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Sample records for prehistoric hunter-gatherer mobility

  1. Settlement-Size Scaling among Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Settlement Systems in the New World

    PubMed Central

    Haas, W. Randall; Klink, Cynthia J.; Maggard, Greg J.; Aldenderfer, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    Settlement size predicts extreme variation in the rates and magnitudes of many social and ecological processes in human societies. Yet, the factors that drive human settlement-size variation remain poorly understood. Size variation among economically integrated settlements tends to be heavy tailed such that the smallest settlements are extremely common and the largest settlements extremely large and rare. The upper tail of this size distribution is often formalized mathematically as a power-law function. Explanations for this scaling structure in human settlement systems tend to emphasize complex socioeconomic processes including agriculture, manufacturing, and warfare—behaviors that tend to differentially nucleate and disperse populations hierarchically among settlements. But, the degree to which heavy-tailed settlement-size variation requires such complex behaviors remains unclear. By examining the settlement patterns of eight prehistoric New World hunter-gatherer settlement systems spanning three distinct environmental contexts, this analysis explores the degree to which heavy-tailed settlement-size scaling depends on the aforementioned socioeconomic complexities. Surprisingly, the analysis finds that power-law models offer plausible and parsimonious statistical descriptions of prehistoric hunter-gatherer settlement-size variation. This finding reveals that incipient forms of hierarchical settlement structure may have preceded socioeconomic complexity in human societies and points to a need for additional research to explicate how mobile foragers came to exhibit settlement patterns that are more commonly associated with hierarchical organization. We propose that hunter-gatherer mobility with preferential attachment to previously occupied locations may account for the observed structure in site-size variation. PMID:26536241

  2. Settlement-Size Scaling among Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Settlement Systems in the New World.

    PubMed

    Haas, W Randall; Klink, Cynthia J; Maggard, Greg J; Aldenderfer, Mark S

    2015-01-01

    Settlement size predicts extreme variation in the rates and magnitudes of many social and ecological processes in human societies. Yet, the factors that drive human settlement-size variation remain poorly understood. Size variation among economically integrated settlements tends to be heavy tailed such that the smallest settlements are extremely common and the largest settlements extremely large and rare. The upper tail of this size distribution is often formalized mathematically as a power-law function. Explanations for this scaling structure in human settlement systems tend to emphasize complex socioeconomic processes including agriculture, manufacturing, and warfare-behaviors that tend to differentially nucleate and disperse populations hierarchically among settlements. But, the degree to which heavy-tailed settlement-size variation requires such complex behaviors remains unclear. By examining the settlement patterns of eight prehistoric New World hunter-gatherer settlement systems spanning three distinct environmental contexts, this analysis explores the degree to which heavy-tailed settlement-size scaling depends on the aforementioned socioeconomic complexities. Surprisingly, the analysis finds that power-law models offer plausible and parsimonious statistical descriptions of prehistoric hunter-gatherer settlement-size variation. This finding reveals that incipient forms of hierarchical settlement structure may have preceded socioeconomic complexity in human societies and points to a need for additional research to explicate how mobile foragers came to exhibit settlement patterns that are more commonly associated with hierarchical organization. We propose that hunter-gatherer mobility with preferential attachment to previously occupied locations may account for the observed structure in site-size variation. PMID:26536241

  3. The ecological and evolutionary energetics of hunter-gatherer residential mobility.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Marcus J; Lobo, José; Rupley, Eric; Youn, Hyejin; West, Geoffrey B

    2016-05-01

    Residential mobility is a key aspect of hunter-gatherer foraging economies and therefore is an issue of central importance in hunter-gatherer studies. Hunter-gatherers vary widely in annual rates of residential mobility. Understanding the sources of this variation has long been of interest to anthropologists and archeologists. The vast majority of hunter-gatherers who are dependent on terrestrial plants and animals move camp multiple times a year because local foraging patches become depleted and food, material, and social resources are heterogeneously distributed through time and space. In some environments, particularly along coasts, where resources are abundant and predictable, hunter-gatherers often become effectively sedentary. But even in these special cases, a central question is how these societies have maintained viable foraging economies while reducing residential mobility to near zero. PMID:27312184

  4. Hunter-gatherer mobility and embedded raw-material procurement strategies in the mediterranean upper paleolithic.

    PubMed

    Tomasso, Antonin; Porraz, Guillaume

    2016-05-01

    Since the early 1980s, the sourcing of lithic raw materials has become central to studies of the territorial range and mobility strategies of Pleistocene foraging societies. Results have been fruitful but somehow repetitive. We will discuss the embedded procurement strategy, which presumes that raw material acquisition was part of other subsistence activities rather than an autonomous technological task. We argue that this theoretical assumption, when taken as dogma, restricts the role of technology in human history and also underestimates the way some lithic resources may have affected the organization of past hunter-gatherers. We base our discussion on the Upper Paleolithic (UP) from the Liguro-Provençal arc, with examples from the Proto-Aurignacian and the Epigravettian. Our regional record shows that in this context the movement of rocks over distances greater than 100 km was the norm rather than the exception. We argue that these long-distance procurements mirror technical needs that were oriented toward the selection of high-quality flints. We support the hypothesis that indirect procurement was an important component of regional socio-economic networks. PMID:27312188

  5. Origin and Diet of the Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers on the Mediterranean Island of Favignana (Ègadi Islands, Sicily)

    PubMed Central

    Mannino, Marcello A.; Catalano, Giulio; Talamo, Sahra; Mannino, Giovanni; Di Salvo, Rosaria; Schimmenti, Vittoria; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Messina, Andrea; Petruso, Daria; Caramelli, David; Richards, Michael P.; Sineo, Luca

    2012-01-01

    Hunter-gatherers living in Europe during the transition from the late Pleistocene to the Holocene intensified food acquisition by broadening the range of resources exploited to include marine taxa. However, little is known on the nature of this dietary change in the Mediterranean Basin. A key area to investigate this issue is the archipelago of the Ègadi Islands, most of which were connected to Sicily until the early Holocene. The site of Grotta d’Oriente, on the present-day island of Favignana, was occupied by hunter-gatherers when Postglacial environmental changes were taking place (14,000-7,500 cal BP). Here we present the results of AMS radiocarbon dating, palaeogenetic and isotopic analyses undertaken on skeletal remains of the humans buried at Grotta d’Oriente. Analyses of the mitochondrial hypervariable first region of individual Oriente B, which belongs to the HV-1 haplogroup, suggest for the first time on genetic grounds that humans living in Sicily during the early Holocene could have originated from groups that migrated from the Italian Peninsula around the Last Glacial Maximum. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses show that the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of Favignana consumed almost exclusively protein from terrestrial game and that there was only a slight increase in marine food consumption from the late Pleistocene to the early Holocene. This dietary change was similar in scale to that at sites on mainland Sicily and in the rest of the Mediterranean, suggesting that the hunter-gatherers of Grotta d’Oriente did not modify their subsistence strategies specifically to adapt to the progressive isolation of Favignana. The limited development of technologies for intensively exploiting marine resources was probably a consequence both of Mediterranean oligotrophy and of the small effective population size of these increasingly isolated human groups, which made innovation less likely and prevented transmission of fitness

  6. High mobility explains demand sharing and enforced cooperation in egalitarian hunter-gatherers

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Hannah M.; Vinicius, Lucio; Strods, Janis; Mace, Ruth; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2014-01-01

    ‘Simple’ hunter-gatherer populations adopt the social norm of ‘demand sharing’, an example of human hyper-cooperation whereby food brought into camps is claimed and divided by group members. Explaining how demand sharing evolved without punishment to free riders, who rarely hunt but receive resources from active hunters, has been a long-standing problem. Here we show through a simulation model that demand-sharing families that continuously move between camps in response to their energy income are able to survive in unpredictable environments typical of hunter-gatherers, while non-sharing families and sedentary families perish. Our model also predicts that non-producers (free riders, pre-adults and post-productive adults) can be sustained in relatively high numbers. As most of hominin pre-history evolved in hunter-gatherer settings, demand sharing may be an ancestral manifestation of hyper-cooperation and inequality aversion, allowing exploration of high-quality, hard-to-acquire resources, the evolution of fluid co-residence patterns and egalitarian resource distribution in the absence of punishment or warfare. PMID:25511874

  7. High mobility explains demand sharing and enforced cooperation in egalitarian hunter-gatherers.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Hannah M; Vinicius, Lucio; Strods, Janis; Mace, Ruth; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2014-01-01

    'Simple' hunter-gatherer populations adopt the social norm of 'demand sharing', an example of human hyper-cooperation whereby food brought into camps is claimed and divided by group members. Explaining how demand sharing evolved without punishment to free riders, who rarely hunt but receive resources from active hunters, has been a long-standing problem. Here we show through a simulation model that demand-sharing families that continuously move between camps in response to their energy income are able to survive in unpredictable environments typical of hunter-gatherers, while non-sharing families and sedentary families perish. Our model also predicts that non-producers (free riders, pre-adults and post-productive adults) can be sustained in relatively high numbers. As most of hominin pre-history evolved in hunter-gatherer settings, demand sharing may be an ancestral manifestation of hyper-cooperation and inequality aversion, allowing exploration of high-quality, hard-to-acquire resources, the evolution of fluid co-residence patterns and egalitarian resource distribution in the absence of punishment or warfare. PMID:25511874

  8. Risk, mobility or population size? Drivers of technological richness among contact-period western North American hunter-gatherers.

    PubMed

    Collard, Mark; Buchanan, Briggs; O'Brien, Michael J; Scholnick, Jonathan

    2013-11-19

    Identifying factors that influence technological evolution in small-scale societies is important for understanding human evolution. There have been a number of attempts to identify factors that influence the evolution of food-getting technology, but little work has examined the factors that affect the evolution of other technologies. Here, we focus on variation in technological richness (total number of material items and techniques) among recent hunter-gatherers from western North America and test three hypotheses: (i) technological richness is affected by environmental risk, (ii) population size is the primary determinant of technological richness, and (iii) technological richness is constrained by residential mobility. We found technological richness to be correlated with a proxy for environmental risk-mean rainfall for the driest month-in the manner predicted by the risk hypothesis. Support for the hypothesis persisted when we controlled for shared history and intergroup contact. We found no evidence that technological richness is affected by population size or residential mobility. These results have important implications for unravelling the complexities of technological evolution. PMID:24101622

  9. Modelling mechanisms of social network maintenance in hunter-gatherers

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, Eiluned

    2014-01-01

    Due to decreasing resource densities, higher latitude hunter-gatherers need to maintain their social networks over greater geographic distances than their equatorial counterparts. This suggests that as latitude increases, the frequency of face-to-face interaction decreases for ‘weak tie’ relationships in the outer mating pool (~500-strong) and tribal (~1500-strong) layers of a hunter-gatherer social network. A key question, then, is how a hunter-gatherer tribe sustains coherence as a single identifiable unit given that members are distributed across a large geographic area. The first step in answering this question is to establish whether the expectation that network maintenance raises a challenge for hunter-gatherers is correct, or whether sustaining inter-group contact is in fact trivial. Here I present a null model that represents mobile groups as randomly and independently moving gas particles. The aim of this model is to examine whether face-to-face contact can be maintained with every member of an individual’s tribe at all latitudes even under the baseline assumption of random movement. Contrary to baseline expectations, the number of encounters between groups predicted by the gas model cannot support tribal cohesion and is significantly negatively associated with absolute latitude. In addition, above ~40 degrees latitude random mobility no longer produces a sufficient number of encounters between groups to maintain contact across the 500-strong mating pool. These model predictions suggest that the outermost layers of hunter-gatherers’ social networks may require additional mechanisms of support in the form of strategies that either enhance encounter rates, such as coordinated mobility patterns, or lessen the need for face-to-face interaction, such as the use of symbolic artefacts to represent social affiliations. Given the predicted decline in encounters away from the equator, such additional supports might be most strongly expressed at high

  10. Inter-group violence among early Holocene hunter-gatherers of West Turkana, Kenya.

    PubMed

    Mirazón Lahr, M; Rivera, F; Power, R K; Mounier, A; Copsey, B; Crivellaro, F; Edung, J E; Maillo Fernandez, J M; Kiarie, C; Lawrence, J; Leakey, A; Mbua, E; Miller, H; Muigai, A; Mukhongo, D M; Van Baelen, A; Wood, R; Schwenninger, J-L; Grün, R; Achyuthan, H; Wilshaw, A; Foley, R A

    2016-01-21

    The nature of inter-group relations among prehistoric hunter-gatherers remains disputed, with arguments in favour and against the existence of warfare before the development of sedentary societies. Here we report on a case of inter-group violence towards a group of hunter-gatherers from Nataruk, west of Lake Turkana, which during the late Pleistocene/early Holocene period extended about 30 km beyond its present-day shore. Ten of the twelve articulated skeletons found at Nataruk show evidence of having died violently at the edge of a lagoon, into which some of the bodies fell. The remains from Nataruk are unique, preserved by the particular conditions of the lagoon with no evidence of deliberate burial. They offer a rare glimpse into the life and death of past foraging people, and evidence that warfare was part of the repertoire of inter-group relations among prehistoric hunter-gatherers. PMID:26791728

  11. Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity

    PubMed Central

    Pontzer, Herman; Raichlen, David A.; Wood, Brian M.; Mabulla, Audax Z. P.; Racette, Susan B.; Marlowe, Frank W.

    2012-01-01

    Western lifestyles differ markedly from those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, and these differences in diet and activity level are often implicated in the global obesity pandemic. However, few physiological data for hunter-gatherer populations are available to test these models of obesity. In this study, we used the doubly-labeled water method to measure total daily energy expenditure (kCal/day) in Hadza hunter-gatherers to test whether foragers expend more energy each day than their Western counterparts. As expected, physical activity level, PAL, was greater among Hadza foragers than among Westerners. Nonetheless, average daily energy expenditure of traditional Hadza foragers was no different than that of Westerners after controlling for body size. The metabolic cost of walking (kcal kg−1 m−1) and resting (kcal kg−1 s−1) were also similar among Hadza and Western groups. The similarity in metabolic rates across a broad range of cultures challenges current models of obesity suggesting that Western lifestyles lead to decreased energy expenditure. We hypothesize that human daily energy expenditure may be an evolved physiological trait largely independent of cultural differences. PMID:22848382

  12. Macrophysical climate models and Holocene hunter-gatherer subsistence shifts in Central Texas, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauldin, R. P.; Munoz, C.

    2013-12-01

    We use stable carbon isotopic values from bone collagen, as well as carbon values from carbonate extracted from bone apatite from 69 prehistoric human skeletal samples to investigate past resource use and climate relationships over the Middle and Late Holocene in Central Texas. Bone samples come from seven archaeological sites and samples date from 6,900 BP to the close of the prehistoric sequence at about 350 BP. Carbon isotopes from these samples suggest four broad dietary trends. From 6,900 through about 3,800 BP, carbon isotopes suggest a gradual increase in the consumption of resources that ultimately use a C3 photosynthetic pathway. A decline in δ13C in both collagen and carbonate values follows, suggesting a decrease in C3 resource use through roughly 2,900 BP. A variable, but once again increasing pattern on C3 resource use by prehistoric hunter-gatherers is indicated in bone isotopes through about 1,000 BP. After that date, a decrease in C3 resource dependence, with hints at greater subsistence diversity, is suggested through the close of the sequence at 350 BP. To assess the impact of climate shifts on this isotopic pattern, we developed a series of macrophysical climate models (MCM) for several locations in Central Texas focusing on fall, winter, and early spring precipitation. This fall-spring rainfall should closely determine C3 production. If subsistence shifts are responding to climate-induced changes in resource availability, then the measured hunter-gatherer carbon isotope trends summarized above should pattern with C3 production as monitored by the modeled fall-spring precipitation values. For the Middle Holocene portion of the sequence, the precipitation models suggest increasing C3 production, consistent with increasing C3 dependence shown in the isotopic data. A decline in C3 production between 3,900 and 3,000 BP in the models is also consistent with the isotopic decline at that point. After 3,000 BP, however, the coupling between fall

  13. Play as a Foundation for Hunter-Gatherer Social Existence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gray, Peter

    2009-01-01

    The author offers the thesis that hunter-gatherers promoted, through cultural means, the playful side of their human nature and this made possible their egalitarian, nonautocratic, intensely cooperative ways of living. Hunter-gatherer bands, with their fluid membership, are likened to social-play groups, which people could freely join or leave.…

  14. Wealth Transmission and Inequality Among Hunter-Gatherers

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Kim; Marlowe, Frank; Nolin, David; Wiessner, Polly; Gurven, Michael; Bowles, Samuel; Mulder, Monique Borgerhoff; Hertz, Tom; Bell, Adrian

    2010-01-01

    We report quantitative estimates of intergenerational transmission and population-wide inequality for wealth measures in a set of hunter-gatherer populations. Wealth is defined broadly as factors that contribute to individual or household well-being, ranging from embodied forms such as weight and hunting success to material forms such household goods, as well as relational wealth in exchange partners. Intergenerational wealth transmission is low to moderate in these populations, but is still expected to have measurable influence on an individual’s life chances. Wealth inequality (measured with Gini coefficients) is moderate for most wealth types, matching what qualitative ethnographic research has generally indicated (if not the stereotype of hunter-gatherers as extreme egalitarians). We discuss some plausible mechanisms for these patterns, and suggest ways in which future research could resolve questions about the role of wealth in hunter-gatherer social and economic life. PMID:21151711

  15. Librarians as Hunter-Gatherers: Lessons Learned from an Excursion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Mindy M.

    2013-01-01

    Fueled by the pressing need for electronic resource usage statistics, librarians are finding themselves being thrust into the role of hunter-gatherer. This article discusses the work done at University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to provide usage statistics for all its paid subscriptions for a 3-year period. The…

  16. Honey, Hadza, hunter-gatherers, and human evolution.

    PubMed

    Marlowe, Frank W; Berbesque, J Colette; Wood, Brian; Crittenden, Alyssa; Porter, Claire; Mabulla, Audax

    2014-06-01

    Honey is the most energy dense food in nature. It is therefore not surprising that, where it exists, honey is an important food for almost all hunter-gatherers. Here we describe and analyze widespread honey collecting among foragers and show that where it is absent, in arctic and subarctic habitats, honey bees are also rare to absent. Second, we focus on one hunter-gatherer society, the Hadza of Tanzania. Hadza men and women both rank honey as their favorite food. Hadza acquire seven types of honey. Hadza women usually acquire honey that is close to the ground while men often climb tall baobab trees to raid the largest bee hives with stinging bees. Honey accounts for a substantial proportion of the kilocalories in the Hadza diet, especially that of Hadza men. Cross-cultural forager data reveal that in most hunter-gatherers, men acquire more honey than women but often, as with the Hadza, women do acquire some. Virtually all warm-climate foragers consume honey. Our closest living relatives, the great apes, take honey when they can. We suggest that honey has been part of the diet of our ancestors dating back to at least the earliest hominins. The earliest hominins, however, would have surely been less capable of acquiring as much honey as more recent, fully modern human hunter-gatherers. We discuss reasons for thinking our early ancestors would have acquired less honey than foragers ethnographically described, yet still significantly more than our great ape relatives. PMID:24746602

  17. Using obsidian transfer distances to explore social network maintenance in late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, Eiluned; Moutsiou, Theodora

    2014-01-01

    Social behaviour is notoriously difficult to study archaeologically and it is unclear how large the networks of prehistoric humans were, or how they remained connected. Maintaining social cohesion was crucial for early humans because social networks facilitate cooperation and are imperative for survival and reproduction. Recent hunter-gatherer social organisation typically comprises a number of nested layers, ranging from the nuclear family through to the ~1500-strong ethnolinguistic tribe. Here we compare maximum obsidian transfer distances from the late Pleistocene with ethnographic data on the size of the geographic areas associated with each of these social grouping layers in recent hunter-gatherers. The closest match between the two is taken to indicate the maximum social layer within which contact could be sustained by Pleistocene hominins. Within both the (sub)tropical African and Subarctic biomes, the maximum obsidian transfer distances for Pleistocene modern humans (~200km and ~400km respectively) correspond to the geographic ranges of the outermost tribal layer in recent hunter-gatherers. This suggests that modern humans could potentially sustain the cohesion of their entire tribe at all latitudes, even though networks are more dispersed nearer the poles. Neanderthal obsidian transfer distances (300km) indicate that although Neanderthal home ranges are larger than those of low latitude hominins, Neanderthals travelled shorter distances than modern humans living at the same high latitudes. We argue that, like modern humans, Neanderthals could have maintained tribal cohesion, but that their tribes were substantially smaller than those of contemporary modern humans living in similar environments. The greater time taken to traverse the larger modern human tribal ranges may have limited the frequency of their face-to-face interactions and thus necessitated additional mechanisms to ensure network connectivity, such as the exchange of symbolic artefacts

  18. Using obsidian transfer distances to explore social network maintenance in late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers.

