A 3D Geometric Morphometric Comparison of Bone Surface Modifications on Proboscidean Assemblages from the Western Great Lakes
This is an abstract from the "Novel Statistical Techniques in Archaeology I (QUANTARCH I)" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Currently, an alarming number of plants and animals are on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss caused by human activities and climate change. Though numerically unprecedented, this may not be the first instance of a human-driven mass extinction. For decades, scholars have hypothesized that human predation led to the extinction of North American megafauna in the Pleistocene. However, trace evidence of proboscidean butchery by humans in the form of cut marks and other bone surface modifications (BSM) is contentious. For example, independent experts observing identical BSM on four Clovis and Pre-Clovis aged proboscidean assemblages from the Western Great Lakes region disagree on whether the agents responsible for the marks were human butchers. Here, we conduct a 3D geometric morphometric analysis of BSM from the Hebior, Fenske, Mud Lake, and Schaeffer proboscidean assemblages. We compare these marks to known human and natural BSM using Bayesian inference to assign probabilities that each agent caused the marks. This technique has shown enough statistical power to differentiate between cut marks resulting from different behaviors in the past. Results facilitate a methodology allowing researchers to better understand the origins of BSM and contribute to our knowledge of human-megafauna interactions in the Pleistocene.
Cite this Record
A 3D Geometric Morphometric Comparison of Bone Surface Modifications on Proboscidean Assemblages from the Western Great Lakes. Carolina Gonzalez, Jake Harris, Curtis Marean, Daniel Joyce, Erik Otárola-Castillo. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451186)
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min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;
Abstract Id(s): 26274