The Lazaret Cave in Nice, France, is a systematically excavated key site in Southern Europe for carrying out investigations on the transition between the Acheulean and Mousterian cultures. It is a reference site for the reconstruction of paleoenvironments, bio-stratigraphy and for understanding cultural evolution, behaviour and lifestyle of preneanderthals, the last contemporaries of late Middle Pleistocene. In this paper, we aim to present the results concerning the archaeozoological studies conducted on the large mammal remains recovered from the Archaeostratigraphic Unit 28 of the cave’s deposit, which is dated to the Upper Middle Pleistocene (MIS 6). This unit has also yielded a rich lithic industry associated with the definite evidence of human presence in the cave in the form of four preneanderthal remains. The faunal spectra comprise 8 species of ungulates and 7 species of carnivores. Cervus elaphus, Capra ibex and Bos primigenius dominate the assemblage while the other taxa are represented minimally. Taphonomic studies reveal that humans were the primary agents of accumulation carrying out either selective or non-selective hunting, transporting and exploiting/processing of carcasses of certain species for nutritive purposes. The intrusive nature of carnivores, with scarce remains, is ascertained by their presence between two human occupation levels as shown by characteristic modifications made by them on bones. A study of ungulate dentition show that the cave was tentatively occupied or used temporarily from autumn to the end of winter. In terms of palaeoecology, the faunal species represent a mixture of varying landscapes with mountain, forest and open grassland habitats and an environment tending towards climate cooler than the present.
|Titolo:||Archaeozoological analyses of large mammals from the prehistoric cave site of Lazaret, France: A case study of Archaeostratigraphic Unit 28|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||04.2 Contributi in atti di convegno (in Volume)|