    PubMed

    Pearce, Eiluned; Moutsiou, Theodora

    2014-12-01

    Social behaviour is notoriously difficult to study archaeologically and it is unclear how large the networks of prehistoric humans were, or how they remained connected. Maintaining social cohesion was crucial for early humans because social networks facilitate cooperation and are imperative for survival and reproduction. Recent hunter-gatherer social organisation typically comprises a number of nested layers, ranging from the nuclear family through to the ~1500-strong ethnolinguistic tribe. Here we compare maximum obsidian transfer distances from the late Pleistocene with ethnographic data on the size of the geographic areas associated with each of these social grouping layers in recent hunter-gatherers. The closest match between the two is taken to indicate the maximum social layer within which contact could be sustained by Pleistocene hominins. Within both the (sub)tropical African and Subarctic biomes, the maximum obsidian transfer distances for Pleistocene modern humans (~200km and ~400km respectively) correspond to the geographic ranges of the outermost tribal layer in recent hunter-gatherers. This suggests that modern humans could potentially sustain the cohesion of their entire tribe at all latitudes, even though networks are more dispersed nearer the poles. Neanderthal obsidian transfer distances (300km) indicate that although Neanderthal home ranges are larger than those of low latitude hominins, Neanderthals travelled shorter distances than modern humans living at the same high latitudes. We argue that, like modern humans, Neanderthals could have maintained tribal cohesion, but that their tribes were substantially smaller than those of contemporary modern humans living in similar environments. The greater time taken to traverse the larger modern human tribal ranges may have limited the frequency of their face-to-face interactions and thus necessitated additional mechanisms to ensure network connectivity, such as the exchange of symbolic artefacts

  19. Hunter-Gatherers and the Origins of Religion.

    PubMed

    Peoples, Hervey C; Duda, Pavel; Marlowe, Frank W

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies of the evolution of religion have revealed the cognitive underpinnings of belief in supernatural agents, the role of ritual in promoting cooperation, and the contribution of morally punishing high gods to the growth and stabilization of human society. The universality of religion across human society points to a deep evolutionary past. However, specific traits of nascent religiosity, and the sequence in which they emerged, have remained unknown. Here we reconstruct the evolution of religious beliefs and behaviors in early modern humans using a global sample of hunter-gatherers and seven traits describing hunter-gatherer religiosity: animism, belief in an afterlife, shamanism, ancestor worship, high gods, and worship of ancestors or high gods who are active in human affairs. We reconstruct ancestral character states using a time-calibrated supertree based on published phylogenetic trees and linguistic classification and then test for correlated evolution between the characters and for the direction of cultural change. Results indicate that the oldest trait of religion, present in the most recent common ancestor of present-day hunter-gatherers, was animism, in agreement with long-standing beliefs about the fundamental role of this trait. Belief in an afterlife emerged, followed by shamanism and ancestor worship. Ancestor spirits or high gods who are active in human affairs were absent in early humans, suggesting a deep history for the egalitarian nature of hunter-gatherer societies. There is a significant positive relationship between most characters investigated, but the trait "high gods" stands apart, suggesting that belief in a single creator deity can emerge in a society regardless of other aspects of its religion. PMID:27154194

  20. Evolutionary History of Hunter-Gatherer Marriage Practices

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Robert S.; Hill, Kim R.; Flinn, Mark V.; Ellsworth, Ryan M.

    2011-01-01

    Background The universality of marriage in human societies around the world suggests a deep evolutionary history of institutionalized pair-bonding that stems back at least to early modern humans. However, marriage practices vary considerably from culture to culture, ranging from strict prescriptions and arranged marriages in some societies to mostly unregulated courtship in others, presence to absence of brideservice and brideprice, and polyandrous to polygynous unions. The ancestral state of early human marriage is not well known given the lack of conclusive archaeological evidence. Methodology Comparative phylogenetic analyses using data from contemporary hunter-gatherers around the world may allow for the reconstruction of ancestral human cultural traits. We attempt to reconstruct ancestral marriage practices using hunter-gatherer phylogenies based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. Results Arranged marriages are inferred to go back at least to first modern human migrations out of Africa. Reconstructions are equivocal on whether or not earlier human marriages were arranged because several African hunter-gatherers have courtship marriages. Phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that marriages in early ancestral human societies probably had low levels of polygyny (low reproductive skew) and reciprocal exchanges between the families of marital partners (i.e., brideservice or brideprice). Discussion Phylogenetic results suggest a deep history of regulated exchange of mates and resources among lineages that enhanced the complexity of human meta-group social structure with coalitions and alliances spanning across multiple residential communities. PMID:21556360

  1. Hunter-gatherers and other primates as prey, predators, and competitors of snakes.

    PubMed

    Headland, Thomas N; Greene, Harry W

    2011-12-27

    Relationships between primates and snakes are of widespread interest from anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary perspectives, but surprisingly, little is known about the dangers that serpents have posed to people with prehistoric lifestyles and nonhuman primates. Here, we report ethnographic observations of 120 Philippine Agta Negritos when they were still preliterate hunter-gatherers, among whom 26% of adult males had survived predation attempts by reticulated pythons. Six fatal attacks occurred between 1934 and 1973. Agta ate pythons as well as deer, wild pigs, and monkeys, which are also eaten by pythons, and therefore, the two species were reciprocally prey, predators, and potential competitors. Natural history data document snake predation on tree shrews and 26 species of nonhuman primates as well as many species of primates approaching, mobbing, killing, and sometimes eating snakes. These findings, interpreted within the context of snake and primate phylogenies, corroborate the hypothesis that complex ecological interactions have long characterized our shared evolutionary history. PMID:22160702

  2. Hunter-gatherer variability: Dental wear in South Australia.

    PubMed

    Littleton, Judith; Scott, Rachel; McFarlane, Gina; Walshe, Keryn

    2013-10-01

    Often it is assumed that hunter-gatherer dentitions are dominated by heavy attrition. Recent analyses, however, have shown unexpected variability in the pattern of wear between groups. It had been previously noted that wear differed between neighboring groups on the Murray River, Australia. This analysis extends that geographic scope as well as focusing on wear across the dentition, including the premolars. The samples came from coastal and riverine regions of southern Australia. The analysis used records from the Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide Plains (Gillman site), and Euston regions. These were compared with previously published work from the Adelaide Plains and four locations on the Murray River. The results confirm the overall severity of wear but reveal systematic differences between the samples in terms of the pattern of wear. Heavy wear on the incisors and canines is observed among males from the Euston, Kaurna, Middle A, Murray Mouth, and Yorke Peninsula samples but with marked intra-individual variability. Extensive premolar wear is noted among females from Kaurna and Middle B samples as well as among males and females from Euston. It is argued that these patterns relate to gendered non-masticatory use of teeth and reliance upon bulrush (Typha spp.) and related species for both food and fiber among some groups. We argue that analyzing the degree of variability within samples and across all teeth provides a more nuanced understanding of dental wear among hunter-gatherers. PMID:23999884

  3. Metagenome Sequencing of the Hadza Hunter-Gatherer Gut Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Rampelli, Simone; Schnorr, Stephanie L; Consolandi, Clarissa; Turroni, Silvia; Severgnini, Marco; Peano, Clelia; Brigidi, Patrizia; Crittenden, Alyssa N; Henry, Amanda G; Candela, Marco

    2015-06-29

    Through human microbiome sequencing, we can better understand how host evolutionary and ontogenetic history is reflected in the microbial function. However, there has been no information on the gut metagenome configuration in hunter-gatherer populations, posing a gap in our knowledge of gut microbiota (GM)-host mutualism arising from a lifestyle that describes over 90% of human evolutionary history. Here, we present the first metagenomic analysis of GM from Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania, showing a unique enrichment in metabolic pathways that aligns with the dietary and environmental factors characteristic of their foraging lifestyle. We found that the Hadza GM is adapted for broad-spectrum carbohydrate metabolism, reflecting the complex polysaccharides in their diet. Furthermore, the Hadza GM is equipped for branched-chain amino acid degradation and aromatic amino acid biosynthesis. Resistome functionality demonstrates the existence of antibiotic resistance genes in a population with little antibiotic exposure, indicating the ubiquitous presence of environmentally derived resistances. Our results demonstrate how the functional specificity of the GM correlates with certain environment and lifestyle factors and how complexity from the exogenous environment can be balanced by endogenous homeostasis. The Hadza gut metagenome structure allows us to appreciate the co-adaptive functional role of the GM in complementing the human physiology, providing a better understanding of the versatility of human life and subsistence. PMID:25981789

  4. Gut microbiome of the Hadza hunter-gatherers.

    PubMed

    Schnorr, Stephanie L; Candela, Marco; Rampelli, Simone; Centanni, Manuela; Consolandi, Clarissa; Basaglia, Giulia; Turroni, Silvia; Biagi, Elena; Peano, Clelia; Severgnini, Marco; Fiori, Jessica; Gotti, Roberto; De Bellis, Gianluca; Luiselli, Donata; Brigidi, Patrizia; Mabulla, Audax; Marlowe, Frank; Henry, Amanda G; Crittenden, Alyssa N

    2014-01-01

    Human gut microbiota directly influences health and provides an extra means of adaptive potential to different lifestyles. To explore variation in gut microbiota and to understand how these bacteria may have co-evolved with humans, here we investigate the phylogenetic diversity and metabolite production of the gut microbiota from a community of human hunter-gatherers, the Hadza of Tanzania. We show that the Hadza have higher levels of microbial richness and biodiversity than Italian urban controls. Further comparisons with two rural farming African groups illustrate other features unique to Hadza that can be linked to a foraging lifestyle. These include absence of Bifidobacterium and differences in microbial composition between the sexes that probably reflect sexual division of labour. Furthermore, enrichment in Prevotella, Treponema and unclassified Bacteroidetes, as well as a peculiar arrangement of Clostridiales taxa, may enhance the Hadza's ability to digest and extract valuable nutrition from fibrous plant foods. PMID:24736369

  5. Costs and benefits in hunter-gatherer punishment.

    PubMed

    Boehm, Christopher

    2012-02-01

    Hunter-gatherer punishment involves costs and benefits to individuals and groups, but the costs do not necessarily fit with the assumptions made in models that consider punishment to be altruistic--which brings in the free-rider problem and the problem of second-order free-riders. In this commentary, I present foragers' capital punishment patterns ethnographically, in the interest of establishing whether such punishment is likely to be costly; and I suggest that in many cases abstentions from punishment that might be taken as defections by free-riders are actually caused by social-structural considerations rather than being an effect of free-rider genes. This presentation of data supplements the ethnographic analysis provided by Guala. PMID:22289308

  6. Gut microbiome of the Hadza hunter-gatherers

    PubMed Central

    Schnorr, Stephanie L.; Candela, Marco; Rampelli, Simone; Centanni, Manuela; Consolandi, Clarissa; Basaglia, Giulia; Turroni, Silvia; Biagi, Elena; Peano, Clelia; Severgnini, Marco; Fiori, Jessica; Gotti, Roberto; De Bellis, Gianluca; Luiselli, Donata; Brigidi, Patrizia; Mabulla, Audax; Marlowe, Frank; Henry, Amanda G.; Crittenden, Alyssa N.

    2014-01-01

    Human gut microbiota directly influences health and provides an extra means of adaptive potential to different lifestyles. To explore variation in gut microbiota and to understand how these bacteria may have co-evolved with humans, here we investigate the phylogenetic diversity and metabolite production of the gut microbiota from a community of human hunter-gatherers, the Hadza of Tanzania. We show that the Hadza have higher levels of microbial richness and biodiversity than Italian urban controls. Further comparisons with two rural farming African groups illustrate other features unique to Hadza that can be linked to a foraging lifestyle. These include absence of Bifidobacterium and differences in microbial composition between the sexes that probably reflect sexual division of labour. Furthermore, enrichment in Prevotella, Treponema and unclassified Bacteroidetes, as well as a peculiar arrangement of Clostridiales taxa, may enhance the Hadza’s ability to digest and extract valuable nutrition from fibrous plant foods. PMID:24736369

  7. Food Sharing among Hadza Hunter-Gatherer Children

    PubMed Central

    Crittenden, Alyssa N.; Zes, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Human prosociality is one of the defining characteristics of our species, yet the ontogeny of altruistic behavior remains poorly understood. The evolution of widespread food sharing in humans helped shape cooperation, family formation, life history, language, and the development of economies of scale. While the behavioral and ecological correlates of food sharing among adults are widely studied, very little is known about food sharing among children. Here, in the first study to analyze the food sharing patterns of hunter-gatherer children, we show that while sharing may be biased towards kin, reciprocity characterizes the majority of all sharing dyads, both related and unrelated. These data lend support to the recent claim that discrimination among kin might be linked with reciprocal altruism theory. Furthermore, we show that age positively correlates with an increase in sharing, both in frequency and amount, supporting recent suggestions that prosocial behaviors and egalitarianism develop strongly in middle childhood when children acquire the normative rules of their society. PMID:26151637

  8. Food Sharing among Hadza Hunter-Gatherer Children.

    PubMed

    Crittenden, Alyssa N; Zes, David A

    2015-01-01

    Human prosociality is one of the defining characteristics of our species, yet the ontogeny of altruistic behavior remains poorly understood. The evolution of widespread food sharing in humans helped shape cooperation, family formation, life history, language, and the development of economies of scale. While the behavioral and ecological correlates of food sharing among adults are widely studied, very little is known about food sharing among children. Here, in the first study to analyze the food sharing patterns of hunter-gatherer children, we show that while sharing may be biased towards kin, reciprocity characterizes the majority of all sharing dyads, both related and unrelated. These data lend support to the recent claim that discrimination among kin might be linked with reciprocal altruism theory. Furthermore, we show that age positively correlates with an increase in sharing, both in frequency and amount, supporting recent suggestions that prosocial behaviors and egalitarianism develop strongly in middle childhood when children acquire the normative rules of their society. PMID:26151637

  9. Enterocyte-Associated Microbiome of the Hadza Hunter-Gatherers

    PubMed Central

    Turroni, Silvia; Rampelli, Simone; Centanni, Manuela; Schnorr, Stephanie L.; Consolandi, Clarissa; Severgnini, Marco; Peano, Clelia; Soverini, Matteo; Falconi, Mirella; Crittenden, Alyssa N.; Henry, Amanda G.; Brigidi, Patrizia; Candela, Marco

    2016-01-01

    By means of a recently developed non-invasive ex vivo minimal model based on the interaction of the human enterocyte-like HT29 cell line and fecal slurries, we explored the enterocyte-associated microbiome of 21 Hadza hunter-gatherers and nine urban living Italians. Though reductionist, this model allows inferring the microbiota structural and functional arrangement as it interacts with enterocytes. Microbial suspensions obtained from Hadza or Italian stools were first evaluated for structural integrity by high resolution-scanning electron microscopy and co-incubated with HT29 cell monolayers. The enterocyte adherent microbiota fraction was then characterized by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and predictive functional profiling using PICRUSt. Compared to Italians, the Hadza enterocyte-associated microbiome was characterized by a greater amount of adhesive microorganisms with pathogenic potential, such as Proteobacteria, Erysipelotrichaceae, Enterococcus, Clostridium and Sarcina. These compositional characteristics were reflected in a functional enrichment in membrane transport, signal transduction, signaling molecules and interaction. Our results depict a new interesting mutualistic configuration of the enterocyte-associated microbiome in Hadza, stressing the importance of microbe-host interaction at the mucosal surface along the course of human evolution. PMID:27375586

  10. The roles and impacts of human hunter-gatherers in North Pacific marine food webs.

    PubMed

    Dunne, Jennifer A; Maschner, Herbert; Betts, Matthew W; Huntly, Nancy; Russell, Roly; Williams, Richard J; Wood, Spencer A

    2016-01-01

    There is a nearly 10,000-year history of human presence in the western Gulf of Alaska, but little understanding of how human foragers integrated into and impacted ecosystems through their roles as hunter-gatherers. We present two highly resolved intertidal and nearshore food webs for the Sanak Archipelago in the eastern Aleutian Islands and use them to compare trophic roles of prehistoric humans to other species. We find that the native Aleut people played distinctive roles as super-generalist and highly-omnivorous consumers closely connected to other species. Although the human population was positioned to have strong effects, arrival and presence of Aleut people in the Sanak Archipelago does not appear associated with long-term extinctions. We simulated food web dynamics to explore to what degree introducing a species with trophic roles like those of an Aleut forager, and allowing for variable strong feeding to reflect use of hunting technology, is likely to trigger extinctions. Potential extinctions decreased when an invading omnivorous super-generalist consumer focused strong feeding on decreasing fractions of its possible resources. This study presents the first assessment of the structural roles of humans as consumers within complex ecological networks, and potential impacts of those roles and feeding behavior on associated extinctions. PMID:26884149

  11. The roles and impacts of human hunter-gatherers in North Pacific marine food webs

    PubMed Central

    Dunne, Jennifer A.; Maschner, Herbert; Betts, Matthew W.; Huntly, Nancy; Russell, Roly; Williams, Richard J.; Wood, Spencer A.

    2016-01-01

    There is a nearly 10,000-year history of human presence in the western Gulf of Alaska, but little understanding of how human foragers integrated into and impacted ecosystems through their roles as hunter-gatherers. We present two highly resolved intertidal and nearshore food webs for the Sanak Archipelago in the eastern Aleutian Islands and use them to compare trophic roles of prehistoric humans to other species. We find that the native Aleut people played distinctive roles as super-generalist and highly-omnivorous consumers closely connected to other species. Although the human population was positioned to have strong effects, arrival and presence of Aleut people in the Sanak Archipelago does not appear associated with long-term extinctions. We simulated food web dynamics to explore to what degree introducing a species with trophic roles like those of an Aleut forager, and allowing for variable strong feeding to reflect use of hunting technology, is likely to trigger extinctions. Potential extinctions decreased when an invading omnivorous super-generalist consumer focused strong feeding on decreasing fractions of its possible resources. This study presents the first assessment of the structural roles of humans as consumers within complex ecological networks, and potential impacts of those roles and feeding behavior on associated extinctions. PMID:26884149

  12. A Radiocarbon Chronology of Hunter-Gatherer Occupation from Bodega Bay, California, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Kennedy, M A; Russell, A D; Guilderson, T P

    2005-04-27

    The evolution of hunter-gatherer maritime adaptations in western North America has been a prominent topic of discussion among archaeologists in recent years (e.g. Arnold 1992; Erlandson and Colten 1991; Erlandson and Glassow 1997; Lightfoot 1993). Although vast coastal regions of the northeastern Pacific (for example, southern California) have been investigated in detail, our understanding of hunter-gatherer developments along the coast of northern California is limited. Previous research indicates that humans have exploited marine mammals, fish and shellfish along the northern California shoreline since the early Holocene (Schwaderer 1992). By the end of the late Holocene, some groups remained year-round on the coast subsisting primarily on marine resources (e.g. Gould 1975; Hildebrandt and Levulett 2002). However, a paucity of well-dated cultural deposits has hindered our understanding of these developments, particularly during the early and middle Holocene. The lack of a long and reliable chronological sequence has restricted our interpretations of behavioral change, including the adaptive strategies (such as foraging, mobility and settlement) used by human foragers to colonize and inhabit the coastal areas of this region. These shortcomings have also hindered comparative interpretations with other coastal and inland regions in western North America. Here we present a Holocene radiocarbon chronology of hunter-gatherer occupation based on contemporaneous samples of charcoal and Mytilus californianus (California sea mussel) shell recovered from seven archaeological sites near Bodega Bay, California. A series of 127 {sup 14}C ages reveal a chronological sequence that spans from ca. 8940-110 cal BP (1{sigma}) (7890-160 {sup 14}C yr BP = charcoal; 8934-101 {sup 14}C yr BP = shell). As part of this sequence, we report new {sup 14}C dates from the stratified cave and open-air midden deposits at Duncan's Landing (CA-SON-348/H). In addition, we present {sup 14}C ages

  13. Reproductive trade-offs in extant hunter-gatherers suggest adaptive mechanism for the Neolithic expansion.

    PubMed

    Page, Abigail E; Viguier, Sylvain; Dyble, Mark; Smith, Daniel; Chaudhary, Nikhil; Salali, Gul Deniz; Thompson, James; Vinicius, Lucio; Mace, Ruth; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2016-04-26

    The Neolithic demographic transition remains a paradox, because it is associated with both higher rates of population growth and increased morbidity and mortality rates. Here we reconcile the conflicting evidence by proposing that the spread of agriculture involved a life history quality-quantity trade-off whereby mothers traded offspring survival for increased fertility, achieving greater reproductive success despite deteriorating health. We test this hypothesis by investigating fertility, mortality, health, and overall reproductive success in Agta hunter-gatherers whose camps exhibit variable levels of sedentarization, mobility, and involvement in agricultural activities. We conducted blood composition tests in 345 Agta and found that viral and helminthic infections as well as child mortality rates were significantly increased with sedentarization. Nonetheless, both age-controlled fertility and overall reproductive success were positively affected by sedentarization and participation in cultivation. Thus, we provide the first empirical evidence, to our knowledge, of an adaptive mechanism in foragers that reconciles the decline in health and child survival with the observed demographic expansion during the Neolithic. PMID:27071109

  14. Evidence of Levy walk foraging patterns in human hunter-gatherers.

    PubMed

    Raichlen, David A; Wood, Brian M; Gordon, Adam D; Mabulla, Audax Z P; Marlowe, Frank W; Pontzer, Herman

    2014-01-14

    When searching for food, many organisms adopt a superdiffusive, scale-free movement pattern called a Lévy walk, which is considered optimal when foraging for heterogeneously located resources with little prior knowledge of distribution patterns [Viswanathan GM, da Luz MGE, Raposo EP, Stanley HE (2011) The Physics of Foraging: An Introduction to Random Searches and Biological Encounters]. Although memory of food locations and higher cognition may limit the benefits of random walk strategies, no studies to date have fully explored search patterns in human foraging. Here, we show that human hunter-gatherers, the Hadza of northern Tanzania, perform Lévy walks in nearly one-half of all foraging bouts. Lévy walks occur when searching for a wide variety of foods from animal prey to underground tubers, suggesting that, even in the most cognitively complex forager on Earth, such patterns are essential to understanding elementary foraging mechanisms. This movement pattern may be fundamental to how humans experience and interact with the world across a wide range of ecological contexts, and it may be adaptive to food distribution patterns on the landscape, which previous studies suggested for organisms with more limited cognition. Additionally, Lévy walks may have become common early in our genus when hunting and gathering arose as a major foraging strategy, playing an important role in the evolution of human mobility. PMID:24367098

