This work reviews the anthropogenic exploitation of small mammals during a crucial time span for the reconstruction of human behavior at the dawn of the Middle - Upper Palaeolithic boundary in the Northern Mediterranean region. Data are sourced from faunal assemblages recovered in the final Mousterian levels of Grotta di Fumane (A5-A6 complex) and the Late Mousterian levels of Riparo Tagliente (levels 35 and 36) and Grotta di San Bernardino (units II and IV), in the North of Italy. As a whole, these records mostly comprise ungulates, rather than bird and carnivore bones, and derive from primary accumulation processes more than from post-depositional activities or direct carnivore actions. Broadly, the taphonomic analyses reveal the presence of human modifications referable to different butchering activities on almost all of the ungulates. Small mammal bones are present throughout the late MP sequences in variable quantities, with canids and rodents represented in each of the assemblages. This work highlights new qualitative taphonomic records produced by humans within a large area that reveal Neandertals’ exploitation of small mammals as game. At Grotta di Fumane, foxes have been butchered in order to exploit fur and meat. Similarly, at Grotta Maggiore di San Bernardino and Riparo Tagliente some large rodents bear cut-marks related to the same purposes. Krapina Cave is the only other Mousterian site containing evidence of small game explotation (beaver and marmot) that is in close geographical proximity to the caves analyzed here.
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|Titolo:||LATE NEANDERTALS AND THE EXPLOITATION OF SMALL MAMMALS IN NORTHERN ITALY: FORTUITY, NECESSITY OR HUNTING VARIABILITY?|
|Data di pubblicazione:||Being printed|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03.1 Articolo su rivista|