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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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Carnivores Foxes and felids were brought to Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit as complete carcasses. An overrepresentation of lower limb bones in comparison to the meaty upper limbs, suggests that these species were preferred for non-meat products, such as skins, which are often removed with the meatless lower limbs. High rates of burning in both the fox and felid assemblages is partly attributable to a high concentration of foot bones located in the burned region in Locus 9 and 11. Why these foot bones were concentrated here is a separate question, perhaps relating to the removal of the feet from fox furs and their subsequent disposal or ritual use. Because the burned area in Hayonim Cave is located in proximity to an intrusive glass furnace constructed close to 2000 years ago, it

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The mustelid remains, including Maries foina, Meles meles and Vormela pergusna provide the clearest evidence for fur processing. There are few remains from Hayonim Cave (NISP = 133) and Hilazon Tachtit (NISP = 17), yet body parts are dominated by cranial bones (47.3% in Hayonim Cave, 76.4% in Hilazon Tachtit), which may find their way to the site as riders on furs. Although cut marks on complete bones are extremely rare in the Hayonim assemblages, three virtually intact Vormela crania were identified in the assemblage, and all three them have cut marks on the premaxilla.

The premaxilla is expected to be cut when detaching skin from the bone, so that it an be peeled away from the rest of the body. The possibility that these animals were used for other purposes cannot be ruled out, but it is very that they were exploited for their flir.

Tortoises {Testudo graeca) Robust evidence, including percussion marks, burning, body part representation, and breakage patterns, point to the regular transport and consumption of tortoises by Natufian foragers at Hayonim Cave and Hilazon Tachtit. The tortoise assemblage from Hayonim Cave also reveals unprecedented, yet habitual use of the tortoise carapace as tools by humans. Modification and use wear were observed on a sample of tortoise carapace fragments (7.5%, NISP modified segments = 475) from the Hayonim Cave Natufian assemblage. The function of the modified tortoise carapaces, which take the form of shallow concave palettes or containers remains largely speculative.

Modified Tortoise Bones from Hayonim Cave Some Natufian tortoise carapaces or segments therefrom, from Hayonim Cave

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signs of use wear in the form of striations and polish. Several types of modification exist and appear nearly exclusively on particular carapace elements. Some nuchal scutes are pierced, peripheral segments are cut and rounded by abrasion, and the lateral edges of many pleural segments are ground to a fine polish. Use wear in the form of grooves, striations and polish is limited to the interior face of pleural and neural carapace segments. Overall, use wear and modification are found exclusively on carapace segments; with only a few incidents of polish (most likely natural) on plastron fi-agments.

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Table 5.26: Distribution of tortoise elements and associated modifications and damage.

Terminology for tortoise elements follows Olsen (1968).

Pierced elements. Eight pierced tortoise specimens were recovered (Figure 5.12), only one of which was previously identified (A. Belfer-Cohen, personal

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element centered on the anterior edge of the tortoise carapace (see Figure 5.13), with the exception of one pierced pleural segment. The nuchal bone is distinguished by its pentagonal shape and symmetrical linear markings. Of the seven pierced nuchal bones, only two are complete, the remaining five are broken across the pierced hole, a weak point in the shell. The pierced pleural is also split across the hole, and the other half was not recovered. It is unclear whether these elements were broken during or after manufactiu-e. The piercings are small and placed in the center of the scute, with the exception of one nuchal bone which has an extremely large hole with a diameter of approximately 5 mm.

\ 4

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Cut and Ground Peripheral Segments. Twelve peripheral segments were cut in half across their vertical axis and were then ground until the cut edge became rounded (see Figure 5.14). In all cases, only the cut edge was ground, and the natural sutures were left intact. It is possible that these segments were articulated with other peripheral segments at the time of modification. Some of the modified peripherals (NISP = 4) are also grooved with deep vertical incisions on the exterior face. The association between the ground peripherals and the other modified pieces is unclear.

Ground Pleurals. The distal edges of many pleural segments were ground to a light polish on their exterior faces (NISP = 94). The result is a refined, gentle sloping edge (see Figure 5.15). The abraded edges are found on all types of pleural segments regardless of their shape and position within the pleural row, but only on the distal edge.

The grinding is found nearly exclusively on pieces which also have striations and/or polish on their interior surfaces (96.0%). The ground edge appears to be ornamental and is clearly associated with evidence of use wear.





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Striated Segments. The most common modifications on the Natufian tortoise elements are striations on the interior of carapace segments (NISP =384), and most likely were created by use wear. The striations are fine shallow grooves (Figure 5.16) most often associated with polish (80.5% of cases). They are commonly oriented in a single direction across the horizontal axis of the segment, although several pieces also exhibit more irregular marks in multiple directions. Striations are found nearly exclusively on neural segments (NISP = 69) which connect to vertebra along the saggital axis of the tortoise shell, and pleural segments (NISP = 277) which compose the main body and supporting rib structure of the carapace (Figure 5.13). Only two peripheral segments which circle the perimeter of the carapace, and articulate with the distal edge of the pleural segments (the ground edge) exhibit light striations and polish.

It is highly unlikely that the striations on the tortoise segments were created by postdepositional processes. The striations are most often unidirectional, and in the case of pleurals, are frequently associated with intentionally ground edges. The specimens with striations are recovered from many contexts within the cave, and are interspersed with unmodified specimens in all types of fill. The striations are also limited to specific elements of the carapace shell and do not occur on flat bones fi-om any other taxa.

Finally, the inner surface of both neural and pleural segments is slightly concave, thus striations were most likely created by activities contained within the shell itself It is argued that the striations represent instances of human induced use wear, created while the neurals and pleurals were still articulated.

