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Title: Assessing the subsistence strategies of the earliest North African inhabitants: evidence from the Early Pleistocene site of Ain Boucherit (Algeria)
Authors: Cáceres, Isabel
Chelli-Cheheb, Razika
Van der Made, Jan
Harichane, Zoheir
Boulaghraief, Kamel
Sahnouni, Mohamed
Keywords: Cutmarks;Percussion marks;Subsistence activities;Taphonomy;Oldowan;Early Pleistocene
Issue Date: Jun-2023
Publisher: Springer Nature
Citation: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 2023, 15(6), 87
Abstract: The archaeological data on the earliest hominin behavioral subsistence activities in North Africa are derived primarily from the Early Pleistocene site of Ain Boucherit (northeastern Algeria). Ain Boucherit consists of two archaeological layers, Ain Boucherit Upper (AB-Up) and Ain Boucherit Lower (AB-Lw), estimated to ~ 1.9 Ma and ~ 2.4 Ma, respectively. Cutmarked and hammerstone percussed bones associated with Oldowan stone tools were found in both layers, with AB-Lw yielding the oldest in North Africa. The faunal assemblages from both deposits are dominated by small-sized bovids and equids. Evidence of cutmarks and percussion marks in both assemblages shows that hominins exploited animal carcasses, involving skinning, evisceration and defleshing activities. The evidence of meat and marrow acquisition is more abundant at AB-Lw with carnivore activity being scarce. However, the AB-Up assemblage shows more carnivore damage and less hominin-induced tool marks. Ain Boucherit evidence, is similar, in type and chronology, to that provided by the Early Pleistocene sites in East Africa (e.g., the Gona sites), where the oldest evidence of stone tools used in faunal exploitation have been discovered. This paper reports on the ability of early North African Oldowans to compete successfully for accessing animal resources with other predators.
ISSN: 1866-9565
DOI: 10.1007/s12520-023-01783-8
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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