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Honor among thieves : a zooarchaeological study of Neandertal ecology /
Mary C. Stiner.
Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1994.
xxii, 447 p. : ill.
0691034567 :
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Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1994.
0691034567 :
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-09:
The Neandertals (extinct humans) lived in Europe and western Asia between roughly 200,000 and 30,000 years ago. Their evolutionary role is controversial: after 30,000 years ago, their territory was occupied solely by anatomically modern humans (often termed Cro-Magnons), who probably originated in Africa but may have interbred moderately, marginally, or not at all with the Neandertals, or may even have descended directly from them. Stiner seeks to test the hypothesis that Neandertals were culturally less developed than modern humans by comparing the bones of their animal prey to those of later Cro-Magnons and to the prey of carnivores, as preserved in several Italian cave sites. She thus applies the concepts of taphonomy laid out theoretically by R. Lee Lyman in Vertebrate Taphonomy (CH, Jun'95) from an archaeological perspective. Although there are some methodological problems, Stiner concludes that earlier Neandertals (c. 125,000-55,000 years ago) mainly scavenged prey, whereas later humans, both Neandertals and moderns, practiced ambush hunting. The implication from this and other findings is that even if they did not evolve into Cro-Magnons, Neandertals modified their culture and technology over time in a "modern" direction. This work is sure to incite further analysis and is recommended for specialist collections. Graduate; faculty. E. Delson; Herbert H. Lehman College, CUNY
This item was reviewed in:
BIOSIS, April 1995
Choice, September 1995
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Unpaid Annotation
Mary Stiner uses ecological niche theory to analyze and interpret several Middle Paleolithic archaeological and paleontological sites in southern Europe. Her concern is with how the hunting, scavenging and foraging behavior of Neandertals compared and contrasted with the subsistence behavior of other large predators living in the region at the time--lions, hyenas, and wolves, for example--and with how Neandertal subsistence behavior related to the behavior of the anatomically modern humans who subsequently came to dominate the area in the Upper Paleolithic. Her conclusion, very broadly stated, is that Neandertals entered the Middle Paleolithic in direct and successful competition with lions, hyenas, and wolves, but ended the period in direct and ultimately unsuccessful competition for the ecological niche that we came to occupy with our slightly more advanced technology and slightly more sophisticated ambush hunting strategies and techniques.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
The Research Problemp. 3
Theory and Organizationp. 13
The Study Sample from Italy: Archaeology in the Context of Quarternary Studiesp. 24
Animal Communities and the Passage of Speciesp. 68
Large Mammal Taphonomy and the Agencies of Bone Collectionp. 95
Small Animal Exploitationp. 158
Species Use and Predator Guildp. 199
On Food Transport Behaviorp. 219
Bone Transport, Foraging Strategies, and Predator Nichesp. 236
On the Meaning of Mortality Patterns in Archaeofaunasp. 271
Mapping Predator Niches from Prey Mortality Patternsp. 288
Carnivore Mortality and the Denning Hypothesisp. 316
Seasons of Ungulate Procurementp. 332
Covariation in Mousterian Technology and Game Usep. 352
Neandertal Nichep. 371
Appendixp. 389
Literature Citedp. 399
Indexp. 423
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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