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…

Diet breadth in the Middle Stone Age: Evolutionarily important?

The Middle Stone Age (MSA, ca. 300,000 to 30,000 years ago), is a crucial period in terms of the emergence of our species. During this period anatomically Modern Humans evolved and spread out of Africa. A recent study published in Current Anthropology (free access) provides a new perspective on this phenomenon through an investigation of subsistence practices…

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…

Surviving at the edge of the Palaeolithic world

The movement of hominins out of a particular region into different areas, to which they are not necessarily adapted, is a topic familiar to Palaeolithic research for all regions and periods. In northwest Europe this topic has received a lot of interest, particularly related to both the initial occupation of Britain and subsequent re-occupation during…