Title

New evidence of broader diets for archaic Homopopulations in the northwestern Mediterranean

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Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Publication Date

January 2019

Abstract

Investigating diet breadth is critical for understanding how archaic Homo populations, including Neanderthals, competed for seasonally scarce resources. The current consensus in Western Europe is that ungulates formed the bulk of the human diet during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic, while small fast prey taxa were virtually ignored. Here, we present a multisite taphonomic study of leporid assemblages from Southern France that supports frequent exploitation of small fast game during marine isotope stages 11 to 3. Along with recent evidence from Iberia, our results indicate that the consumption of small fast game was more common prior to the Upper Paleolithic than previously thought and that archaic hominins from the northwestern Mediterranean had broader diets than those from adjacent regions. Although likely of secondary importance relative to ungulates, the frequent exploitation of leporids documented here implies that human diet breadths were substantially more variable within Europe than assumed by current evolutionary models.

Notes

Science Advances, Vol. 5, no. 3 (2019).

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RDA

Type

Article

Genre

serial

Identifier

SFS0071301_00001

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