  15. Origins and genetic diversity of pygmy hunter-gatherers from Western Central Africa.

    PubMed

    Verdu, Paul; Austerlitz, Frederic; Estoup, Arnaud; Vitalis, Renaud; Georges, Myriam; Théry, Sylvain; Froment, Alain; Le Bomin, Sylvie; Gessain, Antoine; Hombert, Jean-Marie; Van der Veen, Lolke; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Bahuchet, Serge; Heyer, Evelyne

    2009-02-24

    Central Africa is currently peopled by numerous sedentary agriculturalist populations neighboring the largest group of mobile hunter-gatherers, the Pygmies [1-3]. Although archeological remains attest to Homo sapiens' presence in the Congo Basin for at least 30,000 years, the demographic history of these groups, including divergence and admixture, remains widely unknown [4-6]. Moreover, it is still debated whether common history or convergent adaptation to a forest environment resulted in the short stature characterizing the pygmies [2, 7]. We genotyped 604 individuals at 28 autosomal tetranucleotide microsatellite loci in 12 nonpygmy and 9 neighboring pygmy populations. We found a high level of genetic heterogeneity among Western Central African pygmies, as well as evidence of heterogeneous levels of asymmetrical gene flow from nonpygmies to pygmies, consistent with the variable sociocultural barriers against intermarriages. Using approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) methods [8], we compared several historical scenarios. The most likely points toward a unique ancestral pygmy population that diversified approximately 2800 years ago, contemporarily with the Neolithic expansion of nonpygmy agriculturalists [9, 10]. Our results show that recent isolation, genetic drift, and heterogeneous admixture enabled a rapid and substantial genetic differentiation among Western Central African pygmies. Such an admixture pattern is consistent with the various sociocultural behaviors related to intermariages between pygmies and nonpygmies. PMID:19200724

  16. Proving communal warfare among hunter-gatherers: The Quasi-Rousseauan error.

    PubMed

    Gat, Azar

    2015-01-01

    Was human fighting always there, as old as our species? Or is it a late cultural invention, emerging after the transition to agriculture and the rise of the state, which began, respectively, only around ten thousand and five thousand years ago? Viewed against the life span of our species, Homo sapiens, stretching back 150,000-200,000 years, let alone the roughly two million years of our genus Homo, this is the tip of the iceberg. We now have a temporal frame and plenty of empirical evidence for the "state of nature" that Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacque Rousseau discussed in the abstract and described in diametrically opposed terms. All human populations during the Pleistocene, until about 12,000 years ago, were hunter-gatherers, or foragers, of the simple, mobile sort that lacked accumulated resources. Studying such human populations that survived until recently or still survive in remote corners of the world, anthropology should have been uniquely positioned to answer the question of aboriginal human fighting or lack thereof. Yet access to, and the interpretation of, that information has been intrinsically problematic. The main problem has been the "contact paradox." Prestate societies have no written records of their own. Therefore, documenting them requires contact with literate state societies that necessarily affects the former and potentially changes their behavior, including fighting. PMID:26081116

  17. Future Discounting in Congo Basin Hunter-Gatherers Declines with Socio-Economic Transitions.

    PubMed

    Salali, Gul Deniz; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2015-01-01

    Humans have a tendency to discount the future; that is we value small, short-term rewards over larger, long-term rewards. The degree of future discounting, however, changes in response to socio-ecological factors. Here, we study Mbendjele BaYaka hunter-gatherers of northern Congo and their farmer neighbours to investigate adaptations in inter-temporal preferences in humans. We argue that in immediate-return systems, where food storage is absent and egalitarianism is enforced through levelling mechanisms, future discounting is an adaptive strategy to prevent wealth accumulation and the emergence of hierarchies. This ensures food sharing and allows for survival in unpredictable environments where there is risk of an energy shortfall. On the other hand, when food storage is made possible by the emergence of agriculture or as seen in some delayed-return hunter-gatherer populations, wealth accumulation, hierarchies and lower discount rates become the adaptive strategy. Therefore, individuals in immediate-return, egalitarian societies will discount the future more than those in non-egalitarian, delayed-return societies. Consistent with the predictions we found that market integration and socio-economic transitions decrease the future discounting in Mbendjele hunter-gatherers. Our measures of socio-economic differences marked this transition in hunter-gatherers living in a logging town. The degree of future-discounting was the same between more market-integrated hunter-gatherers and their farmer neighbours. PMID:26381883

  18. Future Discounting in Congo Basin Hunter-Gatherers Declines with Socio-Economic Transitions

    PubMed Central

    Salali, Gul Deniz; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2015-01-01

    Humans have a tendency to discount the future; that is we value small, short-term rewards over larger, long-term rewards. The degree of future discounting, however, changes in response to socio-ecological factors. Here, we study Mbendjele BaYaka hunter-gatherers of northern Congo and their farmer neighbours to investigate adaptations in inter-temporal preferences in humans. We argue that in immediate-return systems, where food storage is absent and egalitarianism is enforced through levelling mechanisms, future discounting is an adaptive strategy to prevent wealth accumulation and the emergence of hierarchies. This ensures food sharing and allows for survival in unpredictable environments where there is risk of an energy shortfall. On the other hand, when food storage is made possible by the emergence of agriculture or as seen in some delayed-return hunter-gatherer populations, wealth accumulation, hierarchies and lower discount rates become the adaptive strategy. Therefore, individuals in immediate-return, egalitarian societies will discount the future more than those in non-egalitarian, delayed-return societies. Consistent with the predictions we found that market integration and socio-economic transitions decrease the future discounting in Mbendjele hunter-gatherers. Our measures of socio-economic differences marked this transition in hunter-gatherers living in a logging town. The degree of future-discounting was the same between more market-integrated hunter-gatherers and their farmer neighbours. PMID:26381883

  19. Biological diversity and population history of Middle Holocene hunter-gatherers from the Cis-Baikal region of Siberia.

    PubMed

    Movsesian, Alla A; Bakholdina, Varvara Yu; Pezhemsky, Denis V

    2014-12-01

    In the past decades, prehistoric hunter-gatherers of the Cis-Baikal region has been a subject of multidisciplinary research. In this study, we used nonmetric cranial traits to assess the genetic relationships between various spatial and temporal groups of Cis-Baikal Middle Holocene hunter-gatherers and to reveal genetic continuity between the Cis-Baikal Neolithic-Bronze Age population and modern native Siberians. Cranial series belonging to the bearers of the Early Neolithic Kitoi (n = 72), Late Neolithic Serovo (n = 54), and Early Bronze Glazkovo (n = 98) cultures were examined. Phenotypic differentiation was analyzed by the mean measure of divergence and Nei's genetic distances. Our results revealed several patterns of spatiotemporal biodiversity among the Cis-Baikal Middle Holocene populations, including biological similarity between the Early and Late Neolithic-Bronze Age groups, which suggests that the temporal hiatus between the Early and Late Neolithic does not necessarily imply genetic discontinuity in the region. The following possible scenarios of population history in the Cis-Baikal region are proposed: 1) continuous occupation with outside invasion of new migrant groups in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age and 2) migration of the Early Neolithic groups to the nearby regions and subsequent return of their descendants to the ancestral territory. A comparison of Cis-Baikal Neolithic populations with modern Siberian natives suggests that the Сis-Baikal region could have been a source area for population expansions into different parts of Siberia in the Neolithic and Bronze Age times. PMID:25176172

  20. Hunter-gatherers in southeast Asia: from prehistory to the present.

    PubMed

    Higham, Charles

    2013-01-01

    Anatomically modern hunter-gatherers expanded from Africa into Southeast Asia at least 50,000 years ago, where they probably encountered and interacted with populations of Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis and the recently discovered Denisovans. Simulation studies suggest that these hunter-gatherers may well have followed a coastal route that ultimately led to the settlement of Sahul, while archaeology confirms that they also crossed significant seas and explored well into the interior. They also adapted to marked environmental changes that alternated between relatively cool and dry conditions and warmer, wetter interludes. During the former, the sea fell by up to 120 m below its present level, which opened up a vast low-lying area known as Sundaland. Three principal alignments can be identified: the first involved the occupation of rock shelters in upland regions, the second has identified settlement on broad riverine floodplains, and the last concentrated on the raised beaches formed from about five millennia ago when the sea level was elevated above its present position. This cultural sequence was dislocated about 4 kya when rice and millet farmers infiltrated the lowlands of Southeast Asia ultimately from the Yangtze River valley. It is suggested that this led to two forms of interaction. In the first, the indigenous hunter-gatherers integrated with intrusive Neolithic communities and, while losing their cultural identity, contributed their genes to the present population of Southeast Asia. In the second, hunter-gatherers withdrew to rainforest refugia and, through selective pressures inherent in such an environment, survived as the small-bodied, dark-skinned humans found to this day in the Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand, and the Andaman Islands. Beyond the impact of expansive rice farmers in Melanesia and Australia, hunter-gatherers continued to dominate until they encountered European settlement. PMID:24297219

  1. Lesson One: The History of an Australian Hunter-Gatherer Culture. Australian Studies High School Series. History Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waldron, John

    This lesson, one of four stand-alone lessons that examine Australia as an aspect of world history, is designed to teach students about hunter-gatherer societies in the context of Tasmanian Aboriginal culture. Tasmania represents a particularly useful site for the study of hunter-gatherer societies because it is geographically isolated, even from…

  2. Why hunter-gatherer populations do not show signs of Pleistocene demographic expansions

    PubMed Central

    Excoffier, Laurent; Schneider, Stefan

    1999-01-01

    The mitochondrial DNA diversity of 62 human population samples was examined for potential signals of population expansions. Stepwise expansion times were estimated by taking into account heterogeneity of mutation rates among sites. Assuming an mtDNA divergence rate of 33% per million years, most populations show signals of Pleistocene expansions at around 70,000 years (70 KY) ago in Africa and Asia, 55 KY ago in America, and 40 KY ago in Europe and the Middle East, whereas the traces of the oldest expansions are found in East Africa (110 KY ago for the Turkana). The genetic diversity of two groups of populations (most Amerindian populations and present-day hunter-gatherers) cannot be explained by a simple stepwise expansion model. A multivariate analysis of the genetic distances among 61 populations reveals that populations that did not undergo demographic expansions show increased genetic distances from other populations, confirming that the demography of the populations strongly affects observed genetic affinities. The absence of traces of Pleistocene expansions in present-day hunter-gatherers seems best explained by the occurrence of recent bottlenecks in those populations, implying a difference between Pleistocene (≈1,800 KY to 10 KY ago) and Holocene (10 KY to present) hunter-gatherers demographies, a difference that occurred after, and probably in response to, the Neolithic expansions of the other populations. PMID:10485871

  3. Looking at the Camp: Paleolithic Depiction of a Hunter-Gatherer Campsite

    PubMed Central

    García-Diez, Marcos; Vaquero, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Landscapes and features of the everyday world were scarcely represented in Paleolithic art, especially those features associated with the human landscape (huts and campsites). On the contrary, other figurative motifs (especially animals) and signs, traditionally linked to the magic or religious conceptions of these hunter-gatherer societies, are the predominant themes of Upper Paleolithic art. This paper seeks to present an engraved schist slab recently found in the Molí del Salt site (North-eastern Iberia) and dated at the end of the Upper Paleolithic, ca. 13,800 years ago. This slab displays seven semicircular motifs that may be interpreted as the representation of dome-shaped huts. The analysis of individual motifs and the composition, as well as the ethnographic and archeological contextualization, suggests that this engraving is a naturalistic depiction of a hunter-gatherer campsite. Campsites can be considered the first human landscape, the first area of land whose visible features were entirely constructed by humans. Given the social meaning of campsites in hunter-gatherer life-styles, this engraving may be considered one of the first representations of the domestic and social space of a human group. PMID:26629824

  4. Intergroup aggression in chimpanzees and war in nomadic hunter-gatherers: evaluating the chimpanzee model.

    PubMed

    Wrangham, Richard W; Glowacki, Luke

    2012-03-01

    Chimpanzee and hunter-gatherer intergroup aggression differ in important ways, including humans having the ability to form peaceful relationships and alliances among groups. This paper nevertheless evaluates the hypothesis that intergroup aggression evolved according to the same functional principles in the two species-selection favoring a tendency to kill members of neighboring groups when killing could be carried out safely. According to this idea chimpanzees and humans are equally risk-averse when fighting. When self-sacrificial war practices are found in humans, therefore, they result from cultural systems of reward, punishment, and coercion rather than evolved adaptations to greater risk-taking. To test this "chimpanzee model," we review intergroup fighting in chimpanzees and nomadic hunter-gatherers living with other nomadic hunter-gatherers as neighbors. Whether humans have evolved specific psychological adaptations for war is unknown, but current evidence suggests that the chimpanzee model is an appropriate starting point for analyzing the biological and cultural evolution of warfare. PMID:22388773

  5. Exercise like a hunter-gatherer: a prescription for organic physical fitness.

    PubMed

    O'Keefe, James H; Vogel, Robert; Lavie, Carl J; Cordain, Loren

    2011-01-01

    A large proportion of the health woes beleaguering modern cultures are because of daily physical activity patterns that are profoundly different from those for which we are genetically adapted. The ancestral natural environment in which our current genome was forged via natural selection called for a large amount of daily energy expenditure on a variety of physical movements. Our genes that were selected for in this arduous and demanding natural milieu enabled our ancestors to survive and thrive, leading to a very vigorous lifestyle. This abrupt (by evolutionary time frames) change from a very physically demanding lifestyle in natural outdoor settings to an inactive indoor lifestyle is at the origin of many of the widespread chronic diseases that are endemic in our modern society. The logical answer is to replicate the native human activity pattern to the extent that this is achievable and practical. Recommendations for exercise mode, duration, intensity, and frequency are outlined with a focus on simulating the routine physical activities of our ancient hunter-gatherer ancestors whose genome we still largely share today. In a typical inactive person, this type of daily physical activity will optimize gene expression and help to confer the robust health that was enjoyed by hunter-gatherers in the wild. PMID:21545934

  6. Early and Middle Holocene Hunter-Gatherer Occupations in Western Amazonia: The Hidden Shell Middens

    PubMed Central

    Lombardo, Umberto; Szabo, Katherine; Capriles, José M.; May, Jan-Hendrik; Amelung, Wulf; Hutterer, Rainer; Lehndorff, Eva; Plotzki, Anna; Veit, Heinz

    2013-01-01

    We report on previously unknown early archaeological sites in the Bolivian lowlands, demonstrating for the first time early and middle Holocene human presence in western Amazonia. Multidisciplinary research in forest islands situated in seasonally-inundated savannahs has revealed stratified shell middens produced by human foragers as early as 10,000 years ago, making them the oldest archaeological sites in the region. The absence of stone resources and partial burial by recent alluvial sediments has meant that these kinds of deposits have, until now, remained unidentified. We conducted core sampling, archaeological excavations and an interdisciplinary study of the stratigraphy and recovered materials from three shell midden mounds. Based on multiple lines of evidence, including radiocarbon dating, sedimentary proxies (elements, steroids and black carbon), micromorphology and faunal analysis, we demonstrate the anthropogenic origin and antiquity of these sites. In a tropical and geomorphologically active landscape often considered challenging both for early human occupation and for the preservation of hunter-gatherer sites, the newly discovered shell middens provide evidence for early to middle Holocene occupation and illustrate the potential for identifying and interpreting early open-air archaeological sites in western Amazonia. The existence of early hunter-gatherer sites in the Bolivian lowlands sheds new light on the region’s past and offers a new context within which the late Holocene “Earthmovers” of the Llanos de Moxos could have emerged. PMID:24013964

  7. Global human mandibular variation reflects differences in agricultural and hunter-gatherer subsistence strategies

    PubMed Central

    von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen

    2011-01-01

    Variation in the masticatory behavior of hunter-gatherer and agricultural populations is hypothesized to be one of the major forces affecting the form of the human mandible. However, this has yet to be analyzed at a global level. Here, the relationship between global mandibular shape variation and subsistence economy is tested, while controlling for the potentially confounding effects of shared population history, geography, and climate. The results demonstrate that the mandible, in contrast to the cranium, significantly reflects subsistence strategy rather than neutral genetic patterns, with hunter-gatherers having consistently longer and narrower mandibles than agriculturalists. These results support notions that a decrease in masticatory stress among agriculturalists causes the mandible to grow and develop differently. This developmental argument also explains why there is often a mismatch between the size of the lower face and the dentition, which, in turn, leads to increased prevalence of dental crowding and malocclusions in modern postindustrial populations. Therefore, these results have important implications for our understanding of human masticatory adaptation. PMID:22106280

  8. The epigenomic landscape of African rainforest hunter-gatherers and farmers

    PubMed Central

    Fagny, Maud; Patin, Etienne; MacIsaac, Julia L.; Rotival, Maxime; Flutre, Timothée; Jones, Meaghan J.; Siddle, Katherine J.; Quach, Hélène; Harmant, Christine; McEwen, Lisa M.; Froment, Alain; Heyer, Evelyne; Gessain, Antoine; Betsem, Edouard; Mouguiama-Daouda, Patrick; Hombert, Jean-Marie; Perry, George H.; Barreiro, Luis B.; Kobor, Michael S.; Quintana-Murci, Lluis

    2015-01-01

    The genetic history of African populations is increasingly well documented, yet their patterns of epigenomic variation remain uncharacterized. Moreover, the relative impacts of DNA sequence variation and temporal changes in lifestyle and habitat on the human epigenome remain unknown. Here we generate genome-wide genotype and DNA methylation profiles for 362 rainforest hunter-gatherers and sedentary farmers. We find that the current habitat and historical lifestyle of a population have similarly critical impacts on the methylome, but the biological functions affected strongly differ. Specifically, methylation variation associated with recent changes in habitat mostly concerns immune and cellular functions, whereas that associated with historical lifestyle affects developmental processes. Furthermore, methylation variation—particularly that correlated with historical lifestyle—shows strong associations with nearby genetic variants that, moreover, are enriched in signals of natural selection. Our work provides new insight into the genetic and environmental factors affecting the epigenomic landscape of human populations over time. PMID:26616214

  9. First molar size and wear within and among modern hunter-gatherers and agricultural populations.

    PubMed

    Górka, Katarzyna; Romero, Alejandro; Pérez-Pérez, Alejandro

    2015-08-01

    Apart from reflecting modern human dental variation, differences in dental size among populations provide a means for studying continuous evolutionary processes and their mechanisms. Dental wear, on the other hand, has been widely used to infer dietary adaptations and variability among or within diverse ancient human populations. Few such studies have focused on modern foragers and farmers, however, and diverse methods have been used. This research aimed to apply a single, standardized, and systematic quantitative procedure to measure dental size and dentin exposure in order to analyze differences among several hunter-gatherer and agricultural populations from various environments and geographic origins. In particular, we focused on sexual dimorphism and intergroup differences in the upper and lower first molars. Results indicated no sexual dimorphism in molar size and wear within the studied populations. Despite the great ethnographic variation in subsistence strategies among these populations, our findings suggest that differences in sexual division of labor do not affect dietary wear patterns. PMID:26032341

  10. The epigenomic landscape of African rainforest hunter-gatherers and farmers.

    PubMed

    Fagny, Maud; Patin, Etienne; MacIsaac, Julia L; Rotival, Maxime; Flutre, Timothée; Jones, Meaghan J; Siddle, Katherine J; Quach, Hélène; Harmant, Christine; McEwen, Lisa M; Froment, Alain; Heyer, Evelyne; Gessain, Antoine; Betsem, Edouard; Mouguiama-Daouda, Patrick; Hombert, Jean-Marie; Perry, George H; Barreiro, Luis B; Kobor, Michael S; Quintana-Murci, Lluis

    2015-01-01

    The genetic history of African populations is increasingly well documented, yet their patterns of epigenomic variation remain uncharacterized. Moreover, the relative impacts of DNA sequence variation and temporal changes in lifestyle and habitat on the human epigenome remain unknown. Here we generate genome-wide genotype and DNA methylation profiles for 362 rainforest hunter-gatherers and sedentary farmers. We find that the current habitat and historical lifestyle of a population have similarly critical impacts on the methylome, but the biological functions affected strongly differ. Specifically, methylation variation associated with recent changes in habitat mostly concerns immune and cellular functions, whereas that associated with historical lifestyle affects developmental processes. Furthermore, methylation variation--particularly that correlated with historical lifestyle--shows strong associations with nearby genetic variants that, moreover, are enriched in signals of natural selection. Our work provides new insight into the genetic and environmental factors affecting the epigenomic landscape of human populations over time. PMID:26616214

  11. Emergence of social complexity among coastal hunter-gatherers in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile

    PubMed Central

    Marquet, Pablo A.; Santoro, Calogero M.; Latorre, Claudio; Standen, Vivien G.; Abades, Sebastián R.; Rivadeneira, Marcelo M.; Arriaza, Bernardo; Hochberg, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    The emergence of complex cultural practices in simple hunter-gatherer groups poses interesting questions on what drives social complexity and what causes the emergence and disappearance of cultural innovations. Here we analyze the conditions that underlie the emergence of artificial mummification in the Chinchorro culture in the coastal Atacama Desert in northern Chile and southern Peru. We provide empirical and theoretical evidence that artificial mummification appeared during a period of increased coastal freshwater availability and marine productivity, which caused an increase in human population size and accelerated the emergence of cultural innovations, as predicted by recent models of cultural and technological evolution. Under a scenario of increasing population size and extreme aridity (with little or no decomposition of corpses) a simple demographic model shows that dead individuals may have become a significant part of the landscape, creating the conditions for the manipulation of the dead that led to the emergence of complex mortuary practices. PMID:22891345

  12. HUNTER-GATHERER: Three search techniques integrated for natural language semantics

    SciTech Connect

    Beale, S.; Nirenburg, S.; Mahesh, K.

    1996-12-31

    This work integrates three related Al search techniques - constraint satisfaction, branch-and-bound and solution synthesis - and applies the result to semantic processing in natural language (NL). We summarize the approach as {open_quote}Hunter-Gatherer:{close_quotes} (1) branch-and-bound and constraint satisfaction allow us to {open_quote}hunt down{close_quotes} non-optimal and impossible solutions and prune them from the search space. (2) solution synthesis methods then {open_quote}gather{close_quotes} all optimal solutions avoiding exponential complexity. Each of the three techniques is briefly described, as well as their extensions and combinations used in our system. We focus on the combination of solution synthesis and branch-and-bound methods which has enabled near-linear-time processing in our applications. Finally, we illustrate how the use of our technique in a large-scale MT project allowed a drastic reduction in search space.

  13. Did warfare among ancestral hunter-gatherers affect the evolution of human social behaviors?

    PubMed

    Bowles, Samuel

    2009-06-01

    Since Darwin, intergroup hostilities have figured prominently in explanations of the evolution of human social behavior. Yet whether ancestral humans were largely "peaceful" or "warlike" remains controversial. I ask a more precise question: If more cooperative groups were more likely to prevail in conflicts with other groups, was the level of intergroup violence sufficient to influence the evolution of human social behavior? Using a model of the evolutionary impact of between-group competition and a new data set that combines archaeological evidence on causes of death during the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene with ethnographic and historical reports on hunter-gatherer populations, I find that the estimated level of mortality in intergroup conflicts would have had substantial effects, allowing the proliferation of group-beneficial behaviors that were quite costly to the individual altruist. PMID:19498163

  14. Firewood, food and human niche construction: the potential role of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in actively structuring Scotland's woodlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bishop, Rosie R.; Church, Mike J.; Rowley-Conwy, Peter A.

    2015-01-01

    Over the past few decades the potential role of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in actively constructing their own niches, through the management of wild plants, has frequently been discussed. It is probable that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers systematically exploited specific woodland resources for food and fuel and influenced the 'natural' abundance or distribution of particular species within Mesolithic environments. Though there has been considerable discussion of the pollen evidence for potential small-scale human-woodland manipulation in Mesolithic Scotland, the archaeobotanical evidence for anthropogenic firewood and food selection has not been discussed in this context. This paper assesses the evidence for the active role of Mesolithic hunter-gatherer communities in systematically exploiting and managing woodlands for food and fuel in Scotland. While taphonomic factors may have impacted on the frequency of specific species in archaeobotanical assemblages, it is suggested that hunter-gatherers in Mesolithic Scotland were systematically using woodland plants, and in particular hazel and oak, for food and fuel. It is argued that the pollen evidence for woodland management is equivocal, but hints at the role of hunter-gatherers in shaping the structure of their environments, through the maintenance or creation of woodland clearings for settlement or as part of vegetation management strategies. It is proposed that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers may have actively contributed to niche construction and that the systematic use of hazel and oak as a fuel may reflect the deliberate pruning of hazel trees to increase nut-yields and the inadvertent - or perhaps deliberate - coppicing of hazel and oak during greenwood collection.

  15. Competition for Cooperation: variability, benefits and heritability of relational wealth in hunter-gatherers

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhary, Nikhil; Salali, Gul Deniz; Thompson, James; Rey, Aude; Gerbault, Pascale; Stevenson, Edward Geoffrey Jedediah; Dyble, Mark; E. Page, Abigail; Smith, Daniel; Mace, Ruth; Vinicius, Lucio; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2016-01-01

    Many defining human characteristics including theory of mind, culture and language relate to our sociality, and facilitate the formation and maintenance of cooperative relationships. Therefore, deciphering the context in which our sociality evolved is invaluable in understanding what makes us unique as a species. Much work has emphasised group-level competition, such as warfare, in moulding human cooperation and sociality. However, competition and cooperation also occur within groups; and inter-individual differences in sociality have reported fitness implications in numerous non-human taxa. Here we investigate whether differential access to cooperation (relational wealth) is likely to lead to variation in fitness at the individual level among BaYaka hunter-gatherers. Using economic gift games we find that relational wealth: a) displays individual-level variation; b) provides advantages in buffering food risk, and is positively associated with body mass index (BMI) and female fertility; c) is partially heritable. These results highlight that individual-level processes may have been fundamental in the extension of human cooperation beyond small units of related individuals, and in shaping our sociality. Additionally, the findings offer insight in to trends related to human sociality found from research in other fields such as psychology and epidemiology. PMID:27404514

  16. Competition for Cooperation: variability, benefits and heritability of relational wealth in hunter-gatherers.

    PubMed

    Chaudhary, Nikhil; Salali, Gul Deniz; Thompson, James; Rey, Aude; Gerbault, Pascale; Stevenson, Edward Geoffrey Jedediah; Dyble, Mark; E Page, Abigail; Smith, Daniel; Mace, Ruth; Vinicius, Lucio; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2016-01-01

    Many defining human characteristics including theory of mind, culture and language relate to our sociality, and facilitate the formation and maintenance of cooperative relationships. Therefore, deciphering the context in which our sociality evolved is invaluable in understanding what makes us unique as a species. Much work has emphasised group-level competition, such as warfare, in moulding human cooperation and sociality. However, competition and cooperation also occur within groups; and inter-individual differences in sociality have reported fitness implications in numerous non-human taxa. Here we investigate whether differential access to cooperation (relational wealth) is likely to lead to variation in fitness at the individual level among BaYaka hunter-gatherers. Using economic gift games we find that relational wealth: a) displays individual-level variation; b) provides advantages in buffering food risk, and is positively associated with body mass index (BMI) and female fertility; c) is partially heritable. These results highlight that individual-level processes may have been fundamental in the extension of human cooperation beyond small units of related individuals, and in shaping our sociality. Additionally, the findings offer insight in to trends related to human sociality found from research in other fields such as psychology and epidemiology. PMID:27404514

  17. Schooling, Local Knowledge and Working Memory: A Study among Three Contemporary Hunter-Gatherer Societies

    PubMed Central

    Reyes-García, Victoria; Pyhälä, Aili; Díaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Duda, Romain; Fernández-Llamazares, Álvaro; Gallois, Sandrine; Guèze, Maximilien; Napitupulu, Lucentezza

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have analysed whether school and local knowledge complement or substitute each other, but have paid less attention to whether those two learning models use different cognitive strategies. In this study, we use data collected among three contemporary hunter-gatherer societies with relatively low levels of exposure to schooling yet with high levels of local ecological knowledge to test the association between i) schooling and ii) local ecological knowledge and verbal working memory. Participants include 94 people (24 Baka, 25 Punan, and 45 Tsimane’) from whom we collected information on 1) schooling and school related skills (i.e., literacy and numeracy), 2) local knowledge and skills related to hunting and medicinal plants, and 3) working memory. To assess working memory, we applied a multi-trial free recall using words relevant to each cultural setting. People with and without schooling have similar levels of accurate and inaccurate recall, although they differ in their strategies to organize recall: people with schooling have higher results for serial clustering, suggesting better learning with repetition, whereas people without schooling have higher results for semantic clustering, suggesting they organize recall around semantically meaningful categories. Individual levels of local ecological knowledge are not related to accurate recall or organization recall, arguably due to overall high levels of local ecological knowledge. While schooling seems to favour some organization strategies this might come at the expense of some other organization strategies. PMID:26735297

  18. Population dynamics among Asmat hunter-gatherers of New Guinea: data, methods, comparisons.

    PubMed

    Van Arsdale, P W

    1978-12-01

    Since 1953 the Asmat hunter-gatherers of Irian Jaya have been experiencing rapid cultural change, yet demographically they still can be classified as "living primitives." Methods of nonstandard data analysis are used in an effort to provide specific information on age-sex structure, fertility, birthrates, death rates, population growth, internal migration, and life expectancy and to aid in the development of a 2-part model of population growth encompassing the immediate precontact and contact eras. The population data upon which the discussion is based were obtained in 1973 and 1974 as part of a broader field study that aimed at assessing the impact of externally induced culture change. Special attention is given to the continuing although reduced impact of infanticide. Brief comparisons with other Melanesian and 3rd world societies are presented; the Asmat average annual growth rate of 1.5% since 1st permanent contact in 1953 contrasts with the generally higher rates reported for most of these other groups. PMID:12335596

  19. Use of domesticated pigs by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in northwestern Europe

    PubMed Central

    Krause-Kyora, Ben; Makarewicz, Cheryl; Evin, Allowen; Flink, Linus Girdland; Dobney, Keith; Larson, Greger; Hartz, Sönke; Schreiber, Stefan; von Carnap-Bornheim, Claus; von Wurmb-Schwark, Nicole; Nebel, Almut

    2013-01-01

    Mesolithic populations throughout Europe used diverse resource exploitation strategies that focused heavily on collecting and hunting wild prey. Between 5500 and 4200 cal BC, agriculturalists migrated into northwestern Europe bringing a suite of Neolithic technologies including domesticated animals. Here we investigate to what extent Mesolithic Ertebølle communities in northern Germany had access to domestic pigs, possibly through contact with neighbouring Neolithic agricultural groups. We employ a multidisciplinary approach, applying sequencing of ancient mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (coat colour-coding gene MC1R) as well as traditional and geometric morphometric (molar size and shape) analyses in Sus specimens from 17 Neolithic and Ertebølle sites. Our data from 63 ancient pig specimens show that Ertebølle hunter-gatherers acquired domestic pigs of varying size and coat colour that had both Near Eastern and European mitochondrial DNA ancestry. Our results also reveal that domestic pigs were present in the region ~500 years earlier than previously demonstrated. PMID:23982268

  20. Hunter-gatherer inter-band interaction rates: implications for cumulative culture.

    PubMed

    Hill, Kim R; Wood, Brian M; Baggio, Jacopo; Hurtado, A Magdalena; Boyd, Robert T

    2014-01-01

    Our species exhibits spectacular success due to cumulative culture. While cognitive evolution of social learning mechanisms may be partially responsible for adaptive human culture, features of early human social structure may also play a role by increasing the number potential models from which to learn innovations. We present interview data on interactions between same-sex adult dyads of Ache and Hadza hunter-gatherers living in multiple distinct residential bands (20 Ache bands; 42 Hadza bands; 1201 dyads) throughout a tribal home range. Results show high probabilities (5%-29% per year) of cultural and cooperative interactions between randomly chosen adults. Multiple regression suggests that ritual relationships increase interaction rates more than kinship, and that affinal kin interact more often than dyads with no relationship. These may be important features of human sociality. Finally, yearly interaction rates along with survival data allow us to estimate expected lifetime partners for a variety of social activities, and compare those to chimpanzees. Hadza and Ache men are estimated to observe over 300 men making tools in a lifetime, whereas male chimpanzees interact with only about 20 other males in a lifetime. High intergroup interaction rates in ancestral humans may have promoted the evolution of cumulative culture. PMID:25047714

  1. Hunter-Gatherer Inter-Band Interaction Rates: Implications for Cumulative Culture

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Kim R.; Wood, Brian M.; Baggio, Jacopo; Hurtado, A. Magdalena; Boyd, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    Our species exhibits spectacular success due to cumulative culture. While cognitive evolution of social learning mechanisms may be partially responsible for adaptive human culture, features of early human social structure may also play a role by increasing the number potential models from which to learn innovations. We present interview data on interactions between same-sex adult dyads of Ache and Hadza hunter-gatherers living in multiple distinct residential bands (20 Ache bands; 42 Hadza bands; 1201 dyads) throughout a tribal home range. Results show high probabilities (5%–29% per year) of cultural and cooperative interactions between randomly chosen adults. Multiple regression suggests that ritual relationships increase interaction rates more than kinship, and that affinal kin interact more often than dyads with no relationship. These may be important features of human sociality. Finally, yearly interaction rates along with survival data allow us to estimate expected lifetime partners for a variety of social activities, and compare those to chimpanzees. Hadza and Ache men are estimated to observe over 300 men making tools in a lifetime, whereas male chimpanzees interact with only about 20 other males in a lifetime. High intergroup interaction rates in ancestral humans may have promoted the evolution of cumulative culture. PMID:25047714

  2. Measured elemental transfer factors for boreal hunter/gatherer scenarios: fish, game and berries.

    PubMed

    Sheppard, S C; Long, J M; Sanipelli, B

    2010-11-01

    The environmental assessment of long-term nuclear waste management requires data to estimate food chain transfers for radionuclides in various environmental settings. For key elements such as iodine (I) and chlorine (Cl), there is a paucity of transfer factor data, particularly outside of agricultural food chains. This study dealt with transfers of I, Cl and 28 other elements to foods that would be typical of boreal hunter/gatherer lifestyles, as well as being common foods for modern recreational and subsistence hunters. Food/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) and related transfer factors for eight species of widely distributed fish, whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Canada geese (Branta canadensis) and wild blueberries (Vaccinium myrtilloides) were measured and compared to the literature. Limited data were obtained for caribou (Rangifer tarandus), elk (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces americanus). Freshwater sediment Kd values and CRs for a ubiquitous freshwater macrophyte were also obtained. The CRs for I in fish were 29Lkg(-1) in edible muscle (fillets) of large-bodied species and 85Lkg(-1) for whole, small-bodied fish. The logCRs for fish and macrophytes were correlated across elements. For several elements, the Kds for sediments in deep water were approximately 4-fold higher than for littoral samples. The elemental transfers to wild animals for some elements were notably different than the literature indicates for domestic animals. It is argued that the transfer data obtained using indigenous elements from real environmental settings, as opposed to contaminant elements in experimental or impacted environments, are especially relevant to assessment of long-term impacts. PMID:20619514

  3. Macronutrient contributions of insects to the diets of hunter-gatherers: a geometric analysis.

    PubMed

    Raubenheimer, David; Rothman, Jessica M; Pontzer, Herman; Simpson, Stephen J

    2014-06-01

    We present a geometric model for examining the macronutrient contributions of insects in the diets of pre-agricultural humans, and relate the findings to some contemporary societies that regularly eat insects. The model integrates published data on the macronutrient composition of insects and other foods in the diets of humans, recommended human macronutrient intakes, and estimated macronutrient intakes to examine the assumption that insects provided to pre-agricultural humans an invertebrate equivalent of vertebrate-derived meats, serving primarily as a source of protein. Our analysis suggests that insects vary more widely in their macronutrient content than is likely to be the case for most wild vertebrate meats, spanning a broad range of protein, fat and carbohydrate concentrations. Potentially, therefore, in terms of their proportional macronutrient composition, insects could serve as equivalents not only of wild meat, but of a range of other foods including some shellfish, nuts, pulses, vegetables and even fruits. Furthermore, humans might systematically manipulate the composition of edible insects to meet specific needs through pre-ingestive processing, such as cooking and selective removal of body parts. We present data suggesting that in modern societies for which protein is the more limiting macronutrient, pre-ingestive processing of edible insects might serve to concentrate protein. It is likely, however, that the dietary significance of insects was different for Paleolithic hunter-gatherers who were more limited in non-protein energy. Our conclusions are constrained by available data, but highlight the need for further studies, and suggest that our model provides an integrative framework for conceiving these studies. PMID:24630913

  4. A Biocultural Investigation of Gender Differences in Tobacco Use in an Egalitarian Hunter-Gatherer Population.

    PubMed

    Roulette, Casey J; Hagen, Edward; Hewlett, Barry S

    2016-06-01

    In the developing world, the dramatic male bias in tobacco use is usually ascribed to pronounced gender disparities in social, political, or economic power. This bias might also reflect under-reporting by woman and/or over-reporting by men. To test the role of gender inequality on gender differences in tobacco use we investigated tobacco use among the Aka, a Congo Basin foraging population noted for its exceptionally high degree of gender equality. We also tested a sexual selection hypothesis-that Aka men's tobacco use is related to risk taking. Tobacco use, income, tobacco purchases, tobacco sharing, reasons for using tobacco, risk taking, and other variables were measured using structured surveys and peer reports. Tobacco use was verified by testing for salivary cotinine, a nicotine metabolite. Contrary to expectations, we found a very large male bias in tobacco use. Low levels of use among females appeared to be explained by aversions to tobacco, concerns over its negative effects on fetal health, and a desire to attract husbands, who prefer nonsmoking wives. High male use appeared to be related to a desire to enhance hunting abilities and attract and/or retain wives, who prefer husbands that smoke. We conclude that low levels of smoking by Aka women are better explained by the hypothesis that women evolved to avoid plant toxins to protect their fetuses and nursing infants. High male use might be better explained by sexual selection. We also highlight the important role that recreational drugs appear to play in hunter-gatherer sharing relationships. PMID:27091356

  5. Re-evaluating the resource potential of lomas fog oasis environments for Preceramic hunter-gatherers under past ENSO modes on the south coast of Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beresford-Jones, David; Pullen, Alexander G.; Whaley, Oliver Q.; Moat, Justin; Chauca, George; Cadwallader, Lauren; Arce, Susana; Orellana, Alfonso; Alarcón, Carmela; Gorriti, Manuel; Maita, Patricia K.; Sturt, Fraser; Dupeyron, Agathe; Huaman, Oliver; Lane, Kevin J.; French, Charles

    2015-12-01

    Lomas - ephemeral seasonal oases sustained by ocean fogs - were critical to ancient human ecology on the desert Pacific coast of Peru: one of humanity's few independent hearths of agriculture and "pristine" civilisation. The role of climate change since the Late Pleistocene in determining productivity and extent of past lomas ecosystems has been much debated. Here we reassess the resource potential of the poorly studied lomas of the south coast of Peru during the long Middle Pre-ceramic period (c. 8000-4500 BP): a period critical in the transition to agriculture, the onset of modern El Niño Southern Oscillation ('ENSO') conditions, and eustatic sea-level rise and stabilisation and beach progradation. Our method combines vegetation survey and herbarium collection with archaeological survey and excavation to make inferences about both Preceramic hunter-gatherer ecology and the changed palaeoenvironments in which it took place. Our analysis of newly discovered archaeological sites - and their resource context - show how lomas formations defined human ecology until the end of the Middle Preceramic Period, thereby corroborating recent reconstructions of ENSO history based on other data. Together, these suggest that a five millennia period of significantly colder seas on the south coast induced conditions of abundance and seasonal predictability in lomas and maritime ecosystems, that enabled Middle Preceramic hunter-gatherers to reduce mobility by settling in strategic locations at the confluence of multiple eco-zones at the river estuaries. Here the foundations of agriculture lay in a Broad Spectrum Revolution that unfolded, not through population pressure in deteriorating environments, but rather as an outcome of resource abundance.

  6. Evolutionary history and adaptation from high-coverage whole-genome sequences of diverse African hunter-gatherers

    PubMed Central

    Lachance, Joseph; Vernot, Benjamin; Elbers, Clara C.; Ferwerda, Bart; Froment, Alain; Bodo, Jean-Marie; Lema, Godfrey; Fu, Wenqing; Nyambo, Thomas B.; Rebbeck, Timothy R.; Zhang, Kun; Akey, Joshua M.; Tishkoff, Sarah A.

    2012-01-01

    Summary To reconstruct modern human evolutionary history and identify loci that have shaped hunter-gatherer adaptation, we sequenced the whole-genomes of five individuals in each of three different hunter-gatherer populations at > 60x coverage: Pygmies from Cameroon and Khoesan-speaking Hadza and Sandawe from Tanzania. We identify 13.4 million variants, substantially increasing the set of known human variation. We found evidence of archaic introgression in all three populations and the distribution of time to most recent common ancestors from these regions is similar to that observed for introgressed regions in Europeans. Additionally, we identify numerous loci that harbor signatures of local adaptation, including genes involved in immunity, metabolism, olfactory and taste perception, reproduction, and wound healing. Within the Pygmy population, we identify multiple highly differentiated loci that play a role in growth and anterior pituitary function and are associated with height. PMID:22840920

  7. Loss and Gain of Natural Killer Cell Receptor Function in an African Hunter-Gatherer Population.

    PubMed

    Hilton, Hugo G; Norman, Paul J; Nemat-Gorgani, Neda; Goyos, Ana; Hollenbach, Jill A; Henn, Brenna M; Gignoux, Christopher R; Guethlein, Lisbeth A; Parham, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Modulating natural killer cell functions in human immunity and reproduction are diverse interactions between the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) of Natural Killer (NK) cells and HLA class I ligands on the surface of tissue cells. Dominant interactions are between KIR2DL1 and the C2 epitope of HLA-C and between KIR2DL2/3 and the C1 epitope of HLA-C. KhoeSan hunter-gatherers of Southern Africa represent the earliest population divergence known and are the most genetically diverse indigenous people, qualities reflected in their KIR and HLA genes. Of the ten KhoeSan KIR2DL1 alleles, KIR2DL1*022 and KIR2DL1*026 likely originated in the KhoeSan, and later were transmitted at low frequency to the neighboring Zulus through gene flow. These alleles arose by point mutation from other KhoeSan KIR2DL1 alleles that are more widespread globally. Mutation of KIR2DL1*001 gave rise to KIR2DL1*022, causing loss of C2 recognition and gain of C1 recognition. This makes KIR2DL1*022 a more avid and specific C1 receptor than any KIR2DL2/3 allotype. Mutation of KIR2DL1*012 gave rise to KIR2DL1*026, causing premature termination of translation at the end of the transmembrane domain. This makes KIR2DL1*026 a membrane-associated receptor that lacks both a cytoplasmic tail and signaling function. At higher frequencies than their parental allotypes, the combined effect of the KhoeSan-specific KIR2DL1*022 and KIR2DL1*026 is to reduce the frequency of strong inhibitory C2 receptors and increase the frequency of strong inhibitory C1 receptors. Because interaction of KIR2DL1 with C2 is associated with risk of pregnancy disorder, these functional changes are potentially advantageous. Whereas all other KhoeSan KIR2DL1 alleles are present on a wide diversity of centromeric KIR haplotypes, KIR2DL1*026 is present on a single KIR haplotype and KIR2DL1*022 is present on two very similar haplotypes. The high linkage disequilibrium across their haplotypes is consistent with a recent

  8. The Ecological basis of hunter-gatherer subsistence in African Rain Forests: the Mbuti of eastern Zaire

    SciTech Connect

    Hart, T.B.; Hart, J.A.

