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Taphonomic analysis of the small mammal assemblage of Hayonim E:implications for paleoecology of the southern Levant during MIS 6

Author(s): Miriam Belmaker ; Ekaterina Sevastakis

Year: 2017

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Summary

This study presents the taphonomic history of the small mammal assemblage of Hayonim E, Israel, and compares it to those of other Middle Paleolithic (MP) sites. Levantine paleoecological changes during the MP have implications for hominin dispersal into the region. It has been suggested that a comparison of faunal assemblages from Hayonim (160–130 Kya), Qafzeh (120–90 kya) and Amud (75–45 kya) indicate a shift between glacial and interglacial fauna which mirror dispersals by Neanderthals and modern humans. However, these analyses do not account for possible differences in the predator accumulating the fauna among the sites studied. Analyses of the taphonomic history is critical before inferring the paleoecology of the site and only sites that were accumulated by the same predator may be compared with rigor. Results suggest that the assemblage from Hayonim E and Qafzeh were accumulated by barn owls while the assemblage from Amud cave was accumulated by Eagle owls. Barn Owls (Tyto alba) take prey in proportion to its abundance in the environment and thus, fossil assemblages derived from this taxon are excellent indicators of the environment; although comparison amongst sites should only be done with caution, given their different taphonomic histories.


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Cite this Record

Taphonomic analysis of the small mammal assemblage of Hayonim E:implications for paleoecology of the southern Levant during MIS 6. Miriam Belmaker, Ekaterina Sevastakis. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430652)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
West Asia


Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15097

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