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Paleolithic (Other Keyword)

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2017 Excavations at McDonald Creek (FAI-2043), A Multicomponent, Open-Air Site in the Tanana Flats Training Area, Fort Wainwright, Central Alaska (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Kelly Graf. Julie Esdale. Ted Goebel.

In 2013 our team began a 3-year testing project to assess the research potential of the recently-discovered McDonald Creek archaeological site (FAI-2043). The site is located in the Tanana Flats of Central Alaska south of Fairbanks. Site testing indicated a well-stratified and reasonably preserved multicomponent site situated in unconsolidated eolian sand and silt deposits atop an ancient alluvial landform. Three cultural components have been identified so far, dating to the early Allerød,...


Acculturation and Its Discontents: Rethinking Models of Interpopulation Interaction during the Middle-Upper Paleolithic Transition (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Julien Riel-Salvatore. Allison Parrish.

Given how large the topic of acculturation looms in discussions of the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition, it is surprising how little attention has been paid to defining it in order to develop operational concepts that can be tested against the archaeological record. In the specific context of the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition, the notion of acculturation has usually been considered as a unidirectional, one-size-fits-all social mechanism to explain both the appearance of transitional...


Acheulean Hominins and Out of Africa Dispersals: Challenges and Advances (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Michael Petraglia.

The dispersal of Acheulean hominins outside of Africa is one of the most important research areas in human evolutionary studies, having been the topic of paleoanthropologists and archaeologists for many decades. Yet, precise knowledge about the timing and geographic movement of archaic hominins across Eurasia is still in its infancy. The aim of this presentation is to discuss what we currently know about the distribution of Acheulean hominins, and to report on new field work findings in southern...


Analysis of Settlement Patterns Near the Big Burro Mountains (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Taylor Picard. Evan Giomi.

This poster presents the results of an archaeological survey of Pitchfork Ranch, located near the Big Burro Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. The survey was conducted by staff and students of the Archaeology Southwest Upper Gila Preservation Archaeology (UGPA) field school from 2015 to 2017. There is evidence on the ranch of human activity ranging from possible Paleolithic and early Archaic sites up to 20th century sites. Using GIS and geospatial data collected during this survey it is...


Ancient DNA Analysis of Microbes Preserved in Dental Calculus: Challenges And Opportunities (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Laura Weyrich. Alan Cooper. Keith Dobney.

Sequencing ancient microorganisms using next generation sequencing approaches have truly revolutionized our view of the past. While past paleomicrobiological research was largely restricted to coprolites and sediments, the recent analyses of ancient calcified dental plaque has provided novel insights into ancient human diets, disease, behaviors, and lifestyles. Despite the benefits, obtaining DNA from diverse microbial communities is difficult and is fraught with issues for first time...


Ancient Dog Genome Preserved in Tumor Provides Novel Insights into the Domestication of Dogs (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Laurent Frantz.

Transmissible cancers are mostly known from Tasmanian devils, soft shell clams and dogs. In dogs, the Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumors (CTVT) manifests as genital tumors and spreads between dogs (usually during mating) by the transfer of living cancer cells. This tumour first originated in the cells of an individual dog, up to 11,000 years ago, and possesses the genome of that founder dog. As such, CTVT cells contain an ancient living genome (the founder’s dog genome) that was passed along...


The Antiquity of Hunter-Gatherers Revisited (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Steven Kuhn. Mary Stiner.

One of the challenges of Paleoanthropology is developing coherent models for ancient social and economic systems that have no close analogues in the recent archaeological and historical records. Systematic observations of variability among recent foragers produced by Binford, Kelly and others, are vital tools for understanding early humans. They provide necessary frames of reference for predicting variation, and for understanding why observations may not fit predictions. In a 2001 paper we...


Aquatic Neanderthals and Paleolithic Seafaring: Myth or Reality? Examples from the Mediterranean (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Alan Simmons.

It long has been assumed that most of the world’s islands, especially remote ones, were first visited or colonized by fully modern humans. With few exceptions, these events occurred late, during the Neolithic or later, with an implied assumption that most islands could not support hunters and gatherers. We know that this scenario is no longer viable, with examples from Australia and southeastern Asia, such as Flores and Sulawesi, suggesting considerable antiquity extending prior to the...


Archaeological Science or Scientific Archaeology: Where Does "Science" Lie in Stone Artefact Research? (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Sam Lin.

