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«Item type text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic) Authors Munro, Natalie Dawn Publisher The University of Arizona. Rights Copyright © is held ...»

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Kent 1993; O'Connell and Marshall 1989; O'Connell et al. 1988; Oliver 1993). If the weight of the prey exceeds what can be transported to camp by available carriers, hunters must be selective about which parts to carry and are expected to maximize returns by selecting portions with the highest energetic yields. Principles of cost'benefits do not yield infallible predictions about human transport decisions, but provide a scale for assessing behavioral variation. Recent research on the transport and field processing behaviors of modem hunter-gatherer and agricultural groups also indicate that the

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Kent 1993; O'Connell et al. 1988; O'Connell and Marshall 1989; Oliver 1993).

Because prey skeletal parts are most often transported with soft tissues, it is possible to assess the role of human transport on prey assemblage formation by examining the skeletal representation of prey at archaeological sites. Transport decisions can thus be studied by assigning relative values to prey skeletal parts according to the caloric yields of associated products, including meat, marrow, and bone grease. If restrictions (high costs) on transport were imposed, the body part profiles of affected species are expected to be biased toward high-utility skeletal remains (those associated with high energy body tissues; sensii Binford 1978). If carcasses were carried in complete units, or if prey were collected for purposes other than food, there should be no significant correlation between the energetic value of prey body parts and their representation at archaeological sites. Though the value of prey body parts is often at least partially determined by the demand or perceived value of raw materials such as bone, skin, sinew, or antler, the value of these materials are difficult to assess in calories, and thus raw materials are generally left out of transport equations. The importance of the latter products in determining transport decisions is discussed in more detail below.

Binford (1978) refined the link between prey skeletal portions and their energetic value by measuring the caloric yield of consumable body parts associated with prey skeletal elements. The result was the Modified General Utility Index (MGUI) which assigns relative energetic values to the skeletal portions of caribou and sheep the main prey of the Nunamiut groups he studied. The MGUI provides utility values for bone

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calcaneum) by summing the energy derived from the meat, marrow, and bone grease in a complete animal. The utility values are then normed on a scale from 0 to 100, and each is divided by the energetic value of the highest utility part. Low-utility elements likely to accompany high-utility parts as riders (e.g., carpals, tarsals, and phalanges) are assigned intermediate values. In the absence of density-mediated attrition of bone, a strong negative correlation indicates a "high-utility" transport strategy, or selection for body parts with high caloric yields. Strong positive correlations indicate reverse utility strategies, or assemblages rich in low-utility parts, and are most commonly interpreted as butchering stations. Finally, insignificant correlations indicate that transport did not exert a significant role in assemblage formation, that food utility was not the main influence on transport, or that other more influential processes subsequently distorted its signature.

Since the development of the MGUI, many researchers have recommended adjustments and refinements (i.e., the food utility index and transport indices; Jones and Metcalfe 1988; Metcalfe and Jones 1988; O'Connell et al. 1988). Utility indices have also been determined for new species such as guanaco, bison, and phocid seals (e.g.., Borrero 1990; Lyman et al. 1992). All of this attention attests to the general strength of the method for predicting human transport decisions, yet the utility indices also have their share of problems. In 1984 Lyman published an important cautionary statement on utility indices. His work showed that the utility value and mineral density of skeletal portions are negatively correlated. Utility indices thus correlate significantly with bone survivorship in assemblages biased by density-mediated attrition, regardless of the role

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is of particular relevance here, since the survivorship of gazelle body parts from Hayonim Cave was shown to correlate significantly with bone mineral density in Chapter 4.

Food Transport in the Natufian Period Prior to the Natufian, there is good evidence that hominid foragers of the Levant transported prey carcasses to central places for consumption (Bar-Oz et al. 1999;

Rabinovich 1997; Speth and Tchemov 1998,2001; Stiner 1994; Stiner and Tchemov 1998). Free from competition and with easy access to site facilities and tools, humans were able to invest additional time to extract energy from animal carcasses. Flint tools were used to deflesh and dismember carcasses, and hammerstones used to smash long bones and access marrow cavities. Still, it is not until the Epipaleolithic period, and the Natufian in particular, that the innovation and subsequent diversification of groundstone technology greatly increased the potential yields that could be extracted from available foods.

Groundstone artifacts opened an entirely new niche for human foragers, who gained affordable access to plant resources that were previously unavailable due to high processing costs. Though less important, groundstone technology may have also facilitated greater extraction of grease from the microstructure of mammalian bone, thus increasing the value of animal bones to human consumers. Irmovations and diversification in processing equipment including groundstone and sickle blades, gave the Natufians unprecedented potential to extract energy from the local environments (Wright 1994). This undoubtedly also altered the value of plant and animal resources to human

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Methods Prey transport is addressed by examining prey body part profiles from Natufian sites. Body part analysis begins here with the division of the skeleton into anatomical regions likely to have been transported to campsites as quasi-articulated units. For larger prey (gazelle), the distribution of bone portions is also compared to the MGUI.

Body part analysis was undertaken for ail prey species for which adequate samples were available, including gazelle {Gazella gazella), fox {Vulpes viilpes), felids {Felis cf chaus), hare {Lepus capensis), partridge {Alectoris chukar), and diurnal avian raptors (Falconiformes). The gazelle category includes specimens assigned to both gazelle and small ungulate categories. Because gazelles represent 99% of the small ungulates identified to species in the Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit assemblages (see Chapter 7), it can safely be assumed that virtually all of the small ungulates originate from gazelles even those specimens that do not permit species-specific attribution.

