Upper Paleolithic foraging decisions and early economic intensification at Vale Boi, southwestern Portugal

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/204309
Title:
Upper Paleolithic foraging decisions and early economic intensification at Vale Boi, southwestern Portugal
Author:
Manne, Tiina
Issue Date:
2010
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Embargo: Release after 12/6/2012
Abstract:
The Upper Paleolithic site of Vale Boi in coastal, southwestern Portugal currently represents the earliest known case of grease-rendering in Eurasia, with initial occupation occurring during the early Gravettian at ~ 27,000 BP. Long-term exploitation of marine resources is indicated by marine shellfish remains, mainly in the form of limpets (<italic>Patella</italic>), recovered from all three cultural periods (Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian). High-level exploitation of rabbits (<italic>Oryctolagus</italic>) began with initial use of the site and continued throughout the occupations, with a possible increase in intensity at the onset of the Solutrean. Grease-rendering of red deer (<italic>Cervus elaphus</italic>), horse (<italic>Equus caballus</italic>), European ass (<italic>Equus hydruntinus</italic>) and aurochs (<italic>Bos primigenius</italic>) bones was identified through multi-dimensional taphonomic and zooarchaeological analyses. Ungulate remains demonstrated extensive fragmentation and abundant evidence of impact features such as cone fractures, crushing, denting and cracking. The intensity of fragmentation and impact damage to red deer remains is significantly correlated with quantities of marrow and bone grease within these portions. Lack of density-mediated attrition of either the leporid remains or the cranial bone of red deer and horse, demonstrates that the loss of low-density, grease-rich post-cranial skeletal portions is due to human subsistence activities. Balanced body-part representation of ungulates indicates that density-mediated attrition of post-cranial elements is not related to differential transport of carcass portions. Comparison of element portion frequencies to food utility indices further demonstrates that humans were systematically harvesting marrow and bone grease throughout the Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian culture periods. The co-occurrence of fire-cracked rock, stone anvils and hammerstones corroborates this suggestion. Although grease rendering at Vale Boi pre-dates other known sites in Eurasia by several thousand years, faunal assemblages in southeastern Spain indicate that resource diversification and intensification appeared there coevally with Vale Boi. The persistence and continued intensification of subsistence practices throughout the Upper Paleolithic suggests a sustained depression of large game in relation to human populations. This was likely due to patchy, spatially-restricted resources, resulting in territorial circumscription. Only through technological innovation and novel approaches to resource harvesting, were foragers able to maintain and ultimately expand their populations in southern Iberia.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Grease-rendering; Iberia; Intensification; Taphonomy; Upper Paleolithic; Zooarchaeology
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Anthropology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Stiner, Mary C.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleUpper Paleolithic foraging decisions and early economic intensification at Vale Boi, southwestern Portugalen_US
dc.creatorManne, Tiinaen_US
dc.contributor.authorManne, Tiinaen_US
dc.date.issued2010-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseEmbargo: Release after 12/6/2012en_US
dc.description.abstractThe Upper Paleolithic site of Vale Boi in coastal, southwestern Portugal currently represents the earliest known case of grease-rendering in Eurasia, with initial occupation occurring during the early Gravettian at ~ 27,000 BP. Long-term exploitation of marine resources is indicated by marine shellfish remains, mainly in the form of limpets (<italic>Patella</italic>), recovered from all three cultural periods (Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian). High-level exploitation of rabbits (<italic>Oryctolagus</italic>) began with initial use of the site and continued throughout the occupations, with a possible increase in intensity at the onset of the Solutrean. Grease-rendering of red deer (<italic>Cervus elaphus</italic>), horse (<italic>Equus caballus</italic>), European ass (<italic>Equus hydruntinus</italic>) and aurochs (<italic>Bos primigenius</italic>) bones was identified through multi-dimensional taphonomic and zooarchaeological analyses. Ungulate remains demonstrated extensive fragmentation and abundant evidence of impact features such as cone fractures, crushing, denting and cracking. The intensity of fragmentation and impact damage to red deer remains is significantly correlated with quantities of marrow and bone grease within these portions. Lack of density-mediated attrition of either the leporid remains or the cranial bone of red deer and horse, demonstrates that the loss of low-density, grease-rich post-cranial skeletal portions is due to human subsistence activities. Balanced body-part representation of ungulates indicates that density-mediated attrition of post-cranial elements is not related to differential transport of carcass portions. Comparison of element portion frequencies to food utility indices further demonstrates that humans were systematically harvesting marrow and bone grease throughout the Gravettian, Solutrean and Magdalenian culture periods. The co-occurrence of fire-cracked rock, stone anvils and hammerstones corroborates this suggestion. Although grease rendering at Vale Boi pre-dates other known sites in Eurasia by several thousand years, faunal assemblages in southeastern Spain indicate that resource diversification and intensification appeared there coevally with Vale Boi. The persistence and continued intensification of subsistence practices throughout the Upper Paleolithic suggests a sustained depression of large game in relation to human populations. This was likely due to patchy, spatially-restricted resources, resulting in territorial circumscription. Only through technological innovation and novel approaches to resource harvesting, were foragers able to maintain and ultimately expand their populations in southern Iberia.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectGrease-renderingen_US
dc.subjectIberiaen_US
dc.subjectIntensificationen_US
dc.subjectTaphonomyen_US
dc.subjectUpper Paleolithicen_US
dc.subjectZooarchaeologyen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorStiner, Mary C.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKuhn, Steven N.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHolliday, Vanceen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPavao-Zuckerman, Barneten_US
dc.identifier.proquest11369-
dc.identifier.oclc752261232-
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