Archaeological science is defined as the use of scientific techniques, typically derived from the natural sciences, in archaeology. In lithic research, archaeological science studies have investigated topics ranging from identifying raw material sources, assessing artefact function and technology, to modelling socio-cultural and evolutionary changes. However, this method-centred definition of archaeological science has also led to a focus on the "sciency" appeal of techniques over basic...


Archaeology in the Age of the Anthropocene: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT David Wright.

The 2016 decision by the Working Group on the Anthropocene of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) to designate an Epoch based on a Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) fixed at AD1950 is significant for managing global ecological systems moving forward. There is no serious scientific debate on whether humans have impacted the global ecology, but regardless of the ICS decision to anchor the so-called "Golden Spike" to the advent of the nuclear age, humans are known...


Assessing the Potential for Raw Material Profiling Studies in Modelling Neanderthal Behavioural Complexity (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Josie Mills.

Raw material studies are becoming increasingly popular as the development of technical and methodological advances adds to the macroscopic and geological study of stone tools. In turn this improves our capability to create a link between a stone tool’s archaeological context and geological area of origin. This connection is often discussed in terms of hominin behaviour, such as organisation of subsistence, adaptation to environment, and forward planning. However, the growing body of data...


Aurignacian Projectile Points Do Not Represent a Proxy for the Initial Dispersal of Homo sapiens into Europe: Insights from Geometric Morphometrics (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Luc Doyon.

It has been argued that Aurignacian projectile points made of antler, bone, or ivory represent a proxy for the initial dispersal of Homo sapiens into Europe. Our research reassesses this claim by using geometric morphometric analysis to study 547 Aurignacian osseous implements recovered from 49 European sites. This approach allowed the identification of eight volumetric templates reproduced by Aurignacian artisans during the manufacture of split-based points. Two templates were identified for...


The ballistic performance of prehistoric weapons: first results of a comparative study. (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Justin Coppe. Veerle Rots. Marc Pirlot. Valérian Clarenne.

Projectile points have recently taken a prominent position in debates on the complexity of Paleolithic human behavior. While the appearance of hunting weapons in the archaeological record was a central element in early discussions, the debate has shifted towards the appearance of specific projecting modes. Given that the organic propulsion tools (bow, spear-thrower) are only rarely preserved, energy has been invested in experiments to explore how the projecting mode can be identified based on...


Becoming Neolithic or Being a Hunter-Gatherer? Reframing the Origins of Agriculture through a Longue Durée Perspective (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Lisa Maher. Danielle Macdonald.

Searching for the origin points of major cultural revolutions and transitions has long been a driver of archaeological research, yet led to research focused on perceived boundaries, rather than continuity. Research into the origins of so-called modern human behavior, the origins of social complexity, the earliest domesticates, among others, all focus on defining moments of change that may be undetectable in the archaeological record. Perhaps some of the most enduring archaeological questions...


Behavioral Modernity (or Lack Thereof) and Its Reflection in Lithic Assemblages (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Radu Iovita.

One of the most important methodological issues facing modern paleoanthropology is the so far failed matching of archaeological material with specific hominins, at least at the metapopulation level. Due largely to the plethora of scenarios produced by genetic and genomic data in the last few years, the demand for archaeological confirmation or refutation of diverse dispersal scenarios has increased. Yet our understanding of lithic assemblages is not sufficiently nuanced to answer these...


Bone Preservation, Specimen Identifiability, and Outcrop Shape – A Preliminary Investigation of Early Pleistocene Taphonomy at Koobi Fora, Kenya (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Stephen Merritt. Monica Avilez. Jonathan Reeves.

Fossil bone surface assemblages include differential specimen preservation (weathering stage, cortical surface exfoliation, polish, roundedness, fracture type) and identifiability (taxonomic or anatomical precision). Three 1x1 meter inventory squares placed on steep, moderate, and minimally sloping areas of a fossiliferous outcrop test whether outcrop shape is a megabias that influences assemblage attributes. A digital elevation model created from drone-captured aerial imagery describes outcrop...


Can we talk about modern human behavior in non-Homo sapiens? (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Marc Kissel.

Discerning what makes Homo sapiens distinctive among the rest of the species on the planet has been a difficult task. One suggestion has been our use of symbolic culture, the use and transmission of symbols intergenerationally. There is much discussion, however, about who the first ‘symbol users’ were, partly due to debates as to what actually makes something ‘symbolic.’ In this paper, I discus how anthropologists first came to use symbol as the sine qua non of modern human behavior. Then, using...


