Navigation Links
The last supper of the hominids establishes the times they lived at the sites
Date:7/14/2009

In the French cave of Arago, an international team of scientists has analyzed the dental wear of the fossils of herbivorous animals hunted by Homo heidelbergensis. It is the first time that an analytical method has allowed the establishment of the length of human occupations at archaeological sites. The key is the last food that these hominids consumed.

For many years, the mobility of the groups of hominids and how long they spent in caves or outdoors has been a subject of discussion among scientists. Now, an international team headed by researchers from the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES) in Tarragona has based its studies on the dental fossils of animals hunted by hominids in order to determine the vegetation in the environment and the way of life of Homo heidelbergensis.

Florent Rivals is the main author and a researcher from the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), attached to the IPHES in Tarragona. "For the first time, a method has been put forward which allows us to establish the relative length of the human occupations at archaeological sites as, up until now, it was difficult to ascertain the difference between, for example, a single long-term occupation and a succession of shorter seasonal occupations in the same place", he explained to SINC.

In the study, recently published in the Journal of Human Evolution, the researchers analyze the dental wear of the ungulates (herbivorous mammals) caused by microscopic particles of opaline silica in plants. These marks appear when eating takes place and erase the previous ones. This is why they are so useful.

Thanks to the "last supper phenomenon", the scientists have been able to analyze the last food consumed by animals such as the Eurasian wild horse (Equus ferus), the mouflon (Ovis ammon antiqua) and the reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). "This method allows us to confirm the seasonal nature of the occupation", Rivals added. According to the team, the microwear of the teeth is sensitive to seasonal changes in the diet.

The application has allowed the researchers to estimate the length of the occupation of the site from the Lower Paleolithic Age in the cave of Arago (France) by the number of marks on the fossils and, therefore, the variation in the diet of several species of herbivores, as "each season presented food resources which were limited and different in the environment", the paleontologist clarified.

High and low periods of occupation

After confirming the hypothesis in present-day animals whose age and date of death was known to the scientists, the researchers demonstrated that, if a group of animals is seen during a specific season (a short-term occupation), the signs of dental wear undergo little variation. But if the occupation lasts several seasons, the dental marks are more diverse.

"If the animals are hunted during long periods of occupation, more variable dental wear would be expected", Rivals declared. In the case of the French cave of Arago, the study of the dental wear confirms that it was occupied in different ways. "With this method, we were able to prove that at the site, which belonged to Homo heidelbergensis, there is evidence of differing mobility, as there were highly mobile groups and others with little mobility", the scientist confirmed.

The Spanish and German researchers have combined this application with multidisciplinary studies of archaeological sites in order to apply it to other settlements of the Mid-Paleolithic Age such as Payre (France), Taubach (Germany) and Abric Romani (Spain).


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UBC study establishes formula for predicting climate change impact on salmon stocks
2. Rice University establishes National Corrosion Center
3. Sharper image: UH optometrist establishes sports vision clinic
4. Academy establishes Asia Center to protect the environment
5. In troubled economic times, BioSquare 2009 successfully serves as business and innovation starter
6. Seattle Times reporters win ASM public communications award
7. Information warfare in the 21st century: Ideas are sometimes stronger than bombs
8. Singapore-US scientists first to develop revolutionary microchip that uses 30 times less energy
9. College students find comfort in their pets during hard times
10. Modified gene targets cancer cells a thousand times more often than healthy cells
11. Whispering bats are 100 times louder than previously thought
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The last supper of the hominids establishes the times they lived at the sites
(Date:12/20/2016)... 20, 2016 The rising popularity of ... leasing is stoking significant interest in keyless access ... Bluetooth low energy (BLE), biometrics and near-field communication ... wave of wireless technologies in the automotive industry. ... advanced access systems opens the market to specialist ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... , Dec. 16, 2016   IdentyTechSolutions ... Identity management products and solutions and a cutting-edge ... today that it is offering seamless, integrated solutions ... security entrance products. The solutions provide IdentyTech,s customers ... secure their facilities from crime and theft. ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , December 15, 2016 Arvato ... an agreement with NuData Security, an award-winning international ... will enable clients to focus on good customer experience, balancing ... regulation. ... In order to provide a one-stop fraud prevention suite, Arvato ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... Stock-Callers.com explores the Biotech industry ... most recent performances of select equities. In this morning,s ... ), Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ABEO ), ... Sage Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SAGE ). According ... global Biotech market size is expected to reach $604.40 billion by 2020 due ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 ... is one of leading causes of death worldwide. There ... the number of cancer related deaths increased gradually over ... in incidence rate of various cancers continues to drive ... research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. cancer biological ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Type, Application - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022" ... ... is projected to reach $15,737 million by 2022 from $6,521 in ... Omic technologies segment accounted for more than half ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. and HOUSTON ... Prenatal Inc. ("NX Prenatal") today announced the formation ... brings together leading clinicians and industry veterans who ... the company as it accelerates development of its ... positioned to provide medical, clinical and strategic guidance ...
Breaking Biology Technology: