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Differential use of space in the Neandertal site of Amud Cave, Israel [Extrait] / N. Alperson-Afil, E. Hovers

Publication : 2005 In : Eurasian Prehistory, 3, 1, p. 3-22Langue : Anglais. Auteur principal: Alperson-Afil, Nira Co-auteur: Hovers, Erella Résumé : A growing body of data suggests that during the Middle Paleolithic period human activities already were segregated across any given habitation space. However, spatial studies of Middle Paleolithic remains often focus on sites with relatively low densities of finds and with clear stratigraphic and spatial features that help distinguish demarcated areas within sites, whereas sites with complex stratigraphies, high find densities and no clear spatial features are less often studied. Here we report on a case study from the Neandertal site of Amud Cave (Israel), where we attempted to determine whether there were differences in the characteristics of lithic samples from two physically discrete areas of the cave within a single stratigraphic sub-unit, and to identify their possible causes. We examined the frequencies and co-variation between physical (e.g., burning or breakage of artifacts), provenience (e.g., grid location, orientation and inclination in relation to the surface), morphometric and technological characteristics (e.g., striking platform type, amounts of cortex, metrics) of various artifact categories (tools, core management elements, débitage and microartifacts). We relied on ethnographic and ethnoarchaeological studies to interpret the statistical results in terms of human behavior. Whereas individual analyses did not always yield significant results, their combined outcomes were consistent with a hypothesis of different human activities in the two areas examined here. This research adds on other studies that demonstrate that Levantine Middle Paleolithic hominins used their habitation space differentially. The methods used in this study enabled us also to identify a number of activities related to lithic production and use, which had taken place in a single area of the cave, possibly reflecting changes in the use of that area through time as a result of the complex occupation history of the cave. (revue). Sujets: organisation de l'espace Chrono: Paléolithique inférieur/moyen Lieux:Israël -- Amud
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Nanterre : MSH Mondes - Paléorient - Préhistoire et Protohistoire orientales
Non consultable PAOR587

A growing body of data suggests that during the Middle Paleolithic period human activities already were segregated across any given habitation space. However, spatial studies of Middle Paleolithic remains often focus on sites with relatively low densities of finds and with clear stratigraphic and spatial features that help distinguish demarcated areas within sites, whereas sites with complex stratigraphies, high find densities and no clear spatial features are less often studied. Here we report on a case study from the Neandertal site of Amud Cave (Israel), where we attempted to determine whether there were differences in the characteristics of lithic samples from two physically discrete areas of the cave within a single stratigraphic sub-unit, and to identify their possible causes. We examined the frequencies and co-variation between physical (e.g., burning or breakage of artifacts), provenience (e.g., grid location, orientation and inclination in relation to the surface), morphometric and technological characteristics (e.g., striking platform type, amounts of cortex, metrics) of various artifact categories (tools, core management elements, débitage and microartifacts). We relied on ethnographic and ethnoarchaeological studies to interpret the statistical results in terms of human behavior. Whereas individual analyses did not always yield significant results, their combined outcomes were consistent with a hypothesis of different human activities in the two areas examined here. This research adds on other studies that demonstrate that Levantine Middle Paleolithic hominins used their habitation space differentially. The methods used in this study enabled us also to identify a number of activities related to lithic production and use, which had taken place in a single area of the cave, possibly reflecting changes in the use of that area through time as a result of the complex occupation history of the cave. (revue)

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