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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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Neck and axial parts are even less common than gazelle head parts in the Hayonim Cave assemblage. This is not surprising since vertebrae are composed mainly of low density, cancellous bone, and they are easily fragmented and difficult to identify to species when broken. It is difficult to determine whether the poor representation of gazelle heads and necks indicates a transport or a preservational bias. Gazelles may be large in comparison to most Natufian prey, but they fall on the small end of the ungulate body size spectrum in Eurasia (females average 15-18 kg and males average 20-25 kg;

Baharav 1983a). This is not to suggest that their heads could not have been removed and consumed in the field.

A Spearman's rank-order coefficient is used to establish whether transport

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Binford's (1978) MGUI values for sheep are used as analogues for gazelle based on similarities in their body mass and close taxonomic affiliation. Figure 5.2 shows the relationship between the survivorship of gazelle bone portions from Hayonim Cave and the MGUI derived for sheep. The relationship between bone survivorship and the MGUI is statistically significant only at the.05 level of probability (r^ = -0.502, n = 11, p.05).

In the previous chapter, however, it was shown that the observed representation of gazelle bone portions correlates strongly with bone mineral density (r5= 0.546, n = 17, p.001).

Gazelle attrition at Hayonim Cave is clearly density-mediated. As argued by Grayson (1988, 1989) a relatively weaker correlation between the MGUI and bone survivorship suggests that the representation of body parts is unlikely to have been caused by utilitybased transport decisions. Instead the correlation between the MGUI and gazelle bone survivorship at Hayonim Cave is more likely a byproduct of density-mediated processes, which preferentially destroyed high utility bone portions. This issue, and specifically its causes, will be taken up again later.

90 70

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Carnivores Carnivore sample sizes from the two sites are fairly small, but those for foxes {Vulpes viilpes) and felids {Felis cf. chaus) from Hayonim Cave are adequate for basic body part analysis (see Tables 5.4 and 5.5, and Figure 5.3). The body part profiles of the two carnivores are nearly identical, with the exception of the head which is better represented in the felids. Unfortunately, samples for mustelid species are too small to determine whether a similar pattern emerges for other fur-bearing carnivore species.

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Table 5.5: Representation of felid {Felis cf.

chaus) and fox (Vulpes vulpes) anatomical units in the Natufian layer from Hayonim Cave. Vertebrae and ribs (except atlas and axis) are eliminated from analysis since they could not be assigned to a category more specific than "small mammal".

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Figure 5.3: Representation of felid {Felis cf.

chaus; graph a) and fox (Vulpes vulpes; graph b) anatomical units in the Natufian layer from Hayonim Cave.

The carnivore profiles do not differ significantly from those of the gazelles except in the ratio of upper to lower forelimb bones, and the abundance of foot elements. At both sites gazelle upper forelimbs are represented in higher frequencies than the lower

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discrepancy corresponds directly to differences in the distribution of muscle mass and probably also how animals were used; gazelles are better represented by the meaty upper limbs, and carnivores by the non-meat bearing lower limbs, which are expected byproducts of fiir collection. The interpretation is opposed by the underrepresentation of felid foot bones at Hayonim Cave. Because the foot elements of fox and wild cat are often very small and difficult to identify to species, greater loss during recovery (i.e., small foot bones may have been sorted out as microfauna) and identification is expected than in the case of ungulates.

The variation in the relative representation of fox and felid body parts at Hayonim Cave is partly attributable to sample size, but overall the profiles show fairly complete body part representation, indicating that they were most often carried to the site as intact bodies. Foxes and felids have fairly small body masses (foxes up to 4 kg; Felis sp. range between 3-7 kg; Silva and Downing 1995), and it is nearly as easy to transport them whole, as to butcher them and selectively discard parts in the field.

Hares (Lepiis capensis) The body part representation of hares from Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit (Tables 5.6 and 5.7, and Figure 5.4) is biased against the axial regions (head, neck and vertebral column) and foot elements. This pattern is more likely the result of identification and preservation biases than differential transport. Though the head region appears to be underrepresented as well, this is true only of the cranial and mandibular bones. Teeth MAUs are similar (MAU = 25) to those of the appendicular regions, and

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skeleton. The underrepresentation of the neck and axial regions, composed primarily of vertebrae, is likely a joint product of their fragile structure and lower inherent identifiability (see Chapter 4). As was the case for carnivores, hare foot bones are underrepresented in the Hayonim assemblage probably because they include large numbers of very small elements (20 per foot), which are difficult to identify to species and are easily lost during excavation and sorting. Also, the first phalanges of hares and foxes are similar in form and were most often assigned to a more general small mammal category.

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Figure 5.4: Hare (Lepus capensis) body part representation by anatomical region in the Natufian layer from Hayonim Cave (a), and Hilazon Tachtit (b).

That crania, toes, vertebrae, and ribs are underrepresented in the hare and carnivore profiles due to an identification bias is attested to by the body part profiles of the small mammal taxonomic group. All small mammal specimens that could not be identified to species were assigned to this general category. With the exception of the vertebrae component, the MNE values for small mammals elements in Table 5.8 are the

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carnivores. The underrepresentation of crania, ribs, and toes in the hare and small carnivore profiles is clearly linked to identification issues rather than their absence in the assemblage. Hare carcasses were thus transported to Hayonim Cave whole, which is hardly surprising given their small body size of ca. 2-3 kg (Silva and Downing 1995).

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Table 5.8: NISP and MNE values for elements from the small mammal category from the Natufian layer at Hayonim Cave.

The small mammal category includes animals the size of a fo.t or smaller, that can not be assigned to a specific taxonomic affiliation.