Characterizing Ephemeral Paleolithic Occupations at Arma Veirana (Liguria, Italy) (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Julien Riel-Salvatore. Fabio Negrino. Marco Peresani. Martina Parise. Jamie Hodgkins.

This paper presents a description of recently studied assemblages from Middle and Upper Paleolithic levels at the site of Arma Veirana, a large cave located in the mountainous hinterland of Liguria. While one Mousterian level shows an intense occupation, all other levels indicate rather short-lived, low intensity occupations. Beyond technological and typological analyses of these assemblages undertaken to characterize them, we also report preliminary data on raw material procurement patterns...


A Commensal-Prey Relationship in Early Mainland Southeast Asia? The Case of the Burmese Hare (Lepus peguensis) (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Cyler Conrad. Caitlin Ainsworth. Emily Lena Jones.

Rabbits and hares are often a central part of human subsistence strategies in both the past and the present. However, the Burmese hare (Lepus peguensis) – the sole member of the family Leporidae indigenous to mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA) – is rarely eaten today, and its status in the past is unclear. Although this taxon is currently abundant across a wide geographic range, it has a poor zooarchaeological record during the Pleistocene and Holocene. Identified specimens occur sporadically in...


Contextual Taphonomy in Zooarchaeology: From Refuse Behavior to Site-Occupation Intensity in Levantine Epipaleolithic Camps (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Reuven Yeshurun.

In zooarchaeology, Contextual Taphonomy means the integration of the stratigraphic and contextual data with zooarchaeological and taphonomic data, to clarify the 'life history' of a faunal sub-assemblage in a given context. The approach uses animal remains to explain variability among site features by looking into the differential taphonomic histories of the bones, most importantly in the post-discard stage. Archaeofaunal remains are normally ubiquitous in foragers’ camps and their histories are...


A critical reappraisal of Middle Paleolithic diets (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Eugene Morin. John D. Speth. Julia Lee-Thorp.

This paper examines dietary patterns amongst Middle Palaeolithic foragers in Europe and southwest Asia from ca 300 to 40 thousand years ago. In both regions, faunal studies show that a relatively narrow range of presumably high-ranked animal species—mostly medium- to large-sized ungulates—was hunted. The present review stresses the importance of considering fat procurement and the effects of transport constraints on faunal assemblages while assessing the diet composition of Middle Palaeolithic...


A Critical Review of the Meaning of Short-term Occupation in Early Prehistory (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Nuno Bicho. João Cascalheira.

One of the main elements in prehistoric research is the study of settlement patterns. In the last five decades, stemming partially from Binford’s research on the topic, the idea of settlement is based on site typology, including the traditional residential and logistic concepts. The latter is certainly marked by the notion of short-term occupation. This concept, used freely by many archaeologists, tends to rely on two main ideas— that of an occupation lasting a short span of time, and...


Cultural Diversity in the Zagros Mountains and the Expansion of Modern Humans into the Iranian Plateau (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Elham Ghasidian. Saman Heydari-Guran.

Located in western Eurasia, at the crossroads of human migrations out of Africa during the Pleistocene, the Iranian Plateau stands at the centre of models of anatomically modern human dispersals out of Africa. This paper aims to understand the cultural diversity among the first modern human populations in the area, and the implications of this diversity to evolutionary and ecological models of human dispersal through the Iranian Plateau, by re-examining four key UP lithic assemblages from the...


Discovery of a New Middle Magdalenian Site at Enval in the Massif Central of France (2018)

Citation DOCUMENT Jay Franklin. Frédéric Surmely. Sandrine Costamagno. Maureen Hays. Lauren Woelkers.

We present the discovery of a new Middle Magdalenian site at Enval, a rock shelter site in the Massif Central of France. Radiocarbon dates indicate a tight chronology at 17,000 years ago. The site is significant for several reasons. Faunal elements indicate the site is largely intact and not a palimpsest. Faunal studies also indicate the site was occupied during the winter. This is important because it demonstrates that late Pleistocene humans occupied the Massif Central during harsh conditions....


The Earlier Stone Age Occupation of Wonderwerk Cave: Combining the Archaeology and Geology (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Michael Chazan.

The archaeology and geology of the Earlier Stone Age of Wondewerk Cave (Northern Cape Province, South Africa) present a paradoxical picture. On the one hand there is a record of hominin occupation spanning a period of at least one million year that includes multiple proxies indicating the use of fire. However, the micromorphological study of the sediment shows almost no anthropogenic signal and the density of artifacts is extraordinarily low. This paper presents an overview of the current...

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Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America