    1986-03-01

    The Mbuti pygmies, hunter-gathers of the Ituri Forest of Zaire, trade forest products and labor for agricultural foods. It has been assumed that the Mbuti lived independently in the equatorial forest prior to its penetration by shifting cultivators. We assessed forest food resources (plant and animal) to determine their adequacy to support a hunting and gathering economy. For five months of the year, essentially none of the calorically important forest fruits and seeds are available. Honey is not abundant during this season of scarcity. Wild game meat is available year round, but the main animals caught have low fat content. This makes them a poor substitute for starch-dense agricultural foods, now staples in Mbuti diet. In general, in the closed evergreen forest zone, edible wild plant species are more abundant in agriculturally derived secondary forest than in primary forest. Similarly, they are more common at the savanna ecotone and in gallery forests. We suggest that it is unlikely that hunter-gatherers would have lived independently in the forest interior with its precarious resource base, when many of the food species they exploit are more abundant toward the savanna border.

  9. Interpretative potential of dental metrics for biodistance analysis in hunter-gatherers from central Argentina. A theoretical-methodological approach.

    PubMed

    Luna, L H

    2015-10-01

    The use of dental metrics as a reliable tool for the assessment of biological distances has diversified dramatically in the last decades. In this paper some of the basic assumptions on this issue and the potential of cervical measurements in biodistance protocols are discussed. A sample of 1173 permanent teeth from 57 male and female individuals, recovered in Chenque I site (western Pampas, central Argentina), a Late Holocene hunter-gatherer cemetery, is examined in order to test the impact of exogenous factors that may have influenced the phenotypic manifestation and affected dental crown sizes. The statistical association between dental metric data, obtained by measuring the mesiodistal and buccolingual diameters of the crown and cervix, and the quantification of hypoplastic defects as a measure to evaluate the influence of the environment in the dental phenotypic expression is evaluated. The results show that socioenvironmental stress did not affect dental metrics and that only the more stable teeth (first incisors, canines, first premolars and first molars) and three variables (buccolingual diameter of the crown and both mesiodistal and buccolingual measurements of the cervix) should be included in multivariate analyses. These suggestions must be strengthened with additional studies of other regional samples to identify factors of variation among populations, so as to develop general guidelines for dental survey and biodistance analysis, but they are a first step for discussing assumptions usually used and maximizing the available information for low-density hunter-gatherer societies. PMID:26071174

  10. Networks of Food Sharing Reveal the Functional Significance of Multilevel Sociality in Two Hunter-Gatherer Groups.

    PubMed

    Dyble, Mark; Thompson, James; Smith, Daniel; Salali, Gul Deniz; Chaudhary, Nikhil; Page, Abigail E; Vinicuis, Lucio; Mace, Ruth; Migliano, Andrea Bamberg

    2016-08-01

    Like many other mammalian and primate societies [1-4], humans are said to live in multilevel social groups, with individuals situated in a series of hierarchically structured sub-groups [5, 6]. Although this multilevel social organization has been described among contemporary hunter-gatherers [5], questions remain as to the benefits that individuals derive from living in such groups. Here, we show that food sharing among two populations of contemporary hunter-gatherers-the Palanan Agta (Philippines) and Mbendjele BaYaka (Republic of Congo)-reveals similar multilevel social structures, with individuals situated in households, within sharing clusters of 3-4 households, within the wider residential camps, which vary in size. We suggest that these groupings serve to facilitate inter-sexual provisioning, kin provisioning, and risk reduction reciprocity, three levels of cooperation argued to be fundamental in human societies [7, 8]. Humans have a suite of derived life history characteristics including a long childhood and short inter-birth intervals that make offspring energetically demanding [9] and have moved to a dietary niche that often involves the exploitation of difficult to acquire foods with highly variable return rates [10-12]. This means that human foragers face both day-to-day and more long-term energetic deficits that conspire to make humans energetically interdependent. We suggest that a multilevel social organization allows individuals access to both the food sharing partners required to buffer themselves against energetic shortfalls and the cooperative partners required for skill-based tasks such as cooperative foraging. PMID:27451900

  11. Osteoarthritis in Siberia's Cis-Baikal: Skeletal indicators of hunter-gatherer adaptation and cultural change.

    PubMed

    Lieverse, Angela R; Weber, Andrzej W; Bazaliiskiy, Vladimir Ivanovich; Goriunova, Olga Ivanovna; Savel'ev, Nikolai Aleksandrovich

    2007-01-01

    This examination of osteoarthritis in Siberia's Cis-Baikal region focuses on the reconstruction of mid-Holocene mobility and activity patterns with particular interest in an alleged fifth millennium BC biocultural hiatus. Five cemetery populations--two representing the pre-hiatus Kitoi culture (6800-4900 BC) and three the post-hiatus Serovo-Glaskovo (4200-1000 BC)-are considered. The objective is to investigate osteoarthritic prevalence and distribution (patterning) within and among these populations in order to reconstruct mobility and activity patterns among the Cis-Baikal foragers, and to test for possible disparities that may reflect differing adaptive strategies. The data reveal that levels of activity remained relatively constant throughout the mid-Holocene but that mobility and specific activity patterns did not. Although results are consistent with the current understanding of distinct Kitoi and Serovo-Glaskovo subsistence regimes, specifically the lower residential mobility and narrower resource base of the former, they also draw attention to adaptive characteristics shared by all occupants of the Cis-Baikal. PMID:17063463

  12. Hunter-Gatherer Responses to the 8.2 Ka Cold Event in the Fennoscandian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manninen, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Because of a marked influence of warm Atlantic water to primary productivity in the Barents Sea, the marine ecosystem in northernmost Fennoscandia is sensitive to disturbances in the North Atlantic oceanographic system. The 8.2 ka climate event, according to current knowledge, was triggered by a disturbance in the North Atlantic Thermohaline circulation. This suggests concurrent and strong climatic and marine cooling in the area covering the northernmost parts of Finland, Norway, and Sweden during the climate event. In this area ecosystem response to the 8.2 ka event can therefore be expected to have been prominent, which in turn should be reflected in the contemporary human socio-economic systems. A study that employs lithic technological, statistical, and spatial analyses of Late Mesolithic (ca. 8450-6850 cal BP) lithic technology and settlement configuration in the area indicates that lithic technology and settlement patterns were reorganised following the climatic and marine cooling. The studied groups changed their lithic technology as a result of developments that led to increased use of terrestrial resources and an accompanying long-distance coast/inland residential mobility pattern. Besides lithic technological changes and long-distance mobility on land, decreased marine productivity probably also explains the disappearance of semi-subterranean houses from the coast at ca. 8200 cal BP, while their reappearance after ca. 7500 cal BP can be linked to a increased influx of warm salty water into the Barents Sea. The results suggest that in the past a long period of decreased influx of Atlantic water into the Barents Sea has had disastrous consequences for the marine ecosystem. At present the Barents Sea fisheries have notable economic importance and produce, for example, over 90% of the Norwegian Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) catch.

  13. Whole-genome sequence analyses of Western Central African Pygmy hunter-gatherers reveal a complex demographic history and identify candidate genes under positive natural selection

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, PingHsun; Veeramah, Krishna R.; Lachance, Joseph; Tishkoff, Sarah A.; Wall, Jeffrey D.; Hammer, Michael F.; Gutenkunst, Ryan N.

    2016-01-01

    African Pygmies practicing a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle are phenotypically and genetically diverged from other anatomically modern humans, and they likely experienced strong selective pressures due to their unique lifestyle in the Central African rainforest. To identify genomic targets of adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of four Biaka Pygmies from the Central African Republic and jointly analyzed these data with the genome sequences of three Baka Pygmies from Cameroon and nine Yoruba famers. To account for the complex demographic history of these populations that includes both isolation and gene flow, we fit models using the joint allele frequency spectrum and validated them using independent approaches. Our two best-fit models both suggest ancient divergence between the ancestors of the farmers and Pygmies, 90,000 or 150,000 yr ago. We also find that bidirectional asymmetric gene flow is statistically better supported than a single pulse of unidirectional gene flow from farmers to Pygmies, as previously suggested. We then applied complementary statistics to scan the genome for evidence of selective sweeps and polygenic selection. We found that conventional statistical outlier approaches were biased toward identifying candidates in regions of high mutation or low recombination rate. To avoid this bias, we assigned P-values for candidates using whole-genome simulations incorporating demography and variation in both recombination and mutation rates. We found that genes and gene sets involved in muscle development, bone synthesis, immunity, reproduction, cell signaling and development, and energy metabolism are likely to be targets of positive natural selection in Western African Pygmies or their recent ancestors. PMID:26888263

  14. Whole-genome sequence analyses of Western Central African Pygmy hunter-gatherers reveal a complex demographic history and identify candidate genes under positive natural selection.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, PingHsun; Veeramah, Krishna R; Lachance, Joseph; Tishkoff, Sarah A; Wall, Jeffrey D; Hammer, Michael F; Gutenkunst, Ryan N

    2016-03-01

    African Pygmies practicing a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle are phenotypically and genetically diverged from other anatomically modern humans, and they likely experienced strong selective pressures due to their unique lifestyle in the Central African rainforest. To identify genomic targets of adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of four Biaka Pygmies from the Central African Republic and jointly analyzed these data with the genome sequences of three Baka Pygmies from Cameroon and nine Yoruba famers. To account for the complex demographic history of these populations that includes both isolation and gene flow, we fit models using the joint allele frequency spectrum and validated them using independent approaches. Our two best-fit models both suggest ancient divergence between the ancestors of the farmers and Pygmies, 90,000 or 150,000 yr ago. We also find that bidirectional asymmetric gene flow is statistically better supported than a single pulse of unidirectional gene flow from farmers to Pygmies, as previously suggested. We then applied complementary statistics to scan the genome for evidence of selective sweeps and polygenic selection. We found that conventional statistical outlier approaches were biased toward identifying candidates in regions of high mutation or low recombination rate. To avoid this bias, we assigned P-values for candidates using whole-genome simulations incorporating demography and variation in both recombination and mutation rates. We found that genes and gene sets involved in muscle development, bone synthesis, immunity, reproduction, cell signaling and development, and energy metabolism are likely to be targets of positive natural selection in Western African Pygmies or their recent ancestors. PMID:26888263

  15. Access to Electric Light Is Associated with Shorter Sleep Duration in a Traditionally Hunter-Gatherer Community.

    PubMed

    de la Iglesia, Horacio O; Fernández-Duque, Eduardo; Golombek, Diego A; Lanza, Norberto; Duffy, Jeanne F; Czeisler, Charles A; Valeggia, Claudia R

    2015-08-01

    Access to electric light might have shifted the ancestral timing and duration of human sleep. To test this hypothesis, we studied two communities of the historically hunter-gatherer indigenous Toba/Qom in the Argentinean Chaco. These communities share the same ethnic and sociocultural background, but one has free access to electricity while the other relies exclusively on natural light. We fitted participants in each community with wrist activity data loggers to assess their sleep-wake cycles during one week in the summer and one week in the winter. During the summer, participants with access to electricity had a tendency to a shorter daily sleep bout (43 ± 21 min) than those living under natural light conditions. This difference was due to a later daily bedtime and sleep onset in the community with electricity, but a similar sleep offset and rise time in both communities. In the winter, participants without access to electricity slept longer (56 ± 17 min) than those with access to electricity, and this was also related to earlier bedtimes and sleep onsets than participants in the community with electricity. In both communities, daily sleep duration was longer during the winter than during the summer. Our field study supports the notion that access to inexpensive sources of artificial light and the ability to create artificially lit environments must have been key factors in reducing sleep in industrialized human societies. PMID:26092820

  16. Assessment of Visual Status of the Aeta, a Hunter-Gatherer Population of the Philippines (An AOS Thesis)

    PubMed Central

    Allingham, R. Rand

    2008-01-01

    Purpose A screening study was performed to assess levels of visual impairment and blindness among a representative sample of older members of the Aeta, an indigenous hunter-gatherer population living on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Methods Unrelated older Aeta couples were randomly invited to participate in a visual screening study. All consented individuals had ocular history, medical history, complete ophthalmic examination, height, weight, and blood pressure taken. Results A total of 225 individuals were screened from 4 villages. Visual acuity, both uncorrected and pinhole corrected, was significantly worse among older vs younger age-groups for women, men, and when combined (P < .001). Visual impairment was present in 48% of uncorrected and 43% of pinhole corrected eyes in the oldest age-group. Six percent of the screened population was bilaterally blind. The major causes of blindness were readily treatable. The most common etiologies as a proportion of blind eyes were cataract (66%), refractive error (20%), and trauma (7%). No cases of primary open-angle, primary angle-closure, or exfoliation glaucoma were observed in this population. Discussion Visual impairment and blindness were common in the Aeta population. Primary forms of glaucoma, a major cause of blindness found in most population-based studies, were not observed. The absence of primary glaucoma in this population may reflect random sampling error. However, based on similar findings in the Australian Aborigine, this raises the possibility that these two similar populations may share genetic and/or environmental factors that are protective for glaucoma.. PMID:19277240

  17. Reevaluating a model of gender-biased gene flow among Sub-Saharan Hunter-gatherers and farmers.

    PubMed

    Anagnostou, Paolo; Battaggia, Cinzia; Capocasa, Marco; Boschi, Ilaria; Brisighelli, Francesca; Batini, Chiara; Spedini, Gabriella; Destro-Bisol, Giovanni

    2013-08-01

    In a previous study, we proposed a model for genetic admixture between African hunter-gatherers and food producers, in which we integrated demographic and genetic aspects together with ethnographic knowledge (Destro-Bisol et al. 2004b). In that study it was possible to test the model only using genetic information from widely dispersed and genetically heterogeneous populations. Here we reevaluate the congruence between the model and patterns of genetic variation using an anthropologically and geographically more homogeneous data set that includes Pygmies and farmers from Cameroon, Congo, and the Central African Republic. As implied by the model, the ratios of mtDNA to Y chromosome Nm estimates (effective population size, N, times the migration rate, m; 0.154 in Pygmies and 6.759 in farmers), support an asymmetric gene flow, with a higher Bantu-to-Pygmy gene flow for paternal than for maternal lineages, and vice versa for farmers. Analyses of intra- and interpopulation genetic variation further support the above observation, showing a prevailing effect of genetic drift on maternal lineages and gene flow on paternal lineages among Pygmies, and an opposite pattern among farmers. We also detected differences between patterns for classical and molecular measures of Y chromosome intrapopulation variation, which likely represent signatures of the introgression of Bantu lineages into the gene pool of Pygmy populations. On the whole, our results seem to reflect differences in the demographic history and the degree of patrilocality and polygyny between the two population groups, thus providing further support to our microevolutionary model in an anthropologically coherent framework. PMID:25019191

  18. Earliest evidence for caries and exploitation of starchy plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from Morocco

    PubMed Central

    Humphrey, Louise T.; De Groote, Isabelle; Morales, Jacob; Barton, Nick; Collcutt, Simon; Bronk Ramsey, Christopher; Bouzouggar, Abdeljalil

    2014-01-01

    Dental caries is an infectious disease that causes tooth decay. The high prevalence of dental caries in recent humans is attributed to more frequent consumption of plant foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates in food-producing societies. The transition from hunting and gathering to food production is associated with a change in the composition of the oral microbiota and broadly coincides with the estimated timing of a demographic expansion in Streptococcus mutans, a causative agent of human dental caries. Here we present evidence linking a high prevalence of caries to reliance on highly cariogenic wild plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from North Africa, predating other high caries populations and the first signs of food production by several thousand years. Archaeological deposits at Grotte des Pigeons in Morocco document extensive evidence for human occupation during the Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age (Iberomaurusian), and incorporate numerous human burials representing the earliest known cemetery in the Maghreb. Macrobotanical remains from occupational deposits dated between 15,000 and 13,700 cal B.P. provide evidence for systematic harvesting and processing of edible wild plants, including acorns and pine nuts. Analysis of oral pathology reveals an exceptionally high prevalence of caries (51.2% of teeth in adult dentitions), comparable to modern industrialized populations with a diet high in refined sugars and processed cereals. We infer that increased reliance on wild plants rich in fermentable carbohydrates and changes in food processing caused an early shift toward a disease-associated oral microbiota in this population. PMID:24395774

  19. Earliest evidence for caries and exploitation of starchy plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from Morocco.

    PubMed

    Humphrey, Louise T; De Groote, Isabelle; Morales, Jacob; Barton, Nick; Collcutt, Simon; Bronk Ramsey, Christopher; Bouzouggar, Abdeljalil

    2014-01-21

    Dental caries is an infectious disease that causes tooth decay. The high prevalence of dental caries in recent humans is attributed to more frequent consumption of plant foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates in food-producing societies. The transition from hunting and gathering to food production is associated with a change in the composition of the oral microbiota and broadly coincides with the estimated timing of a demographic expansion in Streptococcus mutans, a causative agent of human dental caries. Here we present evidence linking a high prevalence of caries to reliance on highly cariogenic wild plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from North Africa, predating other high caries populations and the first signs of food production by several thousand years. Archaeological deposits at Grotte des Pigeons in Morocco document extensive evidence for human occupation during the Middle Stone Age and Later Stone Age (Iberomaurusian), and incorporate numerous human burials representing the earliest known cemetery in the Maghreb. Macrobotanical remains from occupational deposits dated between 15,000 and 13,700 cal B.P. provide evidence for systematic harvesting and processing of edible wild plants, including acorns and pine nuts. Analysis of oral pathology reveals an exceptionally high prevalence of caries (51.2% of teeth in adult dentitions), comparable to modern industrialized populations with a diet high in refined sugars and processed cereals. We infer that increased reliance on wild plants rich in fermentable carbohydrates and changes in food processing caused an early shift toward a disease-associated oral microbiota in this population. PMID:24395774

  20. A phytochemical-rich diet may explain the absence of age-related decline in visual acuity of Amazonian hunter-gatherers in Ecuador.

    PubMed

    London, Douglas S; Beezhold, Bonnie

    2015-02-01

    Myopia is absent in undisturbed hunter-gatherers but ubiquitous in modern populations. The link between dietary phytochemicals and eye health is well established, although transition away from a wild diet has reduced phytochemical variety. We hypothesized that when larger quantities and greater variety of wild, seasonal phytochemicals are consumed in a food system, there will be a reduced prevalence of degenerative-based eye disease as measured by visual acuity. We compared food systems and visual acuity across isolated Amazonian Kawymeno Waorani hunter-gatherers and neighboring Kichwa subsistence agrarians, using dietary surveys, dietary pattern observation, and Snellen Illiterate E visual acuity examinations. Hunter-gatherers consumed more food species (130 vs. 63) and more wild plants (80 vs. 4) including 76 wild fruits, thereby obtaining larger variety and quantity of phytochemicals than agrarians. Visual acuity was inversely related to age only in agrarians (r = -.846, P < .001). As hypothesized, when stratified by age (<40 and ≥ 40 years), Mann-Whitney U tests revealed that hunter-gatherers maintained high visual acuity throughout life, whereas agrarian visual acuity declined (P values < .001); visual acuity of younger participants was high across the board, however, did not differ between groups (P > .05). This unusual absence of juvenile-onset vision problems may be related to local, organic, whole food diets of subsistence food systems isolated from modern food production. Our results suggest that intake of a wider variety of plant foods supplying necessary phytochemicals for eye health may help maintain visual acuity and prevent degenerative eye conditions as humans age. PMID:25636674

  1. An examination of gender bias on the eighth-grade MEAP science test as it relates to the Hunter Gatherer Theory of Spatial Sex Differences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong-Hall, Judy Gail

    The purpose of this study was to apply the Hunter-Gatherer Theory of sex spatial skills to responses to individual questions by eighth grade students on the Science component of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) to determine if sex bias was inherent in the test. The Hunter-Gatherer Theory on Spatial Sex Differences, an original theory, that suggested a spatial dimorphism concept with female spatial skill of pattern recall of unconnected items and male spatial skills requiring mental movement. This is the first attempt to apply the Hunter-Gatherer Theory on Spatial Sex Differences to a standardized test. An overall hypothesis suggested that the Hunter-Gatherer Theory of Spatial Sex Differences could predict that males would perform better on problems involving mental movement and females would do better on problems involving the pattern recall of unconnected items. Responses to questions on the 1994-95 MEAP requiring the use of male spatial skills and female spatial skills were analyzed for 5,155 eighth grade students. A panel composed of five educators and a theory developer determined which test items involved the use of male and female spatial skills. A MANOVA, using a random sample of 20% of the 5,155 students to compare male and female correct scores, was statistically significant, with males having higher scores on male spatial skills items and females having higher scores on female spatial skills items. Pearson product moment correlation analyses produced a positive correlation for both male and female performance on both types of spatial skills. The Hunter-Gatherer Theory of Spatial Sex Differences appears to be able to predict that males could perform better on the problems involving mental movement and females could perform better on problems involving the pattern recall of unconnected items. Recommendations for further research included: examination of male/female spatial skill differences at early elementary and high school levels to

  2. Violence in the prehistoric period of Japan: the spatio-temporal pattern of skeletal evidence for violence in the Jomon period.

