• =?UTF-8?Q?Neandertal_migrtion_along_Rh=C3=B4ne?=

    From marc verhaegen@21:1/5 to All on Thu Jun 8 09:15:24 2023
    Multi-isotope zooarchaeological investigations at Abri du Maras:
    the paleoecological and paleoenvironmental context of Neanderthal subsistence strategies in the Rhône Valley during MIS 3
    Kate Britton cs 2023 J.hum.Evol.174, 103292

    The exploitation of mid- and large-sized herbivores (ungulates) was central to hominin subsistence across Late Pleistocene Europe. Reconstructing the paleoecology of prey-taxa is key to better understanding procurement strategies, decisions and behaviors,
    and the isotope analysis of faunal bones and teeth found at archaeological sites represent a powerful means of accessing information about past faunal behaviors. These isotope zooarchaeological approaches also have a near-unique ability to reveal
    environmental conditions contemporary to the human activities that produced these remains. Here, we present the results of a multi-isotope, multitissue study of ungulate remains from the Middle Paleolithic site of Abri du Maras, southern France,
    providing new insights into the living landscapes of the Rhône Valley during MIS 3 (level 4.2=55±2 to 42±3ka; level 4.1=46±3 to 40±3ka). Isotope data (carbon, nitrogen) reveal the dietary niches of different ungulate taxa, including the now-extinct
    giant deer (Megaloceros). Oxygen isotope data are consistent with a mild seasonal climate during level 4.2, where horse (Equus), bison (Bison), and red deer (Cervus elaphus) were exploited year-round. Strontium and sulfur isotope analyses provide new
    evidence for behavioral plasticity in Late Pleistocene European reindeer (Rangifer) between level 4.2 and level 4.1, indicating a change from the migratory to the sedentary ecotype. In level 4.1, the strong seasonal nature of reindeer exploitation,
    combined with their nonmigratory behavior, is consistent with a seasonally restricted use of the site by Neanderthals at that time or the preferential hunting of reindeer when in peak physical condition during the autumn.


    Neandertals were no systematic hunters of terrestrial herbivores, of course: isotope analyses are not only super-carnivorous (impossible: you can't be more carnivorous than e.g. felids), but were perfectly between marine & freshwater foods: most likely (
    e.g. see my book), neandertals seasonally followed the rivers (+ salmon?) inland. This also best explains neandertal pachyosteosclerosis (shallow-diving), huge brain (DHA), large lungs, external nose + large paranasal air sinuses, more horizontal
    femoral necks (lateral leg movements), shorter tibias than H.sapiens, rel.long first & 5th digital rays of hands and feet, etc. IOW, this paper beautifully confirms our view of coastal neandertals seasonally following the rivers inland, google e.g. "
    gondwanatalks bonne verhaegen".

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