The hare assemblage from Hilazon Tachtit is small (NISP == 36), but all anatomical regions, with the exception of the neck, are represented. What few animals were brought to the site were carried back whole to the site as well.

Partridges (Alectoris chukar) Figure 5.5 shows that the peak of the lower hind limb in the Hayonim Cave partridge profile dwarfs even the second most common anatomical region (the pectoral girdle) by a factor of two (data in Tables 5.9 and 5.10). This figure is much higher when the elements are examined independently (Table 5.9). The high frequency of the lower limb is explained nearly entirely by the abundance of partridge tibiotarsi in the

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(1993a), who relate the abundance of tibiotarsi with the manufacture of partridge bone beads at Hayonim Cave. Beads made from the distal ends of partridge tibiotarsi have been recovered from only three Natufian sites but include at least 40 specimens from Hayonim Cave, 6 from Ain Mallaha, and 2 from Erq-el Aqmar in the Judean Hills (Belfer-Cohen 1988). Despite their known ornamental function, most of the tibiotarsi are not actually modified (only 17.1% are cut, NTSP = 246), but perhaps were stockpiled or curated for future use. A significant bias in the representation of partridge tibiotarsi does

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not occur at sites where beads were not present (e.g., el-Wad and Hilazon Tachtit). The number of individual partridges accounted for by tibiotarsi is so much greater than any other element that foragers must have obtained tibiotarsi from many more partridges than were transported to the site. Perhaps some tibiotarsi were found or captured and eaten by human foragers off site.

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Though, the pectoral girdle is second in abundance to the lower hind limb, its representation is economically important. The bones of the pectoral girdle are connected to the primary meat source in the partridge body (see also Pichon 1984; Tchemov 1993a).

The high frequency of partridge pectoral elements at Hayonim Cave attests to the bird's importance as a food source and the refuse directly links it to consumption on site.

The small sample size of the Hilazon Tachtit assemblage precludes quantitative analysis of the anatomical units, but the full spectrum of body parts are represented with the exception of the neck. The sample shows only a minor bias toward the tibiotarsus, despite its prevalence in the Hayonim Cave assemblage, most likely because partridge beads were not manufactured or curated at Hilazon Tachtit.

Diurnal Raptors (Falconiformes) At Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit the Falconiforme assemblages are dominated by leg elements, especially the terminal phalanges (see Tables 5.11 and 5.12, and Figure 5.6). In birds, the lower legs are encased in a protective covering of scales and skin, but bear no meat except at the base of the thigh (the proximal tibiotarsus). The anatomical pattern strongly indicates that Falconiforme foot and lower leg elements were selectively transported to the site to the near exclusion of other parts. The Falconiforme body part profile differs significantly from that expected for a game bird such as the partridge. The Natufians clearly preferred the non-meat bearing parts of raptors. Among modem human groups, raptors are rarely captured for meat, presumably due to their high trophic position which reportedly lends an unpleasant taste to their flesh. The most

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powerful claw and shows up in many Upper and Epipaleolithic sites, frequently as ornaments or talismans (Kuhn et al. 2001, n.d.; Rabinovich 1997).

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Table 5.11: Representation of Falconiforme elements in the Natufian layer from Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit.

Vertebrae and ribs are eliminated from analysis since they could not be assigned to a category more specific than medium or large bird.

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Figure 5.6: Falconiformes body part representation by anatomical unit in the Natufian layer from Hayonim Cave (a) and Hilazon Tachtit (b).

Summary of Human Transport Decisions Body size was the primary constraint for transport decisions at Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit. Small-bodied animals such as hares, partridges, foxes, and felids are represented by the full range of body parts. Certain elements of partridge and raptors are greatly overrepresented, but this is explained by their function as raw material for ornaments and tools. Due to difficulties quantifying portions of the carapace and plastron, the body part representation of tortoises was not presented, yet tortoise carapace, plastron, and limb elements are also abundant at the two sites, while the head elements are missing due to their fragility or because they are simply too difficult to recover. All of the small animals discussed come in easy to manage packages that rarely exceed 1 kg and can be transported over long distances by a single person. With the exception of the carnivores, small game species commonly hunted by the Natufians can live at high

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only the body parts of the avian species were selectively transported. It is difficult to establish whether raptors were captured primarily to acquire raw materials (e.g., bones and possibly feathers), or if valued elements were opportunistically scavenged when encountered.

Though gazelles are relatively small ungulates, they are the largest of the common prey species in the Natufian assemblages, and they are the only species other than the Falconiformes that may have been partially butchered in the field. At Hayonim Cave, the heads of gazelle are only half as common as the appendicular regions. Of the heads that were transported, most are males possessing large horn cores. The sex-biased transport of gazelle heads may have been caused by a few factors acting alone or in combination, including the distance transported, but more importantly the sex of the animal and perhaps the season of capture.

When female gazelles were captured far from home, their heads may have been removed to be eaten immediately or to ease the burden of transport. Only a relatively small portion of the head's weight is edible in comparison to other body parts, and it can easily be separated from the body of the animal and roasted. The main edible portions of the cranium, the brains and the tongue, could also have been removed and consumed at the kill site. Still, the removal of the head is not expected to reduce the weight of a carcass by much — the head weighs less than one kilogram in females and less than two kilograms in males (Cope 1991a).

The animal's sex appears to have determined whether or not heads were

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which are several times thicker and longer. Though female horn cores may be more sensitive to post-depositional processes, MNE counts for horn cores are based on its junction with the frontal bone, which is quite dense in both males and females.

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