Cave bear (Ursus spelaeus), brown bear (Ursus arctos), and Neanderthals were potential competitors for environmental resources (shelters and food) in Europe. In order to reinforce this view and contribute to the ongoing debate on late Neanderthal behavior, we present evidence from zooarchaeological and taphonomic analyses of bear bone remains discovered at Rio Secco Cave and Fumane Cave in northeast Italy, an extended geographic area north of the Adriatic Sea. The remains from both caves come from layers dated to 49-42 ky cal. BP, and suggest close interactions between humans and bears, with data not only limited to the association of Mousterian lithic artifacts with numerous bear remains, but also the detection of clearly preserved traces of human modification such as cut and percussion marks, which enable a reconstruction of the main steps of fur recovery and the butchering process. Examples of Neanderthal bear exploitation are extremely sporadic in Europe, and Grotta Rio Secco and Grotta Fumane can be considered rare cases of remain accumulations generated by the human predation of bears of varied age classes during or near the end of hibernation. All of this evidence suggests that bears had a strategic role in the nomadic economy of Neanderthal hunting groups.

Bears and Humans, a Neanderthal tale. Reconstructing uncommon behaviors from zooarchaeological evidence in Southern Europe

Matteo Romandini
Formal Analysis
;
Gabriele Terlato
Formal Analysis
;
Nicola Nannini
Formal Analysis
;
Marco Peresani
Supervision
2018

Abstract

Cave bear (Ursus spelaeus), brown bear (Ursus arctos), and Neanderthals were potential competitors for environmental resources (shelters and food) in Europe. In order to reinforce this view and contribute to the ongoing debate on late Neanderthal behavior, we present evidence from zooarchaeological and taphonomic analyses of bear bone remains discovered at Rio Secco Cave and Fumane Cave in northeast Italy, an extended geographic area north of the Adriatic Sea. The remains from both caves come from layers dated to 49-42 ky cal. BP, and suggest close interactions between humans and bears, with data not only limited to the association of Mousterian lithic artifacts with numerous bear remains, but also the detection of clearly preserved traces of human modification such as cut and percussion marks, which enable a reconstruction of the main steps of fur recovery and the butchering process. Examples of Neanderthal bear exploitation are extremely sporadic in Europe, and Grotta Rio Secco and Grotta Fumane can be considered rare cases of remain accumulations generated by the human predation of bears of varied age classes during or near the end of hibernation. All of this evidence suggests that bears had a strategic role in the nomadic economy of Neanderthal hunting groups.
Romandini, Matteo; Terlato, Gabriele; Nannini, Nicola; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Benazzi, Stefano; Peresani, Marco
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
romandini2018.pdf

solo gestori archivio

Descrizione: Full text editoriale
Tipologia: Full text (versione editoriale)
Licenza: NON PUBBLICO - Accesso privato/ristretto
Dimensione 10.46 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
10.46 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
JASC17-8R2-Romandini et al_Bears and humans a Neanderthal tale + SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Post print
Tipologia: Post-print
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 2.07 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
2.07 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2381729
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 30
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 28
social impact