Optimal foraging, dietary change, and site use during the Paleolithic at Klissoura Cave 1 (southern Greece)
Britt M. Starkovich Journal of Archaeological Science 52 (December 2014), 39-55
Περίληψη (στα Αγγλικά)
This paper evaluates a long sequence of zooarchaeological remains from Klissoura Cave 1 (southern Greece) within the paradigm of evolutionary ecology. The prey choice, central place foraging, and patch choice models are applied to the dataset in order to understand subsistence shifts related to local resource depression and changes in the intensity of site use from the Middle Paleolithic through Mesolithic. Major trends in prey choice indicate that Middle Paleolithic hominins tended to focus on high-ranked large game resources, while Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic occupants shifted to lower-ranked small game, fast-moving animals in particular. Overarching shifts in prey use do not correspond to environmental change, so they likely reflect human impacts on local prey populations. Reconstructions of body part profiles indicate that hunters exploited large game animals locally, possibly as they passed through the gorge or drank at a nearby stream. Occupation intensity at the site was highest at the beginning of the Aurignacian, which is reflected by an increase in material culture such as lithics and hearth features, as well as different subsistence strategies. Specifically, bone marrow processing is more important, evidenced by ungulate transport decisions that focus on marrow-rich elements, and an overall increase in marrow processing intensity. Environmental data indicate that conditions in southern Greece were particularly favorable at the beginning of the Aurignacian, which supported rich ungulate faunas and larger populations of their hominin predators in the area. In general, faunal data from Klissoura Cave 1 fit within larger trends found in the Mediterranean over the course of the Late Pleistocene, which indicate that human hunting pressures were on the rise. However, many aspects of prey use are specific to Klissoura Cave 1, reflecting unique environmental and cultural circumstances of southern Greece at various phases in the occupation of the site.