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…

Who let the hyaenas out? Do we mistake hyaena dens for hominin occupation sites?

Since the first discovery of Pleistocene mammal fauna with lithic tools, the role of carnivores as accumulators at archaeological sites, both modern and during the ice-age, has been well established. The analysis and identification of specific types of carnivore bone surface modification and accumulation patterns during the 1960-1980s advanced our knowledge and understanding of site…

Wildcat consumption by Neanderthals at Abric Romani (Spain)

While Neanderthals are generally seen as mainly exploiting large and medium-sized ungulates, more and more evidence indicates that they were processing smaller, faster animals as well. A good example is the recently published study by Gabucio et al. in Quaternary International. They undertook detailed analyses of the remains of wildcat (Felis silvestris) from  level O…

An Unshakable Middle Palaeolithic?

Mary Stiner has just published a review paper in Current Anthropology about variation in the Middle Palaeolithic and whether the period can still be viewed as one of stasis. The review mainly deals with the zooarchaeological evidence from around the Mediterranean basin though does draw in broader comparisons with the wider European Middle Palaeolithic and…

Châtelperronian and late Mousterian at Les Bossats (Paris Basin)

The recent discovery (2009) and excavation of the open-air site of Ormesson (Seine-et-Marne – France) revealed an interesting  sequence of Gravettian – Solutrean – Châtelperronian – Middle Palaeolithic, unique for Northern France. The latest publication in Quaternary International focusses on level 4, the discoidal Mousterian. Preservation at the site is exceptional with animal bones, remnants…