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People and large carnivores as biostratinomic agents in Late Glacial cave assemblages

Lord, T.C., O'Connor, T.P., Siebrandt, D.C. and Jacobi, R.M. (2007) People and large carnivores as biostratinomic agents in Late Glacial cave assemblages. Journal of Quaternary Science, 22 (7). pp. 681-694. ISSN 0267-8179

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Biostratinomic analysis (processes acting between death and burial) of Lateglacial mammal bone assemblages from three caves in northern England demonstrates the value of re-examining archived assemblages. With AMS radiocarbon dating of key specimens, these assemblages shed light on the ecology of a region at the northern limit of Lateglacial human activity in Britain. During the Lateglacial Interstadial bears, wolves and humans expanded into the region, bears by around 12 500 14C yr BP, and the earliest evidence for human presence is around 12 300 14C yr BP. At Victoria Cave, wolf activity included predation and scavenging of large ungulates and scavenging bear carcasses apparently resulting from hibernation deaths. The scavenging of bear carcasses is possibly confined to the first part of the Lateglacial Interstadial, whereas evidence for wolf scavenging large ungulates increases later in the Interstadial, after about 11 800 14C yr BP, perhaps reflecting changes in the productivity of the Lateglacial ecosystem, and in human subsistence patterns. The assemblage from Sewell's Cave is wolf den debris from the very end of the Lateglacial Interstadial around 10 800 14C yr BP, whilst that from Kinsey Cave is dominated by large-bodied carnivores, and is argued to have a quite different taphonomic history.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2009 09:04
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2009 09:04
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jqs.1101
Status: Published
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Identification Number: 10.1002/jqs.1101
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6834

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