Zooarchaeology and Taphonomy of Unit III in the Middle Paleolithic Site of Nesher Ramla


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Levantine Middle Paleolithic period plays a crucial role in human origins research, encompassing vast cognitive and technological developments. Faunal remains are an important source of knowledge regarding hunting patterns, reflecting both human behavior and subsistence strategies. This paper addresses questions of hunting, transport, butchery patterns and use of space as they occurred at the Middle Paleolithic open-air site of Nesher Ramla in central Israel. The site consists of a well preserved 8 m thick sequence yielding rich lithic and faunal assemblages, combustion features, manuports, and ochre. Detailed taphonomic and zooarchaeological analyses of a sample from Unit III (OSL dated ~130ka years ago) revealed an anthropogenic accumulation dominated by ungulate and chelonian taxa, associated with various combustion and other features. Prey species include mostly spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) and aurochs (Bos primigenius). Other species represented include wild equids (Equus sp.), and mountain gazelle (Gazella gazella), Mesopotamian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica), wild boar (Sus scrofa). The new data from Nesher Ramla Unit III conforms with taxonomic patterns of Middle Paleolithic open-air sites, where large ungulates dominate. However, bone material is better preserved and more abundant than what has been at observed at other open air sites in the Levant.

Cite this Record

Zooarchaeology and Taphonomy of Unit III in the Middle Paleolithic Site of Nesher Ramla. Kathryn Crater Gershtein, Reuven Yeshurun, Yossi Zaidner. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450162)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 26.191; min lat: 12.211 ; max long: 73.477; max lat: 42.94 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23798