PREY VARIABILITY, ELEMENT SELECTION AND BONE TOOL USE IN THE CHÂTELPERRONIAN AND AURIGNACIAN IN FRANCE.

Clare Tolmie

Resumen


This research examines how Neanderthals incorporated the need for raw materials for bone tools into their subsistence strategy. Fauna from the Châtelperronian level Xc of the Grotte du Renne, Arcy sur-Cure was examined to establish patterns of prey procurement, carcass transportation strategies, carcass processing decisions and the raw material available for use as bone tools. Newly identified tool fragments and published data on tools from level Xc were examined with reference to selection for particular elements or mechanical properties by Neanderthals. Data from Level Xc were compared with the fauna from the Aurignacian site of Abri Cellier, Dordogne. Neanderthals and modern humans pursued a similar subsistence strategy, and used similar criteria for selecting particular elements as raw material for bone tools (with the exception of antler, only used in the Aurignacian). The appearance of bone tools in Châtelperronian and Aurignacian is the archaeological signature of an expansion of subsistence practices to exploit animals for raw materials in the form of bone for tools, and hides for clothing and shelter. The adoption of this new technology is likely the result of independent innovation in response to particular ecological problems related to climatic variation at the onset of the last Glacial Maximum.

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