    PubMed

    Nakao, Hisashi; Tamura, Kohei; Arimatsu, Yui; Nakagawa, Tomomi; Matsumoto, Naoko; Matsugi, Takehiko

    2016-03-01

    Whether man is predisposed to lethal violence, ranging from homicide to warfare, and how that may have impacted human evolution, are among the most controversial topics of debate on human evolution. Although recent studies on the evolution of warfare have been based on various archaeological and ethnographic data, they have reported mixed results: it is unclear whether or not warfare among prehistoric hunter-gatherers was common enough to be a component of human nature and a selective pressure for the evolution of human behaviour. This paper reports the mortality attributable to violence, and the spatio-temporal pattern of violence thus shown among ancient hunter-gatherers using skeletal evidence in prehistoric Japan (the Jomon period: 13 000 cal BC-800 cal BC). Our results suggest that the mortality due to violence was low and spatio-temporally highly restricted in the Jomon period, which implies that violence including warfare in prehistoric Japan was not common. PMID:27029838

  3. Face adaptation in an isolated population of African hunter-gatherers: Exposure influences perception of other-ethnicity faces more than own-ethnicity faces.

    PubMed

    Little, Anthony C; Apicella, Coren L

    2016-04-01

    Previous experiments have demonstrated that exposure to faces can change the perception of normality in new faces, such that faces similar to those at exposure appear more normal. Here we examined how experience influences adaptation effects in African Hadza hunter-gatherers, who have limited experience with White faces. We exposed participants to sets of either Hadza or White European faces that were manipulated to possess either wide-spaced or narrow-spaced eyes. We collected normality judgments both pre-exposure and post-exposure by showing pairs of images, one with wide-spaced and one with narrow-spaced eyes. Examining the difference between the pre-exposure and post-exposure judgments revealed that participants selected an increased number of images that were congruent with the faces to which they had been exposed. The change in normality judgments was strongest for White faces, suggesting that representations of White ethnicity faces are more malleable and less robust to adaptation, potentially because of the decreased experience that individuals had with them. A second experiment using the same test stimuli with a sample of White participants revealed equivalent adaptation effects for both Hadza and White faces. These data highlight the role of experience on the high-level visual adaptation of faces. PMID:26282830

  4. Climate-driven environmental changes around 8,200 years ago favoured increases in cetacean strandings and Mediterranean hunter-gatherers exploited them

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mannino, Marcello A.; Talamo, Sahra; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Fiore, Ivana; Nehlich, Olaf; Piperno, Marcello; Tusa, Sebastiano; Collina, Carmine; di Salvo, Rosaria; Schimmenti, Vittoria; Richards, Michael P.

    2015-11-01

    Cetacean mass strandings occur regularly worldwide, yet the compounded effects of natural and anthropogenic factors often complicate our understanding of these phenomena. Evidence of past stranding episodes may, thus, be essential to establish the potential influence of climate change. Investigations on bones from the site of Grotta dell’Uzzo in North West Sicily (Italy) show that the rapid climate change around 8,200 years ago coincided with increased strandings in the Mediterranean Sea. Stable isotope analyses on collagen from a large sample of remains recovered at this cave indicate that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers relied little on marine resources. A human and a red fox dating to the 8.2-kyr-BP climatic event, however, acquired at least one third of their protein from cetaceans. Numerous carcasses should have been available annually, for at least a decade, to obtain these proportions of meat. Our findings imply that climate-driven environmental changes, caused by global warming, may represent a serious threat to cetaceans in the near future.

  5. Climate-driven environmental changes around 8,200 years ago favoured increases in cetacean strandings and Mediterranean hunter-gatherers exploited them

    PubMed Central

    Mannino, Marcello A.; Talamo, Sahra; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Fiore, Ivana; Nehlich, Olaf; Piperno, Marcello; Tusa, Sebastiano; Collina, Carmine; Di Salvo, Rosaria; Schimmenti, Vittoria; Richards, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    Cetacean mass strandings occur regularly worldwide, yet the compounded effects of natural and anthropogenic factors often complicate our understanding of these phenomena. Evidence of past stranding episodes may, thus, be essential to establish the potential influence of climate change. Investigations on bones from the site of Grotta dell’Uzzo in North West Sicily (Italy) show that the rapid climate change around 8,200 years ago coincided with increased strandings in the Mediterranean Sea. Stable isotope analyses on collagen from a large sample of remains recovered at this cave indicate that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers relied little on marine resources. A human and a red fox dating to the 8.2-kyr-BP climatic event, however, acquired at least one third of their protein from cetaceans. Numerous carcasses should have been available annually, for at least a decade, to obtain these proportions of meat. Our findings imply that climate-driven environmental changes, caused by global warming, may represent a serious threat to cetaceans in the near future. PMID:26573384

  6. Climate-driven environmental changes around 8,200 years ago favoured increases in cetacean strandings and Mediterranean hunter-gatherers exploited them.

    PubMed

    Mannino, Marcello A; Talamo, Sahra; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Fiore, Ivana; Nehlich, Olaf; Piperno, Marcello; Tusa, Sebastiano; Collina, Carmine; Di Salvo, Rosaria; Schimmenti, Vittoria; Richards, Michael P

    2015-01-01

    Cetacean mass strandings occur regularly worldwide, yet the compounded effects of natural and anthropogenic factors often complicate our understanding of these phenomena. Evidence of past stranding episodes may, thus, be essential to establish the potential influence of climate change. Investigations on bones from the site of Grotta dell'Uzzo in North West Sicily (Italy) show that the rapid climate change around 8,200 years ago coincided with increased strandings in the Mediterranean Sea. Stable isotope analyses on collagen from a large sample of remains recovered at this cave indicate that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers relied little on marine resources. A human and a red fox dating to the 8.2-kyr-BP climatic event, however, acquired at least one third of their protein from cetaceans. Numerous carcasses should have been available annually, for at least a decade, to obtain these proportions of meat. Our findings imply that climate-driven environmental changes, caused by global warming, may represent a serious threat to cetaceans in the near future. PMID:26573384

  7. Nutrition, diet, physical activity, smoking, and longevity: from primitive hunter-gatherer to present passive consumer--how far can we go?

    PubMed

    Walker, Alexander R P; Walker, Betty F; Adam, Fatima

    2003-02-01

    In millennia past, and until recently, among hunter-gatherers and like populations, in all populations, in measure, down through the ages, the securing of sufficient food was life's primary purpose. Virtually all people were physically very active during early life and later in their everyday occupations. In contrast, nowadays, in Western populations, with relative abundance of food, the way of life is mainly one of enjoyment of meals, of work, and of leisure time, in a context of as few as one child per family, and with long survival times of about 75 to 80 y, due in large part to much reduced child mortality and the effective treatments of disorders and diseases. As to changes in food consumption, compared with the erratic and often monotonous fares of the past, both far and not so distant, everyday diets have changed tremendously in variety, nutritional value, and palatability such that, inter alia, overeating is almost inevitable. Compounding the latter, sedentariness is the rule, in contrast to the previously very high level of everyday physical activity in the masses of populations. In consequence, one speculation is that, by 2230, "all Americans will be obese." Although the living of much longer lives is highly gratifying, understandably, all wish to have longer "healthy life expectancy," i.e. to suffer as little as possible before death. However, with regard to the present-day "passive consumer," although the practical recommendations for leading still healthier lives, dietarily and non-dietarily, are well known, very few are interested, and still fewer practice them. Nevertheless, for the few who, with determination, are eager to improve their lifestyles, there could be highly profitable lengthening of years of "healthy life expectancy" by eating less, eating more plant foods, being much more physically active, and restricting non-dietary risk factors (smoking, alcohol consumption). PMID:12591555

  8. Ancient lipids document continuity in the use of early hunter-gatherer pottery through 9,000 years of Japanese prehistory.

    PubMed

    Lucquin, Alexandre; Gibbs, Kevin; Uchiyama, Junzo; Saul, Hayley; Ajimoto, Mayumi; Eley, Yvette; Radini, Anita; Heron, Carl P; Shoda, Shinya; Nishida, Yastami; Lundy, Jasmine; Jordan, Peter; Isaksson, Sven; Craig, Oliver E

    2016-04-12

    The earliest pots in the world are from East Asia and date to the Late Pleistocene. However, ceramic vessels were only produced in large numbers during the warmer and more stable climatic conditions of the Holocene. It has long been assumed that the expansion of pottery was linked with increased sedentism and exploitation of new resources that became available with the ameliorated climate, but this hypothesis has never been tested. Through chemical analysis of their contents, we herein investigate the use of pottery across an exceptionally long 9,000-y sequence from the Jōmon site of Torihama in western Japan, intermittently occupied from the Late Pleistocene to the mid-Holocene. Molecular and isotopic analyses of lipids from 143 vessels provides clear evidence that pottery across this sequence was predominantly used for cooking marine and freshwater resources, with evidence for diversification in the range of aquatic products processed during the Holocene. Conversely, there is little indication that ruminant animals or plants were processed in pottery, although it is evident from the faunal and macrobotanical remains that these foods were heavily exploited. Supported by other residue analysis data from Japan, our results show that the link between pottery and fishing was established in the Late Paleolithic and lasted well into the Holocene, despite environmental and socio-economic change. Cooking aquatic products in pottery represents an enduring social aspect of East Asian hunter-gatherers, a tradition based on a dependable technology for exploiting a sustainable resource in an uncertain and changing world. PMID:27001829

  9. Prehistoric human colonization of India.

    PubMed

    Misra, V N

    2001-11-01

    Human colonization in India encompasses a span of at least half-a-million years and is divided into two broad periods, namely the prehistoric (before the emergence of writing) and the historic (after writing). The prehistoric period is divided into stone, bronze and iron ages. The stone age is further divided into palaeolithic, mesolithic and neolithic periods. As the name suggests, the technology in these periods was primarily based on stone. Economically, the palaeolithic and mesolithic periods represented a nomadic, hunting-gathering way of life, while the neolithic period represented a settled, food-producing way of life. Subsequently copper was introduced as a new material and this period was designated as the chalcolithic period. The invention of agriculture, which took place about 8000 years ago, brought about dramatic changes in the economy, technology and demography of human societies. Human habitat in the hunting-gathering stage was essentially on hilly, rocky and forested regions, which had ample wild plant and animal food resources. The introduction of agriculture saw it shifting to the alluvial plains which had fertile soil and perennial availability of water. Hills and forests, which had so far been areas of attraction, now turned into areas of isolation. Agriculture led to the emergence of villages and towns and brought with it the division of society into occupational groups. The first urbanization took place during the bronze age in the arid and semi-arid region of northwest India in the valleys of the Indus and the Saraswati rivers, the latter represented by the now dry Ghaggar-Hakra bed. This urbanization is known as the Indus or Harappan civilization which flourished during 3500-1500 B.C. The rest of India during this period was inhabited by neolithic and chalcolithic farmers and mesolithic hunter-gatherers. With the introduction of iron technology about 3000 years ago, the focus of development shifted eastward into the Indo-Gangetic divide and

  10. Phytoliths in Pottery Reveal the Use of Spice in European Prehistoric Cuisine

    PubMed Central

    Saul, Hayley; Madella, Marco; Fischer, Anders; Glykou, Aikaterini; Hartz, Sönke; Craig, Oliver E.

    2013-01-01

    Here we present evidence of phytoliths preserved in carbonised food deposits on prehistoric pottery from the western Baltic dating from 6,100 cal BP to 5750 cal BP. Based on comparisons to over 120 European and Asian species, our observations are consistent with phytolith morphologies observed in modern garlic mustard seed (Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb) Cavara & Grande). As this seed has a strong flavour, little nutritional value, and the phytoliths are found in pots along with terrestrial and marine animal residues, these findings are the first direct evidence for the spicing of food in European prehistoric cuisine. Our evidence suggests a much greater antiquity to the spicing of foods than is evident from the macrofossil record, and challenges the view that plants were exploited by hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists solely for energy requirements, rather than taste. PMID:23990910

  11. Phytoliths in pottery reveal the use of spice in European prehistoric cuisine.

    PubMed

    Saul, Hayley; Madella, Marco; Fischer, Anders; Glykou, Aikaterini; Hartz, Sönke; Craig, Oliver E

    2013-01-01

    Here we present evidence of phytoliths preserved in carbonised food deposits on prehistoric pottery from the western Baltic dating from 6,100 cal BP to 5750 cal BP. Based on comparisons to over 120 European and Asian species, our observations are consistent with phytolith morphologies observed in modern garlic mustard seed (Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb) Cavara & Grande). As this seed has a strong flavour, little nutritional value, and the phytoliths are found in pots along with terrestrial and marine animal residues, these findings are the first direct evidence for the spicing of food in European prehistoric cuisine. Our evidence suggests a much greater antiquity to the spicing of foods than is evident from the macrofossil record, and challenges the view that plants were exploited by hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists solely for energy requirements, rather than taste. PMID:23990910

  12. A Unique Assemblage of Engraved Plaquettes from Ein Qashish South, Jezreel Valley, Israel: Figurative and Non-Figurative Symbols of Late Pleistocene Hunters-Gatherers in the Levant.

    PubMed

    Yaroshevich, Alla; Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Boaretto, Elisabeta; Caracuta, Valentina; Greenbaum, Noam; Porat, Naomi; Roskin, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Three engraved limestone plaquettes from the recently excavated Epipaleolithic open-air site Ein Qashish South in the Jezreel Valley, Israel comprise unique evidence for symbolic behavior of Late Pleistocene foragers in the Levant. The engravings, uncovered in Kebaran and Geometric Kebaran deposits (ca. 23ka and ca. 16.5ka BP), include the image of a bird-the first figurative representation known so far from a pre-Natufian Epipaleolithic-along with geometric motifs such as chevrons, crosshatchings and ladders. Some of the engravings closely resemble roughly contemporary European finds interpreted as "systems of notations" or "artificial memory systems"-records related to timing of seasonal resources and associated aggregation events of nomadic groups. Moreover, similarly looking signs and patterns are well known from the context of the local Natufian-a final Epipaleolithic culture of sedentary or semi-sedentary foragers who started practicing agriculture. The investigation of the engravings found in Ein Qashish South involves conceptualizations developed in studies of European and local parallels, a selection of ethnographic examples and preliminary microscopic observations of the plaquettes. This shows that the figurative and non-figurative images comprise a coherent assemblage of symbols that might have been applied in order to store, share and transmit information related to social and subsistence realms of mobile bands. It further suggests that the site functioned as a locality of groups' aggregation and indicates social complexity of pre-Natufian foragers in the Levant. While alterations in social and subsistence strategies can explain the varying frequency of image use characterizing different areas of the Late Pleistocene world-the apparent similarity in graphics and the mode of their application support the possibility that symbol-mediated behavior has a common and much earlier origin. PMID:27557110

  13. A Unique Assemblage of Engraved Plaquettes from Ein Qashish South, Jezreel Valley, Israel: Figurative and Non-Figurative Symbols of Late Pleistocene Hunters-Gatherers in the Levant

    PubMed Central

    Yaroshevich, Alla; Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Boaretto, Elisabeta; Caracuta, Valentina; Greenbaum, Noam; Porat, Naomi; Roskin, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Three engraved limestone plaquettes from the recently excavated Epipaleolithic open-air site Ein Qashish South in the Jezreel Valley, Israel comprise unique evidence for symbolic behavior of Late Pleistocene foragers in the Levant. The engravings, uncovered in Kebaran and Geometric Kebaran deposits (ca. 23ka and ca. 16.5ka BP), include the image of a bird—the first figurative representation known so far from a pre-Natufian Epipaleolithic—along with geometric motifs such as chevrons, crosshatchings and ladders. Some of the engravings closely resemble roughly contemporary European finds interpreted as "systems of notations" or "artificial memory systems"–records related to timing of seasonal resources and associated aggregation events of nomadic groups. Moreover, similarly looking signs and patterns are well known from the context of the local Natufian—a final Epipaleolithic culture of sedentary or semi-sedentary foragers who started practicing agriculture. The investigation of the engravings found in Ein Qashish South involves conceptualizations developed in studies of European and local parallels, a selection of ethnographic examples and preliminary microscopic observations of the plaquettes. This shows that the figurative and non-figurative images comprise a coherent assemblage of symbols that might have been applied in order to store, share and transmit information related to social and subsistence realms of mobile bands. It further suggests that the site functioned as a locality of groups' aggregation and indicates social complexity of pre-Natufian foragers in the Levant. While alterations in social and subsistence strategies can explain the varying frequency of image use characterizing different areas of the Late Pleistocene world—the apparent similarity in graphics and the mode of their application support the possibility that symbol-mediated behavior has a common and much earlier origin. PMID:27557110

  14. Diet and nutrition of prehistoric populations at the alluvial banks of the Parana River.

    PubMed

    Cornero, S; Puche, R C

    2000-01-01

    This study attempts to characterize the health status and diet of prehistoric populations (1,000-2,000 years BP), dwelling at both banks of Parana River, between 29 degrees S and 32 degrees S. The data obtained suggest that these prehistoric populations had an adequate nutritional status, with complete proteins in the diet, as suggested by the ratio strontium/calcium in their bone mineral (0.71 +/- 0.04 microgram Srx1,000/mg Ca). The overall frequency of dental caries (4.9%) coincides with that reported for hunters-gatherers. The average mineral densities of the tibiae of adult subjects exhumed at two sites (males: 1.51 +/- 0.07 gr/cm2; females: 1.24 +/- 0.06 gr/cm2) suggested that they had significant bone mass, an asset compatible with adequate nutrition. In metacarpals, the amount of cortical tissue also suggests bone mass comparable to contemporaneous controls. The growth and development of the prehistoric populations studied are deemed normal as shown by the clear sexual dimorphism of their estimated heights at adult age (males: 177-183 cm; females 152-166 cm) and their bone mass. PMID:10835707

  15. Biogeochemical inferences of mobility of early Holocene fisher-foragers from the Southern Sahara Desert.

    PubMed

    Stojanowski, Christopher M; Knudson, Kelly J

    2011-09-01

    North Africa is increasingly seen as an important context for understanding modern human evolution and reconstructing biocultural adaptations. The Sahara, in particular, witnessed a fluorescence of hunter-gatherer settlement at the onset of the Holocene after an extended occupational hiatus. Subsequent subsistence changes through the Holocene are contrary to those documented in other areas where mobile foraging gave way to settled agricultural village life. In North Africa, extractive fishing and hunting was supplanted by cattle and caprine pastoralism under deteriorating climatic conditions. Therefore, the initial stage of food production in North Africa witnessed a likely increase in mobility. However, there are few studies of paleomobility in Early Holocene hunter-gatherer Saharan populations and the degree of mobility is generally assumed. Here, we present radiogenic strontium isotope ratios from Early Holocene fisher-forager peoples from the site of Gobero, central Niger, southern Sahara Desert. Data indicate a relatively homogeneous radiogenic strontium isotope signature for this hunter-gather population with limited variability exhibited throughout the life course or among different individuals. Although the overall signature was local, some variation in the radiogenic strontium isotope data likely reflects transhumance into the nearby Aïr Massif. Data from Gobero were significantly less variable than in other worldwide hunter-gatherer populations, including those thought to be fairly sedentary. Strontium data from Gobero were also significantly different from contemporaneous sites in southwestern Libya. These patterns are discussed with respect to archaeological models of community organization and technological evolution. PMID:21766285

  16. Ancient DNA Reveals Prehistoric Gene-Flow from Siberia in the Complex Human Population History of North East Europe

    PubMed Central

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Balanovsky, Oleg; Brandt, Guido; Khartanovich, Valery; Buzhilova, Alexandra; Koshel, Sergey; Zaporozhchenko, Valery; Gronenborn, Detlef; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Kolpakov, Eugen; Shumkin, Vladimir; Alt, Kurt W.; Balanovska, Elena; Cooper, Alan; Haak, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    North East Europe harbors a high diversity of cultures and languages, suggesting a complex genetic history. Archaeological, anthropological, and genetic research has revealed a series of influences from Western and Eastern Eurasia in the past. While genetic data from modern-day populations is commonly used to make inferences about their origins and past migrations, ancient DNA provides a powerful test of such hypotheses by giving a snapshot of the past genetic diversity. In order to better understand the dynamics that have shaped the gene pool of North East Europeans, we generated and analyzed 34 mitochondrial genotypes from the skeletal remains of three archaeological sites in northwest Russia. These sites were dated to the Mesolithic and the Early Metal Age (7,500 and 3,500 uncalibrated years Before Present). We applied a suite of population genetic analyses (principal component analysis, genetic distance mapping, haplotype sharing analyses) and compared past demographic models through coalescent simulations using Bayesian Serial SimCoal and Approximate Bayesian Computation. Comparisons of genetic data from ancient and modern-day populations revealed significant changes in the mitochondrial makeup of North East Europeans through time. Mesolithic foragers showed high frequencies and diversity of haplogroups U (U2e, U4, U5a), a pattern observed previously in European hunter-gatherers from Iberia to Scandinavia. In contrast, the presence of mitochondrial DNA haplogroups C, D, and Z in Early Metal Age individuals suggested discontinuity with Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and genetic influx from central/eastern Siberia. We identified remarkable genetic dissimilarities between prehistoric and modern-day North East Europeans/Saami, which suggests an important role of post-Mesolithic migrations from Western Europe and subsequent population replacement/extinctions. This work demonstrates how ancient DNA can improve our understanding of human population movements across

  17. [Prehistoric population studies].

