Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


4 April 2012

Upper Palaeolithic animal exploitation at Klissoura Cave 1 in southern Greece: dietary trends and mammal taphonomy

Britt M. Starkovich & Mary C. Stiner Eurasian Prehistory 7:2 (2010): 107-132.


The faunal remains from the Upper Paleolithic (UP) through Mesolithic layers at Klissoura Cave 1 (Prosymna) in Peloponnese, Greece, were examined to understand changes in hominid diets over the course of the sequence, as well as the human and non-human taphonomic processes that affected the assemblages. The range of hunted species varied with lime in response to a combination of environmental factors and human hunting pressures. Evidence for the latter includes a shift in small game hunting from mainly high-ranking slow moving species (tortoises) in the Early UP to greater use oflow tanking fast-moving species (hares and birds) and the eventual inclusion ofland snails in later Paleolithic and Mesolithic diets. Fallow deer dominate the ungulate remains throughout the sequence. The ungulate faunas are particularly diverse, however, in the earliest Aurignacian layers and again in the Epigravettian and Mesolithic layers. The evidence for bone modification is uniformly anthropogenic, with rare if any indication of non-human taphonomic processes. Body part analyses of the fallow deer remains reveal a paucity of axial elements below the neck, which probably were discarded at kill sites. Hare body part profiles consistently lack foot and vertebral elements, which may also reflect field processing or spatially discrete (unexcavated) processing areas on-site. The highly varied prey spectra of the Upper Paleolithic-Mesolithic occupations show that a wide range of economic activities generally took place at this site.


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