Mortality analysis of the Late Pleistocene bears from Grotta Lattaia, central Italy
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Reported here are the results of a mortality analysis of an Ursus spelaeus death assemblage from Grotta Lattaia, southern Tuscany (central Italy), excavated in 1939. The Grotta Lattaia cave bears are among the latest representatives of the species. The large amount of cave bear remains indicates that the cavern was a lair for hibernating bears which repeatedly, but not necessarily yearly, occupied it. The mortality evidence indicates that deaths occurred primarily during hibernation from violent predation, and, therefore, that the bears had direct interaction with other carnivores. However, no sign of interrelation with humans could be found, even though Middle Paleolithic human remains and tools had been recovered associated with the bear material. Grotta Lattaia can be thus considered an example of cumulative, non-human-caused violent deaths in a hibernation context.
Mortality Analysis, Cave Bears, Late Pleistocene, Central Italy
Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 33, no. 11 (2006).
Patrizia, Argenti and Maza, Paul P.A., "Mortality analysis of the Late Pleistocene bears from Grotta Lattaia, central Italy" (2006). KIP Articles. 3513.