    PubMed

    Posse, Z C

    1985-01-01

    Studies concerning prehistoric populations in the Americas are discussed. "A review is made of research conducted in America focusing...on indigenous populations prior to contacts with Europeans, and those which, employing archaeological and historical sources, seek to evaluate the population and establish depopulation indexes for the said societies." (SUMMARY IN ENG) PMID:12341861

  18. Digging into Prehistoric Iowa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swaim, Ginalie, Ed.

    1985-01-01

    A theme issue of the Iowa State Historical Department magazine focuses on elementary readings and activities about prehistoric Iowa. The issue contains a total of 16 articles. In "History Makers," a ten-year-old recounts his family's discovery of a mammoth bone on their farm. "Imagine a Camping Trip Long Ago" looks at how the first people in Iowa…

  19. Symbolism in prehistoric man.

    PubMed

    Facchini, F

    2000-12-01

    The aptitude for symbolization, characteristic of man, is revealed not only in artistic representations and funerary practices. It is exhibited by every manifestation of human activity or representation of natural phenomena that assumes or refers to a meaning. We can recognize functional symbolism (tool-making, habitative or food technology), social symbolism, (language and social communication) and spiritual symbolism (funerary practices and artistic expressions). On the basis of these concepts, research into symbolism in prehistoric man allows us to recognize forms of symbolism already in the manifestations of the most ancient humans, starting with Homo habilis (or rudolfensis). Toolmaking, social organization and organization of the territory are oriented toward survival and the life of the family group. They attest to symbolic behaviors and constitute symbolic systems by means of which man expresses himself, lives and transmits his symbolic world. The diverse forms of symbolism are discussed with reference to the different phases of prehistoric humanity. PMID:11216422

  20. [Oxyuriasis and prehistoric migrations].

    PubMed

    Araújo, A; Ferreira, L F

    1995-01-01

    Parasite findings in archeological material have made it possible to trace the dispersion of infectious agents and their human hosts in ancient times. These findings allow us to re-examine theories proposed at the beginning of the century concerning transpacific contacts that Asian populations may have had with South America. This has been the case, for example, with hookworm eggs found in archeological material dating up to 7,000 years before present. Because of the increase in scientific production in this area, it has now become necessary to undertake syntheses that assess the state of the art and propose workable paleoepidemological models of the prehistoric dispersion of human parasitoses. Based on findings of Enterobius vermicularis eggs in archeological material in the Americas, the present study is an effort in this direction. Unlike the hookworm, the pinworm does not require a soil cycle in order to be transmitted from one host to another, thereby meaning that its persistence in a given human population does not depend on climatic conditions. Thus, it could have been brought from the old to the new continent, possibly by human migrations across the Bering Strait. This may explain the greater geographical dispersion and dissemination of these findings in North America from 10,000 yrs B.P. till today. In South America, on the other hand, archeological findings have only confirmed existence of Enterobius vermicularis eggs within the Andean region, with findings located specifically in Chile and northern Argentina. Although a large number of samples have been examined, no such eggs have been found in coprolites in Brazil. The paper discusses models that account for the known distribution of this parasitosis in prehistoric populations. PMID:11625244

  1. Holocene Demographic Changes and the Emergence of Complex Societies in Prehistoric Australia.

    PubMed

    Williams, Alan N; Ulm, Sean; Turney, Chris S M; Rohde, David; White, Gentry

    2015-01-01

    A continental-scale model of Holocene Australian hunter-gatherer demography and mobility is generated using radiocarbon data and geospatial techniques. Results show a delayed expansion and settlement of much of Australia following the termination of the late Pleistocene until after 9,000 years ago (or 9ka). The onset of the Holocene climatic optimum (9-6ka) coincides with rapid expansion, growth and establishment of regional populations across ~75% of Australia, including much of the arid zone. This diffusion from isolated Pleistocene refugia provides a mechanism for the synchronous spread of pan-continental archaeological and linguistic attributes at this time (e.g. Pama-Nyungan language, Panaramitee art style, backed artefacts). We argue longer patch residence times were possible at the end of the optimum, resulting in a shift to more sedentary lifestyles and establishment of low-level food production in some parts of the continent. The onset of El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO; 4.5-2ka) restricted low-level food production, and resulted in population fragmentation, abandonment of marginal areas, and reduction in ranging territory of ~26%. Importantly, climate amelioration brought about by more pervasive La Niña conditions (post-2ka), resulted in an intensification of the mobility strategies and technological innovations that were developed in the early- to mid-Holocene. These changes resulted in population expansion and utilization of the entire continent. We propose that it was under these demographically packed conditions that the complex social and religious societies observed at colonial contact were formed. PMID:26083101

  2. Holocene Demographic Changes and the Emergence of Complex Societies in Prehistoric Australia

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Alan N.; Ulm, Sean; Turney, Chris S. M.; Rohde, David; White, Gentry

    2015-01-01

    A continental-scale model of Holocene Australian hunter-gatherer demography and mobility is generated using radiocarbon data and geospatial techniques. Results show a delayed expansion and settlement of much of Australia following the termination of the late Pleistocene until after 9,000 years ago (or 9ka). The onset of the Holocene climatic optimum (9-6ka) coincides with rapid expansion, growth and establishment of regional populations across ~75% of Australia, including much of the arid zone. This diffusion from isolated Pleistocene refugia provides a mechanism for the synchronous spread of pan-continental archaeological and linguistic attributes at this time (e.g. Pama-Nyungan language, Panaramitee art style, backed artefacts). We argue longer patch residence times were possible at the end of the optimum, resulting in a shift to more sedentary lifestyles and establishment of low-level food production in some parts of the continent. The onset of El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO; 4.5-2ka) restricted low-level food production, and resulted in population fragmentation, abandonment of marginal areas, and reduction in ranging territory of ~26%. Importantly, climate amelioration brought about by more pervasive La Niña conditions (post-2ka), resulted in an intensification of the mobility strategies and technological innovations that were developed in the early- to mid-Holocene. These changes resulted in population expansion and utilization of the entire continent. We propose that it was under these demographically packed conditions that the complex social and religious societies observed at colonial contact were formed. PMID:26083101

  3. The Simulation of Prehistoric Hunting Practices.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rick, John W.

    1986-01-01

    Discusses use of computer simulation as an archeological tool for research and teaching involving the remains of prehistoric game animals to aid in understanding effects of various strategies of prehistoric hunters on populations of game animals. A simulation involving possible vicuna hunting strategies is described. (MBR)

  4. Aspects of prehistoric astronomy in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rao, N. Kameswara

    2005-12-01

    Some archeoastronomical aspects regarding the development of observational astronomy in India during prehistoric times are described. A plea is made for the preservation of megalithic monuments of possible astronomical significance.

  5. Maximum likelihood estimate of life expectancy in the prehistoric Jomon: Canine pulp volume reduction suggests a longer life expectancy than previously thought.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Tomohiko; Kondo, Osamu

    2016-09-01

    Recent theoretical progress potentially refutes past claims that paleodemographic estimations are flawed by statistical problems, including age mimicry and sample bias due to differential preservation. The life expectancy at age 15 of the Jomon period prehistoric populace in Japan was initially estimated to have been ∼16 years while a more recent analysis suggested 31.5 years. In this study, we provide alternative results based on a new methodology. The material comprises 234 mandibular canines from Jomon period skeletal remains and a reference sample of 363 mandibular canines of recent-modern Japanese. Dental pulp reduction is used as the age-indicator, which because of tooth durability is presumed to minimize the effect of differential preservation. Maximum likelihood estimation, which theoretically avoids age mimicry, was applied. Our methods also adjusted for the known pulp volume reduction rate among recent-modern Japanese to provide a better fit for observations in the Jomon period sample. Without adjustment for the known rate in pulp volume reduction, estimates of Jomon life expectancy at age 15 were dubiously long. However, when the rate was adjusted, the estimate results in a value that falls within the range of modern hunter-gatherers, with significantly better fit to the observations. The rate-adjusted result of 32.2 years more likely represents the true life expectancy of the Jomon people at age 15, than the result without adjustment. Considering ∼7% rate of antemortem loss of the mandibular canine observed in our Jomon period sample, actual life expectancy at age 15 may have been as high as ∼35.3 years. PMID:27346085

  6. Mythological and Prehistorical Origins of Neurosurgery.

    PubMed

    Nanda, Anil; Filis, Andreas; Kalakoti, Piyush

    2016-05-01

    Mythology has a cultural appeal, and the description of some neurosurgical procedures in the Hindu, Greek, Egyptian, and Chinese mythology has a bearing to the origins of our professions. The traces to some of our modern-day practices also can be linked back to the ancient prehistoric eras of the Siberian, Persian, and the Andean region. In this historical perspective, we briefly dwell into individual accounts through the prism of different cultures to highlight the development of neurosurgery in mythology and prehistoric era. PMID:26947728

  7. Non-destructive provenance differentiation of prehistoric pigments by external PIXE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, L.; Salomon, H.; Lahlil, S.; Lebon, M.; Odin, G. P.; Coquinot, Y.; Pichon, L.

    2012-02-01

    The elemental analysis of minerals/rocks has been often used for the determination of their geological origin. When these natural rocks were exploited by prehistoric civilizations as objects, weapons, or pigments, the composition of the minerals can provide information on the mobility, the exchanges and the interaction between groups of population. In this paper, we will present results obtained from archaeological samples of prehistoric pigments, mainly iron and manganese oxides. PIXE analysis has been applied to samples of the prehistoric cave "La grotte du Renne" in Arcy-sur-Cure, France (Chatelperronian, 38,000-34,000 BP). Because most of the archaeological objects are decorated or display some use marks, it is not possible to take samples. Consequently, we have used a non-destructive technique thanks to the external beam of AGLAE (C2RMF, Paris). In order to improve the limits of detection (LOD less than 10 ppm from Cu to Sb), a metal absorber has been placed on the X-ray detector to preferentially filter the Fe-K or Mn-K lines. Based on the quantitative analysis of major and trace elements, we have obtained groups of compositions corresponding to different geological sources. We demonstrate in this study that it is possible to extend PIXE analysis to the characterization of prehistoric pigments such as iron and manganese oxides for differentiating potential sources of pigments in archaeological contexts.

  8. Drought-Related Changes in Two Hunter-Gatherer California Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, Elizabeth

    2002-11-01

    Skeletal remains from two California cemeteries bracketing a severe drought that began around 1200 yr B.P. are analyzed to determine drought-related quality of life changes in Native Americans. Cemetery 1 predates the drought at 2895±160 yr B.P. to 1845±90 yr B.P. and Cemetery 2 dates it at 1100±90 yr B.P. to 1220±200 yr B.P. Quality of life was assessed through femoral computerized tomography scan measures of cortical thickness, age at adult death, and pathology/trauma frequency. After controlling for age and sex differences, changes from Cemetery 1 to Cemetery 2 showed decreases in cortical thickness and age at death and increases in pathology and trauma frequency.

  9. Fecal metabolome of the Hadza hunter-gatherers: a host-microbiome integrative view.

    PubMed

    Turroni, Silvia; Fiori, Jessica; Rampelli, Simone; Schnorr, Stephanie L; Consolandi, Clarissa; Barone, Monica; Biagi, Elena; Fanelli, Flaminia; Mezzullo, Marco; Crittenden, Alyssa N; Henry, Amanda G; Brigidi, Patrizia; Candela, Marco

    2016-01-01

    The recent characterization of the gut microbiome of traditional rural and foraging societies allowed us to appreciate the essential co-adaptive role of the microbiome in complementing our physiology, opening up significant questions on how the microbiota changes that have occurred in industrialized urban populations may have altered the microbiota-host co-metabolic network, contributing to the growing list of Western diseases. Here, we applied a targeted metabolomics approach to profile the fecal metabolome of the Hadza of Tanzania, one of the world's few remaining foraging populations, and compared them to the profiles of urban living Italians, as representative of people in the post-industrialized West. Data analysis shows that during the rainy season, when the diet is primarily plant-based, Hadza are characterized by a distinctive enrichment in hexoses, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, and acylcarnitines, while deplete in the most common natural amino acids and derivatives. Complementary to the documented unique metagenomic features of their gut microbiome, our findings on the Hadza metabolome lend support to the notion of an alternate microbiome configuration befitting of a nomadic forager lifestyle, which helps maintain metabolic homeostasis through an overall scarcity of inflammatory factors, which are instead highly represented in the Italian metabolome. PMID:27624970

  10. PREHISTORIC ARCHEOLOGY, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.

    PubMed

    Nelson, N C

    1937-01-22

    The attempt has been made in the foregoing paragraphs to outline the whole history of prehistoric archeology: its crude beginnings in ancient times, its steadily accelerating progress during the past two hundred years, and its present achievements. Special emphasis has been placed on the rôle played by the discovery of surviving primitive industries in America and elsewhere in bringing about a rational attitude towards Stone Age antiquities and a beginning of their systematic investigation. The creation and growth of the organization and personnel promoting and conducting this world-wide research must be left untouched except to say that to-day probably every civilized country has its museums and university teaching staffs. Public interest in man's prehistoric past was never greater than to-day and only financial support is necessary to afford opportunity for the increasing numbers of young men and women who are constantly pleading for a chance to take part in the work. Accordingly, though the task before us is still very great it is not so hopeless as in the case of some other purely natural sciences like astronomy and entomology. For not only is the earth spherical and therefore limited in extent but man's period of occupancy is relatively short. In other words, while prehistoric archeology of necessity was one of the last special branches of research to get really under way, it is likely to be the first to finish its task. Indeed, if archeological investigations, historic and prehistoric, continue to progress at the same accelerating rate as in the past, it would seem that the next hundred years or so might easily see us in possession of all the essential facts. Those more or less indestructible facts or documents once in hand and the spade set aside, archeologists may have to change their titles to those of curators or something even less high-sounding. At all events, those professionally concerned may then devote their entire time to the permanent arrangement

  11. Prehistoric agricultural depletion of soil nutrients in Hawai'i.

    PubMed

    Hartshorn, A S; Chadwick, O A; Vitousek, P M; Kirch, P V

    2006-07-18

    We investigated the fate of soil nutrients after centuries of indigenous dryland agriculture in Hawai'i using a coupled geochemical and archaeological approach. Beginning approximately 500 years ago, farmers began growing dryland taro and sweet potato on the leeward slopes of East Maui. Their digging sticks pierced a subsurface layer of cinders, enhancing crop access to the soil water stored below the intact cinders. Cultivation also catalyzed nutrient losses, directly by facilitating leaching of mobile nutrients after disturbing a stratigraphic barrier to vertical water movement, and indirectly by increasing mineral weathering and subsequent uptake and harvest. As a result, centuries of cultivation lowered volumetric total calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus content by 49%, 28%, 75%, 37%, and 32%, respectively. In the absence of written records, we used the difference in soil phosphorus to estimate that prehistoric yields were sufficient to meet local demand over very long time frames, but the associated acceleration of nutrient losses could have compromised subsequent yields. PMID:16832047

  12. Prehistoric agricultural depletion of soil nutrients in Hawai'i

    PubMed Central

    Hartshorn, A. S.; Chadwick, O. A.; Vitousek, P. M.; Kirch, P. V.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated the fate of soil nutrients after centuries of indigenous dryland agriculture in Hawai‘i using a coupled geochemical and archaeological approach. Beginning ≈500 years ago, farmers began growing dryland taro and sweet potato on the leeward slopes of East Maui. Their digging sticks pierced a subsurface layer of cinders, enhancing crop access to the soil water stored below the intact cinders. Cultivation also catalyzed nutrient losses, directly by facilitating leaching of mobile nutrients after disturbing a stratigraphic barrier to vertical water movement, and indirectly by increasing mineral weathering and subsequent uptake and harvest. As a result, centuries of cultivation lowered volumetric total calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus content by 49%, 28%, 75%, 37%, and 32%, respectively. In the absence of written records, we used the difference in soil phosphorus to estimate that prehistoric yields were sufficient to meet local demand over very long time frames, but the associated acceleration of nutrient losses could have compromised subsequent yields. PMID:16832047

  13. Palaeolithic paintings. Evolution of prehistoric cave art.

    PubMed

    Valladas, H; Clottes, J; Geneste, J M; Garcia, M A; Arnold, M; Cachier, H; Tisnérat-Laborde, N

    2001-10-01

    Sophisticated examples of European palaeolithic parietal art can be seen in the caves of Altamira, Lascaux and Niaux near the Pyrenees, which date to the Magdalenian period (12,000-17,000 years ago), but paintings of comparable skill and complexity were created much earlier, some possibly more than 30,000 years ago. We have derived new radiocarbon dates for the drawings that decorate the Chauvet cave in Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, Ardèche, France, which confirm that even 30,000 years ago Aurignacian artists, already known as accomplished carvers, could create masterpieces comparable to the best Magdalenian art. Prehistorians, who have traditionally interpreted the evolution of prehistoric art as a steady progression from simple to more complex representations, may have to reconsider existing theories of the origins of art. PMID:11586348

  14. Adaptive transitions and environmental change in the northern Great Basin: A view from Diamond Swamp

    SciTech Connect

    Musil, R.R.

    1992-01-01

    The presence of sedentary prehistoric occupations in association with wetland settings in the Great Basin has been the focus of continued debate. Theoretical discussions concerning the nature of hunter-gatherer adaptations to wetland environments have been based on two models: (1) Stress-based or push models, which argue that hunter-gatherer populations would reduce mobility as a response to less favorable conditions, and (2) abundance-based or pull models, which argue that hunter-gatherers would have been attracted to localized environments of diverse and plentiful resources. Archaeological evidence from Diamond Swamp provides insight into human adaptive transitions in wetland environments. Archaeological data from Diamond Swamp revealed a series of cultural components representing significant portions of the Holocene. The components at the Dunn and McCoy Creek sites consist of collections of artifactual, faunal, and floral materials, in association with semi-subterranean pithouse features dated between 3500 and 900 BP. These occupations correspond to periods of increased moisture and higher water tables. During periods of climatic amelioration semi-sedentary occupations occurred with the expansion of highly productive marsh and juniper grassland vegetation zones. The component at the McCoy Creek Site corresponds to a period of decreasing moisture punctuated by periodic drought, evidenced by the presence of a less substantial wickiup occupation dated at 500 BP. This occupation is indicative of a transition to a more mobile, less intensive occupational episode. The study provides evidence that transitions to sedentary pithouse villages in Diamond Swamp are best accounted for by the abundance-based model. A shift towards a less substantial, more mobile, occupation occurred with a decline in effective moisture. The research reflects adaptations made by local hunter-gatherer populations to long term environmental change within a typical Great Basin wetlands setting.

  15. A GIS approach for predicting prehistoric site locations.

    SciTech Connect

    Kuiper, J. A.; Wescott, K. L.

    1999-08-04

    Use of geographic information system (GIS)-based predictive mapping to locate areas of high potential for prehistoric archaeological sites is becoming increasingly popular among archaeologists. Knowledge of the environmental variables influencing activities of original inhabitants is used to produce GIS layers representing the spatial distribution of those variables. The GIS layers are then analyzed to identify locations where combinations of environmental variables match patterns observed at known prehistoric sites. Presented are the results of a study to locate high-potential areas for prehistoric sites in a largely unsurveyed area of 39,000 acres in the Upper Chesapeake Bay region, including details of the analysis process. The project used environmental data from over 500 known sites in other parts of the region and the results corresponded well with known sites in the study area.

  16. Affixation and Inflection in Pre-Historic Indo-European.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scholes, Robert J.

    A discussion of pre-historic (i.e., preliterate) language looks at the processes of affixation and inflection in the context of two conflicting theories on the complexity of those languages. The traditional view holds that the grammar used by early Indo-Europeans was at least as complex and abstract as that of any modern educated and literate…

  17. Prehistoric Journey: Denver Museum of Natural History Educators' Sourcebook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Rebecca L.; Leigh, Vicki; Crew, Diana Lee

    This sourcebook prepares students for a visit to the "Prehistoric Journey" exhibit at the Denver Museum of Natural History. The exhibit opened October 23, 1995, and offered a dramatic exploration of 3.5 billion years of life on Earth. Dioramas and "enviroramas" depict seven critical points in life's history. In addition to the chronological…

  18. Agent-based modeling for the landuse change of hunter-gather societies and the impacts on biodiversity in Guyana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwamura, T.; Fragoso, J.; Lambin, E.

