Upper Palaeolithic mammoth mega-sites: a dog’s dinner?

The discovery and excavation of Palaeolithic sites with vast quantities of mammoth material is a source of both wonder and considerable academic debate. In particular, the large Upper Palaeolithic localities from eastern Europe with structures made from mammoth bones. However, despite a long history of research the actual process of how these remains were acquired…

Identifying the provenance of ‘ochre’ used by late Neanderthals at Les Bossats (Northern France)

The recently discovered open-air site of Les Bossates (Ormesson, northern France) has a rich archaeological sequence, including a late Mousterian assemblage which has been TL dated to around 47,000 years ago. As reported elsewhere, this assemblage is characterised by discoidal flaking and a large number (77) of red and yellow iron oxide-rich rocks. These fragments…

The role of fatty acids in Palaeolithic diet: New evidence from frozen Mammoth carcasses.

Many studies into Palaeolithic diet, both traditional zooarchaeological analysis and isotope studies, emphasise the importance of meat to past hominin diet. However, these frequently encounter the problem of explaining how these past communities overcame problems related to the consumption of large quantities of meat. Whilst it is one of the worst kept secrets in Palaeolithic archaeology…

House proud Neanderthals? A critical note.

Research regarding Neanderthal groups in Italy has been making the headlines with claims for structured organisation of space. Such organisation has previously been argued to be a trait that only modern humans, i.e. us, were capable or willing to do. Thus, if these new findings are to be taken seriously then it is another point…