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Title

Were Upper Pleistocene human/non-human predator occupations at the Temara caves (El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra, Morocco) influenced by climate change?

Publication Year

2015

Author(s)
  • Campmas, Emilie
  • Michel, Patrick
  • Costamagno, Sandrine
  • Arnani, Fethi
  • Stoetzel, Emmanuelle
  • Nespoulet, Roland
  • El Hajraoui, Mohamed Abdeljalil
Source
JOURNAL OF HUMAN EVOLUTION Volume: 78 Pages: 122-143 Published: 2015
ISSN
0047-2484
Abstract

The influence of climate change on human settlements in coastal areas is a central question for archaeologists. This paper addresses this issue by focusing on the Temara region in Morocco. The study area was selected for two main reasons. First, it contains numerous caves with Upper Pleistocene deposits, which have yielded remains of anatomically modern humans in association with Aterian and lberomaurusian artifacts. Second, these caves are currently located on the shore, thus this region is particularly sensitive to major climate change and sea level fluctuations. Diachronic taphonomic study of faunal remains from two sites in the region, El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra caves, shows alternating human/non-human predator occupations. The lower layers of El Mnasra Cave dating to Oxygen Isotope Stage (OIS) 5 have yielded diverse ungulate remains with significant anthropogenic impact marks, together with numerous mollusk shells, Nassarius shell beads, hearths, lithics, some bone tools and used pigments. Faunal remains from the upper layers dating to OIS 4, 3 and 2 of El Harhoura 2 and El Mnasra caves, largely dominated by gazelles, provide evidence of carnivore activities, such as tooth marks, numerous semi-digested bones and coprolites alongside some anthropogenic signatures (cut marks and burnt bones). Non-human predators appear to be the main agents responsible for faunal modifications and accumulations. The 'non-intensive' nature of human occupation is confirmed by analyses of the lithic industry at El Harhoura 2. The 'intensive' human occupations date to OIS 5 and could have taken place during wet periods in connection with high sea levels, which allowed the exploitation of shellfish in this area. 'Non-intensive' human occupations generally correspond to arid periods and lower sea levels, during which the Temara area was further inland and may have been less attractive to humans. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author Keyword(s)
  • North Africa
  • Aterian
  • Carnivores
  • Taphonomy
KeyWord(s) Plus
  • MIDDLE STONE-AGE
  • PLIOPLEISTOCENE AFRICAN CLIMATE
  • WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE
  • MARINE POLLEN RECORDS
  • MODERN HUMAN-BEHAVIOR
  • RED-SEA COAST
  • SOUTH-AFRICA
  • NORTH-AFRICA
  • LONG BONES
  • OSTEOMORPHOLOGICAL FEATURES
ESI Discipline(s)
  • Biology & Biochemistry
  • Plant & Animal Science
  • Social Sciences
Web of Science Category(ies)
  • Anthropology
  • Evolutionary Biology
Adress(es)

[Campmas, Emilie; Michel, Patrick] Univ Bordeaux, CNRS UMR 5199, Equipe Prehist, F-33615 Pessac, France; [Costamagno, Sandrine] Univ Toulouse 2, CNRS UMR 5608, F-31058 Toulouse, France; [Arnani, Fethi; El Hajraoui, Mohamed Abdeljalil] Inst Natl Sci Archeol & Patrimoine, Rabat, Morocco; [Stoetzel, Emmanuelle] Museum Natl Hist Nat, Dept Systemat & Evolut, CNRS, UMR 7205, F-75005 Paris, France; [Nespoulet, Roland] Museum Natl Hist Nat, Dept Prehist, CNRS, UMR 7194, F-75005 Paris, France

Reprint Adress

Campmas, E (reprint author), Univ Bordeaux, CNRS UMR 5199, Equipe Prehist, B8 Allee Geoffroy St Hilaire,CS 50023, F-33615 Pessac, France.

Country(ies)
  • France
  • Morocco
CNRS - Adress(es)
  • De la Préhistoire à l'Actuel : Culture, Environnement et Anthropologie (PACEA), UMR5199
  • Histoire naturelle de l'Homme préhistorique (HNHP), UMR7194
  • Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB), UMR7205
  • Laboratoire Plasma et Conversion d'Energie (LAPLACE), UMR5213
Accession Number
WOS:000349063600011
uid:/W616PF19
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