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Title: The hunted hunter: the capture of a lion (Panthera leo fossilis) at the Gran Dolina site, Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain
Authors: Blasco, Ruth
Rosell, Jordi
Arsuaga, Juan Luis
Bermúdez de Castro, José María
Carbonell, Eudald
Keywords: Subsistence strategies;Hunting;Carnivore use;Panthera leo fossilis;Gran Dolina;Sierra de Atapuerca;Middle Pleistocene
Issue Date: Aug-2010
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Journal of Archaeological Science, 2010, 37 (8), 2051-2060
Abstract: Many Pleistocene caves and rock shelters contain evidence of carnivore and human activities. For this reason, it is common to recover at these sites faunal remains left by both biological agents. In order to explain the role that carnivores play at the archaeological sites it is necessary to analyse several elements, such as the taxonomical and skeletal representation, the age profiles, the ratio of NISP to MNI, the anthropogenic processing marks on the carcasses (location and purpose of cutmarks and burning and bone breakage patterns), carnivore damage (digested bones, location and frequencies of toothmarks and bone breakage), length of the long bones, frequencies of coprolites and vertical distribution of the faunal remains, inter alia. From this, the documentation of carnivores in a faunal assemblage with a clear anthropogenic component can be understood from three main phenomena: (1) the carnivores as accumulators and the use of the site as a den; (2) carnivores as scavengers of hominid refuse and; (3) carnivores as hominids’ prey. Of these three phenomena, the last one is the least documented at the Middle Pleistocene sites. From this perspective, here we present the case of the anthropogenic use of a lion (Panthera leo fossilis) from level TD10-1 of Gran Dolina (MIS 9, Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain). The lion bone remains show signs of direct interaction between this big cat and human groups that occupied Gran Dolina in these chronologies. From this perspective, the aim of this paper is to contribute to the knowledge of the role developed by large carnivores in the anthropogenic contexts and to provide data on human use of these predators at the European Middle Pleistocene sites.
ISSN: 0305-4403
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2010.03.010
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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