Match!

Neanderthal plant use and pyrotechnology: phytolith analysis from Roc de Marsal, France

Published on Aug 1, 2019in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences1.978
· DOI :10.1007/s12520-019-00793-9
Kristen Wroth (BU: Boston University), Dan Cabanes19
Estimated H-index: 19
(RU: Rutgers University)
+ 5 AuthorsHarold L. Dibble36
Estimated H-index: 36
(ASU: Arizona State University)
Sources
Abstract
The plant component of Neanderthal subsistence and technology is not well documented, partially due to the preservation constraints of macrobotanical components. Phytoliths, however, are preserved even when other plant remains have decayed and so provide evidence for Neanderthal plant use and the environmental context of archaeological sites. Phytolith assemblages from Roc de Marsal, a Middle Paleolithic cave site in SW France, provide new insight into the relationship between Neanderthals and plant resources. Ninety-seven samples from all archaeological units and 18 control samples are analyzed. Phytoliths from the wood and bark of dicotyledonous plants are the most prevalent, but there is also a significant proportion of grass phytoliths in many samples. Phytolith densities are much greater in earlier layers, which is likely related to the presence of combustion features in those layers. These phytoliths indicate a warmer, wetter climate, whereas phytoliths from upper layers indicate a cooler, drier environment. Phytoliths recovered from combustion features indicate that wood was the primary plant fuel source, while grasses may have been used as surface preparations.
  • References (81)
  • Citations (0)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
34 Citations
1999
22 Citations
23 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
References81
Newest
#1Harold L. Dibble (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 36
#2Dennis Sandgathe (SFU: Simon Fraser University)H-Index: 18
Last. Vera Aldeias (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 12
view all 5 authors...
Significant variability has been observed in the frequency of fire use over the course of the Late Pleistocene at several Middle Paleolithic sites in southwest France. In particular, Neandertals appear to have used fire more frequently during warm climatic periods and very infrequently during cold periods. After reviewing several lines of evidence and alternative explanations for this variability, the null hypothesis that these Neandertals were not able to make fire still stands.
7 CitationsSource
#1Shannon P. McPherron (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 31
#2Harold L. Dibble (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 36
Last. Alain TurqH-Index: 22
view all 6 authors...
Prior to excavating Pech IV, we studied Bordes’ collection from his 8 years of excavation at the site.
6 CitationsSource
#1Harold L. Dibble (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 36
#2Aylar Abodolahzadeh (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 1
Last. Dennis Sandgathe (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 18
view all 6 authors...
Analyses of archaeological material recovered from several Middle Paleolithic sites in southwest France have provided strong corroborating data on Neanderthal use of fire. Both direct and indirect data show that Neanderthals in this region were frequently and/or intensively using fire during warmer periods, but such evidence declines significantly in occupations that took place during colder periods. One possible explanation for this pattern is that it reflects the inability of Western European ...
15 CitationsSource
#1Laura S. Weyrich (University of Adelaide)H-Index: 19
#2Sebastián Duchêne (USYD: University of Sydney)H-Index: 25
Last. Alan Cooper (University of Adelaide)H-Index: 92
view all 31 authors...
Laura S. Weyrich, Sebastian Duchene, Julien Soubrier, Luis Arriola, Bastien Llamas, James Breen, Alan G. Morris, Kurt W. Alt, David Caramelli, Veit Dresely, Milly Farrell, Andrew G. Farrer, Michael Francken, Neville Gully, Wolfgang Haak, Karen Hardy, Katerina Harvati, Petra Held, Edward C. Holmes, John Kaidonis, Carles Lalueza-Fox, Marco de la Rasilla, Antonio Rosas, Patrick Semal, Arkadiusz Soltysiak, Grant Townsend, Donatella Usai, Joachim Wahl, Daniel H. Huson, Keith Dobney, Alan Cooper
111 CitationsSource
#1Lucia Veronica Collura (Goethe University Frankfurt)H-Index: 1
#2Katharina Neumann (Goethe University Frankfurt)H-Index: 22
Abstract Long-term wood anatomical research has shown that 10% of the world's trees and shrubs produce silica in their wood, but silica production in bark had never been systematically investigated. We present here the results of the first comprehensive study on phytoliths in bark and compare them with data on wood phytoliths. We studied 103 bark samples from 92 species and 35 wood samples from 31 species mainly distributed in the West African savannas, altogether representing 34 plant families....
29 CitationsSource
#1Jean-Christophe Castel (CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)H-Index: 10
#2Emmanuel Discamps (University of Bergen)H-Index: 16
Last. Alain Turq (CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)H-Index: 22
view all 8 authors...
Abstract Recent excavations at the cave site of Roc de Marsal (in the Dordogne region of SW France) have yielded several Mousterian assemblages rich in well-preserved faunal remains. The Layer 4 faunal assemblage, associated with a rich Quina Mousterian occupation, provides an opportunity to investigate Neandertal prey selection, transport decisions and reindeer carcass processing strategies. One of the most striking characteristics of the Roc de Marsal Layer 4 faunal assemblage is an apparent l...
14 CitationsSource
#1Guillaume Guérin (University of Bordeaux)H-Index: 14
#2Marine Frouin (University of Bordeaux)H-Index: 8
Last. Harold L. Dibble (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 36
view all 14 authors...
Abstract Located in southwest France, Roc de Marsal is a cave with a rich Mousterian stratigraphic sequence. The lower part of the sequence (Layers 9–5) are characterized by assemblages dominated by Levallois lithic technology associated with composite faunal spectra (including red deer, roe deer and reindeer) that shows a gradual increase in the frequency of reindeer. The top of the sequence (Layers 4–2) are characterised instead by Quina lithic technology (both in terms of technology and typol...
17 CitationsSource
#1Ágata Rodríguez-Cintas (University of Barcelona)H-Index: 5
#2Dan Cabanes (University of Barcelona)H-Index: 19
Abstract The combination of phytolith and FTIR analyses is a powerful tool to investigate the use of fire by past human populations. Here, we apply these methods to study the hearths of the subunit Xb at the Middle Palaeolithic site of El Salt, in Alcoi. El Salt is characterized by recurrent Neanderthal occupations that produced a succession of combustion structures and other anthropogenic remains. Using FTIR analysis we have been able to detect the presence of ashes, thermally altered clay, and...
16 CitationsSource
#1Ethel AlluéH-Index: 21
#2Alex SoléH-Index: 8
Last. Aitor Burguet-CocaH-Index: 2
view all 3 authors...
Abstract Fuel is a basic resource enabling energy production, and its exploitation was a major activity in Neanderthal daily life. In this work we present charcoal results obtained from the Abric Romani site in order to evaluate fuel use among the human groups occupying this rock shelter from 40 to 70 ka BP. The Abric Romani, a Middle Palaeolithic site, has yielded evidence of a well-preserved sequence of Neanderthal occupations. The results of this taxonomic and taphonomic study have allowed us...
17 CitationsSource
#1Daniel Richter (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 57
#2Shannon P. McPherron (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 31
Last. D. S. SandgatheH-Index: 1
view all 5 authors...
3 Citations
Cited By0
Newest