Testing heterogeneity in faunal assemblages from archaeological sites. Tumbling and trampling experiments at the early-Middle Pleistocene site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov (Israel)

Sabine Gaudzinski-Windheuser*, Lutz Kindler, Rivka Rabinovich, Naama Goren-Inbar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current paper reports an experimental case study to test the heterogeneity of faunal assemblages from the Early-Middle Pleistocene Layers V-5 and V-6 of the Gesher Benot Ya'aqov Acheulian site (Israel). Tumbling and trampling experiments were initiated to gain qualitative insight into processes of bone modification and to assess the timing of the biostratonomic chronology, as it was assumed that both mechanisms were responsible for the formation of striations documented on the bone surfaces from the site. The tumbling experiments mimicked sediment movement in a calm lacustrine shoreline environment whereas the trampling experiments investigate the role of animal/hominin activities in dry, muddy and wet environments. Models for the internal operational sequence of an abrasional process due to uni- and multidirectional water movement and of a trampling scenario are presented. These models are used for the interpretation of the fauna from Gesher Benot Ya'aqov.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3170-3190
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume37
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (Contract Number 1-657-20.4/2000 ) and the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum . The Israel Science Foundation financed the Center of Excellence for the study of Climate Change in The Upper Jordan Valley Between Ca. 800 ka and 700 ka Ago—Its Impact on the Environment and Hominins and its Potential as A Prediction For Future Scenarios (Grant No. 300/06 ).

Keywords

  • Biostratonomy
  • Bone-surface modifications
  • Lacustrine shoreline environment
  • Striations
  • Taphonomy
  • Trampling
  • Tumbling

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