Figure 5.16 Detail of the striations on the interior of a tortoise pleural fragment.

Polished Segments. Polish was also identified on the interior faces of carapace segments, most often in association with striations and/or grinding damage, though some specimens only bear signs of polish (NISP = 62). Polish was recorded on the exterior of the carapace in only one instance and on plastron segments in seven cases. Neural and pleural segments are by far the most commonly polished elements. However, a few peripheral segments including nuchal scutes, also exhibit polish on their interiors. This occurs nearly exclusively on the raised horizontal edge found on the interior face of most peripheral segments and may have been created by natural abrasion in the sediments.

Discussion of Tortoise Modifications The evidence for modified tortoise shells can be assembled to reconstruct the form of an articulated "vessel" used by the Natufians. There is strong evidence that segments

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and pleurals, see Figure 5.13). When articulated, the pleural and neural segments form an oval, concave basin, with peripheral bone segments ringing the outside edge. While in use the modified carapaces probably had the form of a shallow vessel with a ground ornamental perimeter. To obtain this portion of the carapace it is necessary first to remove the exterior peripheral segments and the plastron. This is easily done, as there is a natural ring of sutures extending around the entire circumference of the carapace, between the distal edge of the pleurals and the peripherals proximal edge. These sutures form a weak point, fi^om which the center of the carapace can be removed intact. Figure

5.17 shows an exterior view of a modem tortoise carapace following the removal of the outer keratin sheath by boiling. The weak point between the peripherals and pleurals is

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already beginning to separate. Figure 5.18 depicts the remnants of a modem tortoise shell with the keratin still intact. The remaining shell contains only the plastron, and the peripheral segments of the carapace, and represents the inverse of the modified carapace vessel. The shell of this tortoise had been dealt two blows when fresh. This loosened the sutures between the pleurals and the peripherals so the tortoise meat could be removed while still attached by the ligaments and bony connections of the vertebral column o the pleural and neural bones. The nuchal scute and other anterior peripheral segment would also be removed in articulation with the inner shell.

Figure 5.18: Dorsal view of modem tortoise carapace with neurals and pleurals removed.

The inverse of the tortoise vessels from the Natufian period at Hayonim Cave.

Overall, it seems likely that tortoises were butchered by striking the carapace with a hammerstone, often near the hinge between the carapace and plastron. The meat could then be removed with the center of the carapace still intact. In some cases this natural vessel was separated from the meat, ground around the periphery to provide a refined

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The evidence for tortoise shell vessels or palettes at Hayonim Cave is very similar to the reconstruction of a modified tortoise carapace from a much more recent (circa 705 ± 45 B.P.) midden deposit at the South Afncan site of Elandsbay Open (Horwitz 1979).

The reconstructed vessel consists only of the neural and pleural segments, as well as the nuchal scute and two adjacent peripheral segments. The exterior edge of the palette (the distal edge of the pleural segments) is ground in exactly the same manner as the Natufian elements discussed above.

That the shells were used is not at issue, as they are clearly marked by striations and polish; how they were used is more difficult to know. Unmodified tortoise shells could provide an easy source of containers for Paleolithic foragers. However, the vessels described lack the outer rim, which provides much of the depth to the shell. The remaining carapace is only slightly concave, and diminished greatly in volume, leaving only a shallow bowl. The modified carapace segments most commonly belonged to gracile tortoises of intermediate body size, thus the manufacturers definitely were not going for volume; many larger unmodified individuals were recovered from the site. It is unlikely that the modified carapaces reached more than 1 or 2 cm in depth. No residues or pigments are visible in the striated grooves, though many fi"agments were not washed in anticipation of residue analysis. Finally, there is no evidence that the shells were used to heat their contents. Burning is no more common on modified fragments than it is in the urmiodified tortoise assemblage (12.6% of modified tortoise elements. Modified NISP = 475), and in many instances seems to have occurred postdepositionally (i.e., segments

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The tortoise specimens from the four Natufian assemblages studied here were all checked for modification. No modified elements were identified from Hilazon Tachtit or el-Wad Cave, and only seven striated fragments (out of 3347) were recovered from the Hayonim Terrace assemblage. The modified tortoise assemblage from Hayonim Terrace is most striking in its rarity relative to unmodified tortoise remains, and has implications for the relationship between the occupation at Hayonim Cave and the Terrace. This issue

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The interaction between predators and their prey may strongly affect the size and structure of their populations. Of particular interest in this study is the effect of human hunting on the availability of prey species, and how prey availability feeds back to influence subsequent human hunting decisions. Unraveling the nature of human-prey relationships requires a good working knowledge of its demographic complexities. To begin, it is necessary to define the major variables that determine the rate at which prey populations grow, shrirUc, and respond to changes in predator pressure. Likewise, we must understand how humans make hunting decisions and what determines the relative costs and benefits of these decisions. Though general perceptions of the population characteristics for some of the species of interest here are well known (e.g., tortoises and hares), the key variables must be defined in empirical terms, before testable expectations for predator-prey interactions can be derived.

This chapter summarizes information on prey simulations published previously by Stiner et al. (1999, 2000), and adds results for one new prey type - the gazelle. The prey simulations were originally undertaken to model the range of variation in the growth rate and sustainability of common Mediterranean small prey populations (tortoises, hares, and

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determine how quickly populations can rebound following intensive culls. Sustainability refers to how much armual off-take prey populations can withstand without undermining the population's long-term viability. Realistic reconstructions of prey population growth rates and hunting sustainability can be used to predict variation in the relative abundance of small prey taxa in the archaeological record to infer changes in the degree of hunting pressure exerted by humans on local environments.



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