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The influence of prey availability on ice age hunting strategies: Tracing Magdalenian reindeer migratory patterns using strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analysis of reindeer teeth from Verberie (Oise, France).

Author(s): Jonathan Thomas ; Anna Waterman ; David Peate ; James Enloe

Year: 2015

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Summary

The Magdalenian (18-11kya) marked a time of dramatic climate instability in western and central Europe, ushering in changes in the predation strategies of late Paleolithic groups who hunted migratory reindeer herds. For Magdalenian populations, a clear understanding of migratory patterns was crucial for survival, particularly when Epipleistocene climate fluctuations were causing previously unseen types of resource distribution. Here we present the results of strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analyses of teeth from 34 reindeer from the Magdalenian hunting camp at Verberie, located in the Paris Basin near the Oise River. The goal of this analysis was to better understand how Magdalenian peoples exploited reindeer populations and to ascertain if changes in hunting strategies related to reindeer migratory patterns are reflected in the stratigraphic record at Verberie. The results of this study found that reindeer from younger stratigraphic levels often exhibit more wide-raging 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios that may correspond to the Cretaceous and Jurassic age formations east of the Paris basin or of the northwest coast. This may indicate that during later times hunters were relying more on father-ranging migratory animals. Further mapping of 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios in the Paris Basin will help to clarify these results.

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The influence of prey availability on ice age hunting strategies: Tracing Magdalenian reindeer migratory patterns using strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) analysis of reindeer teeth from Verberie (Oise, France).. Anna Waterman, Jonathan Thomas, James Enloe, David Peate. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397813)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

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