentage of tooth-marks and, as to skeletal regions, appendicular elements and girdles are the most affected items.
ISSN: 0891-2963
DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2018.1558449
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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