The Taphonomic Study of Small Fauna Gruta da Nova Columbeira (Portugal)

Author(s): Jonathan Haws; Milena Carvalho

Year: 2015


This poster presents the results of a taphonomic study of Gruta Nova da Columbeira, a cave site containing at least six separate Middle Paleolithic occupation levels in Vale do Roto, Portugal. The valley contains at least five other caves that have been occupied at different times. Gruta da Nova Columbeira, excavated in 1963, has well-preserved faunal remains rendering it a good site for studying Neanderthal subsistence behaviors. The excavation yielded larger fauna such as red deer, ibex, auroch, horse, rhinoceros and roe deer. Carnivores such as hyena, lynx, wild cat, bear and wolf compromise a significant portion of these remains. The site also yielded a large amount of smaller fauna that were not analyzed making it a good subject for this taphonomic analysis. This poster presents the taphonomic study of the small animal assemblage. Analyses include calculation of NISP and MNE for each taxon, as well as the recording of surface modifications, such as tooth scoring, tooth punctures, fractures patterns, cut marks, fracture patterns and skeletal element patterns. The results are then compared to published data from actualistic studies to help determine the agents responsible for the formation of the assemblage.

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The Taphonomic Study of Small Fauna Gruta da Nova Columbeira (Portugal). Milena Carvalho, Jonathan Haws. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398186)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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