Combining the two fractions ensures that all elements, not just the most diagnostic ones, are included in the body part profiles. Likewise, the partridge sample from Hayonim Cave includes a subset of specimens from the medium-sized bird category.

Unfortunately, in the case of hares and small camivores, the same strategy could not be applied, since parts that could not be identified for these taxa were assigned by necessity to the same small mammal category. Elements identified to the small mammal category were thus omitted from the body part analysis, and it is likely that the neck, axial, and foot regions of hare and carnivore skeletons will be underrepresented in the profile as a

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The relative representation of prey body parts is analyzed by dividing the prey carcass into anatomical regions and standardizing observed MNE frequencies against expected MNE for each region, following Stiner (1991; 1994; 240-242). Anatomical regions are defined based on the natural articulation of body parts and their potential for dismemberment into easily transportable units (e.g., head, neck, upper forelimb). The MAU for an anatomical unit is calculated by summing the MNE for each element in that unit in the archaeological assemblage. This total is then divided by the number of elements in that unit in a complete skeleton. For example, two complete gazelle lower forelimbs are composed of 6 major elements; 2 radii, 2 ulnae and 2 metacarpals. The MNE for gazelle radii (41), ulnae (36), and metacarpals (27) from the Natufian layer at Hayonim Cave totals 104. This value is then divided by the number of lower forelimb elements in the complete skeleton (6) and rounded-up to the next whole number to give an MAU of 18 for the gazelle lower forelimb. Because the MAU for each anatomical region is standardized against an expected value, results can be compared among regions to identify discrepancies in the representation of different body parts.

Though each prey species is divided according to the same basic anatomical plan, some taxonomic groups required adjustments in expected MNE due to variation in skeletal structure (see Table 5.1). Elements that could not be identified to species are eliminated from analysis except as described above. Teeth are also excluded due to their greater likelihood of preservation (see Chapter 4). The anatomical divisions for each prey

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Table 5.1: Minimum number of elements in a complete skeleton for each of the anatomical units used in body part analysis.

Note that ribs and vertebrae are excluded from the carnivore and Falconiforme groups, and ribs are excluded from the hare and partridge groups, since they could not be identified to species.

Carnivore and ungulate skeletons are divided following Stiner (1991; 1994: 240into 8 and 9 anatomical units respectively (see Table 5.1). Two changes were made in the derivation of the carnivore anatomical regions. First, the metacarpals and metatarsals are included in the foot region rather than the hind leg unit. Second, most vertebrae are excluded from the analysis due to identification problems. The neck group of carnivores therefore contains only the atlas and the axis, and the axial region is limited to the sacrum and the two innominates. Hares are divided into the same basic categories as carnivores (see Table 5.1). Ribs are excluded from the analysis, since they are difficult to separate from small carnivore ribs, particularly when fragmented. Vertebrae of hares are included since these elements are more easily distinguished from those of small carnivores. For birds, a new category -- the pectoral girdle — is created for the bones of the breast region (scapula, coracoid, flirculum, and sternum). The pectoral girdle supports the flight muscles, and is associated with the largest meat mass in the avian

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and carpals) are tightly articulated with ligaments, associate with little meat, and are considered a single anatomical unit (the wing). The only wing phalanx counted for birds is the highly diagnostic 1st phalanx of digit 2. The skeletons of partridges and Faiconiformes are represented by the same number of elements and are divided into the same basic units (see Table 5.1). Because I was unable to identify Falconiforme vertebrae to order, they were assigned to general avian categories based on body size (e.g., large bird) and will be underrepresented in Falconiforme body part profiles The analysis of prey body parts centers on taxa from Hayonim Cave for which the largest samples are available. Profiles are presented for some common species from Hilazon Tachtit, but the sample sizes are often too small to show more than very basic information on anatomical units. The Early and Late assemblages from Hayonim Cave are collapsed into a single unit in this discussion to increase sample sizes. However, body part profiles from the Early and Late layers were checked for consistency and no major differences between them were found.

Results of Body Part Analysis Gazelle (Gazella gazella) The gazelle body part profiles from Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit are similar, though small differences in the representation of some anatomical regions may exist (Tables 5.2 and 5.3, and Figure 5.1). Both profiles are dominated by the limb regions, and axial elements are poorly represented. The bias against neck and axial elements can be partly explained by the action of density-mediated attritional processes

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and homs. At Hayonim Cave, the MNE counts for heads and homs are based on dense bone portions including the petrous, the mandibular condyle and the base of the horn core. The bone-based head and hom counts agree with the MAU calculated from teeth (MAU = 14). The same is not true of the Hilazon Tachtit gazelles, whose teeth (MAU =

4) are as common as most limb elements. The hom and head regions are somewhat underrepresented, but not as seen for Hayonim Cave.

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The underrepresentation of head parts at Hayonim Cave can not be explained by in situ attrition or by human processing activities, since at least the very dense portions of the skull and mandible are expected to endure under both circumstances; if skulls are bashed to extract the brains, dense portions such as the petrous will still preserve well, even if they are fragmented. Instead, the poor representation of dense head parts indicates that only about half as many gazelle heads as bodies were deposited at Hayonim Cave. Heads in general are underrepresented at Hayonim Cave, but the heads of females are nearly absent. Nearly all of the 26 (MNE) horn cores recovered from the site belong to males (92.3%). Thus females were either rarely hunted or their heads were rarely transported to Hayonim Cave during the Natufian period.

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Figure 5.1: Gazelle (Gazella gazella) body part representation by anatomical region from the Natufian layer at Hayonim Cave (a) and Hilazon Tachtit (b).

Non-specific small ungulate remains are included within the gazelle category, since 99% of small ungulate remains that could be assigned to species in both assemblages are gazelles in both assemblages.



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