    2012-12-01

    The interactions with animals are vital to the Amerindian, indigenous people, of Rupunini savannah-forest in Guyana. Their connections extend from basic energy and protein resource to spiritual bonding through "paring" to a certain animal in the forest. We collected extensive dataset of 23 indigenous communities for 3.5 years, consisting 9900 individuals from 1307 households, as well as animal observation data in 8 transects per communities (47,000 data entries). In this presentation, our research interest is to model the driver of land use change of the indigenous communities and its impacts on the ecosystem in the Rupunini area under global change. Overarching question we would like to answer with this program is to find how and why "tipping-point" from hunting gathering society to the agricultural society occurs in the future. Secondary question is what is the implication of the change to agricultural society in terms of biodiversity and carbon stock in the area, and eventually the well-being of Rupunini people. To answer the questions regarding the society shift in agriculture activities, we built as simulation with Agent-Based Modeling (Multi Agents Simulation). We developed this simulation by using Netlogo, the programming environment specialized for spatially explicit agent-based modeling (ABM). This simulation consists of four different process in the Rupunini landscape; forest succession, animal population growth, hunting of animals, and land clearing for agriculture. All of these processes are carried out by a set of computational unit, called "agents". In this program, there are four types of agents - patches, villages, households, and animals. Here, we describe the impacts of hunting on the biodiversity based on actual demographic data from one village named Crush Water. Animal population within the hunting territory of the village stabilized but Agouti/Paca dominates the landscape with little population of armadillos and peccaries. White-tailed deers, Tapirs, Capybara exist but very low. This finding is well aligned with the hunting dataset - Agouti/Paca consists 27% of total hunting. Based on our simulation, it seems the dominance of Agouti/Paca among hunted animals shown in the field data can be explained solely by their high carrying capacity against human extraction (population density of the Paca/Agouti = 60 per square km, whereas other animals ranges 0.63 to 7). When we incorporate agriculture, the "rodentation" of the animal population toward Agouti/Paca becomes more obvious. This simulation shows the interactions of people and animals through land change and hunting, which were observed in our fields.

  19. Hunter-gatherer adaptations and environmental change in the southern Great Basin: The evidence from Pahute and Rainier mesas

    SciTech Connect

    Pippin, L.C.

    1998-06-01

    This paper reviews the evidence for fluctuations in past environments in the southern Great Basin and examines how these changes may have affected the strategies followed by past hunter and gatherers in their utilization of the resources available on a highland in this region. The evidence used to reconstruct past environments for the region include botanical remains from packrat middens, pollen spectra from lake and spring deposits, faunal remains recovered from archaeological and geologic contexts, tree-ring indices from trees located in sensitive (tree-line) environments, and eolian, alluvial and fluvial sediments deposited in a variety of contexts. Interpretations of past hunter and gatherer adaptive strategies are based on a sample of 1,311 archaeological sites recorded during preconstruction surveys on Pahute and Rainier mesas in advance of the US Department of Energy`s nuclear weapons testing program. Projectile point chronologies and available tree-ring, radiocarbon, thermoluminescence and obsidian hydration dates were used to assign these archaeological sites to specific periods of use.

  20. The Modern Obesity Epidemic, Ancestral Hunter-Gatherers, and the Sensory/Reward Control of Food Intake

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Bruce M.

    2013-01-01

    Obesity has become a true pandemic. In the United States, over two thirds of adults are obese or overweight. The prevalence of obesity has doubled since 1980. The increase in the prevalence of obese and overweight individuals has happened too rapidly for it to be due to an alteration in the genome. The gastrointestinal, sensory (taste and…

  1. Mössbauer studies of prehistoric Cherokee pottery sherds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whatley, K. M.; McKenzie, K. P.

    1994-12-01

    Mössbauer spectroscopy is a very useful tool in the examination and characterization of ancient pottery sherds. In this study, Mössbauer spectra for sherds and clay from the Warren Wilson Site, a prehistoric Native American (Cherokee) settlement in western North Carolina, were measured. Data from one sherd and samples from two clay beds indicate that the sherd was not made from local clays and was originally fired to 350 ‡C.

  2. Interisland and interarchipelago transfer of stone tools in prehistoric Polynesia.

    PubMed

    Weisler, M I; Kirch, P V

    1996-02-20

    Tracing interisland and interarchipelago movements of people and artifacts in prehistoric Polynesia has posed a challenge to archaeologists due to the lack of pottery and obsidian, two materials most readily used in studies of prehistoric trade or exchange. Here we report the application of nondestructive energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis to the sourcing of Polynesian artifacts made from basalt, one of the most ubiquitous materials in Polynesian archaeological sites. We have compared excavated and surface-collected basalt adzes and adze flakes from two sites in Samoa (site AS-13-1) and the Cook Islands (site MAN-44), with source basalts from known prehistoric quarries in these archipelagoes. In both cases, we are able to demonstrate the importing of basalt adzes from Tutuila Island, a distance of 100 km to Ofu Island, and of 1600 km to Mangaia Island. These findings are of considerable significance for Polynesian prehistory, as they demonstrate the movement of objects not only between islands in the same group (where communities were culturally and linguistically related) but also between distant island groups. Further applications of EDXRF analysis should greatly aid archaeologists in their efforts to reconstruct ancient trade and exchange networks, not only in Polynesia but also in other regions where basalt was a major material for artifact production. PMID:8643640

  3. Interisland and interarchipelago transfer of stone tools in prehistoric Polynesia.

    PubMed Central

    Weisler, M I; Kirch, P V

    1996-01-01

    Tracing interisland and interarchipelago movements of people and artifacts in prehistoric Polynesia has posed a challenge to archaeologists due to the lack of pottery and obsidian, two materials most readily used in studies of prehistoric trade or exchange. Here we report the application of nondestructive energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis to the sourcing of Polynesian artifacts made from basalt, one of the most ubiquitous materials in Polynesian archaeological sites. We have compared excavated and surface-collected basalt adzes and adze flakes from two sites in Samoa (site AS-13-1) and the Cook Islands (site MAN-44), with source basalts from known prehistoric quarries in these archipelagoes. In both cases, we are able to demonstrate the importing of basalt adzes from Tutuila Island, a distance of 100 km to Ofu Island, and of 1600 km to Mangaia Island. These findings are of considerable significance for Polynesian prehistory, as they demonstrate the movement of objects not only between islands in the same group (where communities were culturally and linguistically related) but also between distant island groups. Further applications of EDXRF analysis should greatly aid archaeologists in their efforts to reconstruct ancient trade and exchange networks, not only in Polynesia but also in other regions where basalt was a major material for artifact production. PMID:8643640

  4. Psychoacoustic influences of the echoing environments of prehistoric art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waller, Steven J.

    2002-11-01

    Cave paintings and ancient petroglyphs around the world are typically found in echo rich locations such as caves, canyons, and rocky cliff faces. Analysis of field data shows that echo decibel levels at a large number of prehistoric art sites are higher than those at nondecorated locations. The selection of these echoing environments by the artists appears not to be a mere coincidence. This paper considers the perception of an echoed sound as a psychoacoustic event that would have been inexplicable to ancient humans. A variety of ancient legends from cultures on several continents attribute the phenomenon of echoes to supernatural beings. These legends, together with the quantitative data, strongly implicate echoing as relevant to the artists of the past. The notion that the echoes were caused by spirits within the rock would explain not only the unusual locations of prehistoric art, but also the perplexing subject matter. For example, the common theme of hoofed animal imagery could have been inspired by echoes of percussion noises perceived as hoof beats. Further systematic acoustical studies of prehistoric art sites is warranted. Conservation of the natural acoustic properties of rock art environments--a previously unrecognized need--is urged.

  5. Stable carbon isotopes and the study of prehistoric human diet.

    PubMed

    Boutton, T W; Lynott, M J; Bumsted, M P

    1991-01-01

    Mass spectrometric analysis of the stable carbon isotope composition (13C/12C or delta 13C) of bone collagen from human remains recovered at archaeological sites provides a direct chemical method for investigating dietary patterns of prehistoric human populations. This methodology is based on the facts that (1) different food items within the human diet have distinct delta 13C values, and (2) the delta 13C value of human bone collagen is determined by the delta 13C value of the diet. Studies of the development of subsistence patterns based on corn agriculture, one of the most significant developments in North American prehistory, can benefit from the use of stable carbon isotope techniques because corn has a high delta 13C value relative to other components of the human diet. Measurements of delta 13C of bone collagen from prehistoric human skeletal remains from southeastern Missouri and northeastern Arkansas indicate that intensive corn agriculture began in this region around A.D. 1000, that the incorporation of corn into the human diet was a rapid phenomenon, and that 35 to 77% of the human diet from A.D. 1000 to A.D. 1600 consisted of corn. Results from an isochronous population in southeastern South Dakota (A.D. 1400) suggest that 78 to 90% of the diet of this group consisted of corn, with no difference between males and females. Coupled with more traditional archaeological methods, stable carbon isotope analysis of bone collagen can significantly enhance reconstruction of dietary patterns of prehistoric humans. PMID:1910520

  6. The Path towards Endangered Species: Prehistoric Fisheries in Southeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Mariana Samôr; Bertucci, Thayse Cristina Pereira; Rapagnã, Luciano; Tubino, Rafael de Almeida; Monteiro-Neto, Cassiano; Tomas, Acácio Ribeiro Gomes; Tenório, Maria Cristina; Lima, Tânia; Souza, Rosa; Carrillo-Briceño, Jorge Domingo; Haimovici, Manuel; Macario, Kita; Carvalho, Carla; Aguilera Socorro, Orangel

    2016-01-01

    Brazilian shellmounds are archaeological sites with a high concentration of marine faunal remains. There are more than 2000 sites along the coast of Brazil that range in age from 8,720 to 985 cal BP. Here, we studied the ichthyoarchaeological remains (i.e., cranial/postcranial bones, otoliths, and teeth, among others) at 13 shellmounds on the southern coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, which are located in coastal landscapes, including a sandy plain with coastal lagoons, rocky islands, islets and rocky bays. We identified patterns of similarity between shellmounds based on fish diversity, the ages of the assemblages, littoral geomorphology and prehistoric fisheries. Our new radiocarbon dating, based on otolith samples, was used for fishery characterization over time. A taxonomical study of the ichthyoarchaeological remains includes a diversity of 97 marine species, representing 37% of all modern species (i.e., 265 spp.) that have been documented along the coast of Rio de Janeiro state. This high fish diversity recovered from the shellmounds is clear evidence of well-developed prehistoric fishery activity that targeted sharks, rays and finfishes in a productive area influenced by coastal marine upwelling. The presence of adult and neonate shark, especially oceanic species, is here interpreted as evidence of prehistoric fisheries capacity for exploitation and possibly overexploitation in nursery areas. Various tools and strategies were used to capture finfish in seasonal fisheries, over rocky reef bottoms and in sandy littoral environments. Massive catches of whitemouth croaker, main target dermersal species of South Atlantic coast, show evidence of a reduction in body size of approximately 28% compared with modern fisheries. Fishery activity involving vulnerable species, especially in nursery areas, could mark the beginning of fish depletion along the southeastern Brazilian coast and the collapse of natural fish populations. PMID:27355355

  7. The Path towards Endangered Species: Prehistoric Fisheries in Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Mariana Samôr; Bertucci, Thayse Cristina Pereira; Rapagnã, Luciano; Tubino, Rafael de Almeida; Monteiro-Neto, Cassiano; Tomas, Acácio Ribeiro Gomes; Tenório, Maria Cristina; Lima, Tânia; Souza, Rosa; Carrillo-Briceño, Jorge Domingo; Haimovici, Manuel; Macario, Kita; Carvalho, Carla; Aguilera Socorro, Orangel

    2016-01-01

    Brazilian shellmounds are archaeological sites with a high concentration of marine faunal remains. There are more than 2000 sites along the coast of Brazil that range in age from 8,720 to 985 cal BP. Here, we studied the ichthyoarchaeological remains (i.e., cranial/postcranial bones, otoliths, and teeth, among others) at 13 shellmounds on the southern coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, which are located in coastal landscapes, including a sandy plain with coastal lagoons, rocky islands, islets and rocky bays. We identified patterns of similarity between shellmounds based on fish diversity, the ages of the assemblages, littoral geomorphology and prehistoric fisheries. Our new radiocarbon dating, based on otolith samples, was used for fishery characterization over time. A taxonomical study of the ichthyoarchaeological remains includes a diversity of 97 marine species, representing 37% of all modern species (i.e., 265 spp.) that have been documented along the coast of Rio de Janeiro state. This high fish diversity recovered from the shellmounds is clear evidence of well-developed prehistoric fishery activity that targeted sharks, rays and finfishes in a productive area influenced by coastal marine upwelling. The presence of adult and neonate shark, especially oceanic species, is here interpreted as evidence of prehistoric fisheries capacity for exploitation and possibly overexploitation in nursery areas. Various tools and strategies were used to capture finfish in seasonal fisheries, over rocky reef bottoms and in sandy littoral environments. Massive catches of whitemouth croaker, main target dermersal species of South Atlantic coast, show evidence of a reduction in body size of approximately 28% compared with modern fisheries. Fishery activity involving vulnerable species, especially in nursery areas, could mark the beginning of fish depletion along the southeastern Brazilian coast and the collapse of natural fish populations. PMID:27355355

  8. Scaphocephaly in a prehistoric skeleton from Harappa, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, K A; Lovell, N C; Lukacs, J R; Hemphill, B E

    1993-03-01

    Irregularities of cranial suture closure resulting in scaphocephaly are documented for a number of prehistoric and historic human populations of the eastern and western hemispheres, but what may be the first recorded case from southern Asia appeared during the 1987 archaeological field season at the Indus Valley Civilization site of Harappa, Pakistan. The female specimen with this condition also exhibits indicators of developmental abnormalities in the postcranial skeleton. These features are discussed in the context of assessing anatomical and ontogenetical relationships of craniostenostic eccentricities with abnormalities of facial, dental and postcranial regions of the skeletons of scaphocephalic individuals. PMID:8476271

  9. Prehistoric rock avalanches in the Olympic Mountains, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schuster, R.L.; Logan, R.L.; Pringle, P.T.

    1992-01-01

    Rock avalanches blocked streams in the Olympic Mountains southwest of Puget Sound during the past few thousand years. Limiting radiocarbon ages indicated that three or four of six avalanches occurred from 1000 to 1300 years ago or shortly thereafter. Most of the dates were from the outer preserved rings of trees drowned behind avalanche dams. These three or four avalanches may be coeval not only with one another but also with abrupt tectonic deformation in western Washington. No rock avalanches in the Olympic Mountains are known to have resulted from storms or earthquakes during the past century. The avalanches strengthen the case that a large prehistoric earthquake occurred in the Puget Sound region.

  10. Freud's prehistoric matrix--owing 'nature' a death.

    PubMed

    Raphael-Leff, Joan

    2007-12-01

    This paper is informed by contemporary literature in two fields--neonatal research, on the one hand, and the burgeoning interdisciplinary interest in Moses and monotheism, on the other. The author postulates that a cluster of traumatic events during the first two years of Freud's life compelled him to repeat what could not be remembered. Embedded in charged implicit schema, these affects remained unprocessed in Freud, who alone of all psychoanalysts did not have an analysis, manifesting in an uncanny dread/allure of the 'prehistoric' as a dark and dangerous era relating to the archaic feminine/maternal matrix and fratricidal murderousness. Furthermore, she cites evidence to suggest that for Freud this unconsciously excluded subtext of the preoedipal era became associated with ancient Egyptian and Minoan-Mycenaean cultures, a passionate fascination actualized in his collection of antiquities yet incongruously absent in his theoretical work, with three exceptions--Egyptian allusions in Leonardo's unconscious attachment to his archaic mother; the 'Minoan-Mycenaean' analogy on discovering the pre-oedipal mother shortly after the death of Freud's own mother; and Egypt as cradle of humanity in his uncharacteristically rambling, troubled text of Moses and monotheism. The author sees Freud's conceptual avoidance yet compulsive reworking of the prehistoric matrix as a symptomatic attempt to expose early unformulated representations that 'return to exert a powerful effect'. PMID:18055371

  11. Archeological Applications of XAFS: Prehistorical Paintings And Medieval Glasses

    SciTech Connect

    Farges, F.; Chalmin, E.; Vignaud, C.; Pallot-Frossard, I.; Susini, J.; Bargar, J.; Brown, G.E., Jr.; Menu, M.; /SLAC, SSRL

    2006-10-27

    High-resolution manganese and iron K-edges XANES spectra were collected on several samples of archeological interest: prehistorical paintings and medieval glasses. XANES spectra were collected at the ID21 facility (ESRF, Grenoble, France) using a micro-beam device and at the 11-2 beamline (SSRL, Stanford, USA) using a submillimetric beam. The medieval glasses studied are from gothic glass windows from Normandy (XIVth century). The aim of this study is to help understand the chemical durability of these materials, exposed to weathering since the XIVth century. They are used as analogues of weathered glasses used to dump metallic wastes. These glasses show surficial enrichment in manganese, due to its oxidation from II (glass) to III/IV (surface), which precipitates as amorphous oxy-hydroxides. Similarly, iron is oxidized on the surface and forms ferrihydrite-type aggregates. The prehistorical paintings are from Lascaux and Ekain (Basque country). We choose in that study the black ones, rich in manganese to search for potential evidences of some 'savoir-faire' that the Paleolithic men could have used to realize their paint in rock art, as shown earlier for Fe-bearing pigments. A large number of highly valuable samples, micrometric scaled, were extracted from these frescoes and show large variation in the mineralogical nature of the black pigments used, from an amorphous psilomelane-type to a well-crystallized pyrolusite. Correlation with the crystals morphology helps understanding the know-how of these early artists.

  12. Coca chewing in prehistoric coastal Peru: dental evidence.

    PubMed

    Indriati, E; Buikstra, J E

    2001-03-01

    In this study, we describe the dental health of four prehistoric human populations from the southern coast of Peru, an area in which independent archaeological evidence suggests that the practice of coca-leaf chewing was relatively common. A repeated pattern of cervical-root caries accompanying root exposure was found on the buccal surfaces of the posterior dentition, coinciding with the typical placement of coca quids during mastication. To further examine the association between caries patterning and coca chewing, caries site characteristics of molar teeth were utilized as indicators for estimating the likelihood of coca chewing for adults within each of the study samples. Likelihood estimates were then compared with results of a test for coca use derived from hair samples from the same individuals. The hair and dental studies exhibited an 85.7% agreement. Thus, we have demonstrated the validity of a hard-tissue technique for identifying the presence of habitual coca-leaf chewing in ancient human remains, which is useful in archaeological contexts where hair is not preserved. These data can be used to explore the distribution of coca chewing in prehistoric times. Simultaneously, we document the dental health associated with this traditional Andean cultural practice. PMID:11241189

  13. Prehistoric Human Dispersal to the Tibetan Plateau and Adaptation to the High Altitude Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Dongju; Dong, Guanghui; Chen, Fahu

    2016-04-01

    Human history of the Tibetan Plateau and human adaptation to the high altitude environment is hotly debated in the past decade among archaeological, anthropological, genetic, and even past climate change studies. Based on previous studies on the Tibetan Plateau and our own archaeological studies in northeastern Tibetan Plateau (NETP), we propose that human migrated to the Tibetan Plateau from the last Deglacial period to late Holocene mainly from North China via Yellow River valley and its tributary valleys in NETP. This migration is constituted of four stages (Upper Paleolithic, Epi-Paleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age) when human adapted to the high altitude environment and climate change with different strategies and techniques. Particularly, the prevail of microlithic technology in North China provoked hunter-gatherers' first visit to the NETP in relatively ameliorated last Deglacial period, and the quick development of millet farming and subsequent mixed barley-wheat farming and sheep herding facilitated farmers and herders permanently settled in NETP, even above 3000 masl, during mid- and late Holocene.

  14. A South American Prehistoric Mitogenome: Context, Continuity, and the Origin of Haplogroup C1d

    PubMed Central

    Sans, Mónica; Figueiro, Gonzalo; Hughes, Cris E.; Lindo, John; Hidalgo, Pedro C.; Malhi, Ripan S.

    2015-01-01

    Based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), it has been estimated that at least 15 founder haplogroups peopled the Americas. Subhaplogroup C1d3 was defined based on the mitogenome of a living individual from Uruguay that carried a lineage previously identified in hypervariable region I sequences from ancient and modern Uruguayan individuals. When complete mitogenomes were studied, additional substitutions were found in the coding region of the mitochondrial genome. Using a complete ancient mitogenome and three modern mitogenomes, we aim to clarify the ancestral state of subhaplogroup C1d3 and to better understand the peopling of the region of the Río de la Plata basin, as well as of the builders of the mounds from which the ancient individuals were recovered. The ancient mitogenome, belonging to a female dated to 1,610±46 years before present, was identical to the mitogenome of one of the modern individuals. All individuals share the mutations defining subhaplogroup C1d3. We estimated an age of 8,974 (5,748–12,261) years for the most recent common ancestor of C1d3, in agreement with the initial peopling of the geographic region. No individuals belonging to the defined lineage were found outside of Uruguay, which raises questions regarding the mobility of the prehistoric inhabitants of the country. Moreover, the present study shows the continuity of Native lineages over at least 6,000 years. PMID:26509686

  15. A South American Prehistoric Mitogenome: Context, Continuity, and the Origin of Haplogroup C1d.

    PubMed

    Sans, Mónica; Figueiro, Gonzalo; Hughes, Cris E; Lindo, John; Hidalgo, Pedro C; Malhi, Ripan S

    2015-01-01

    Based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), it has been estimated that at least 15 founder haplogroups peopled the Americas. Subhaplogroup C1d3 was defined based on the mitogenome of a living individual from Uruguay that carried a lineage previously identified in hypervariable region I sequences from ancient and modern Uruguayan individuals. When complete mitogenomes were studied, additional substitutions were found in the coding region of the mitochondrial genome. Using a complete ancient mitogenome and three modern mitogenomes, we aim to clarify the ancestral state of subhaplogroup C1d3 and to better understand the peopling of the region of the Río de la Plata basin, as well as of the builders of the mounds from which the ancient individuals were recovered. The ancient mitogenome, belonging to a female dated to 1,610±46 years before present, was identical to the mitogenome of one of the modern individuals. All individuals share the mutations defining subhaplogroup C1d3. We estimated an age of 8,974 (5,748-12,261) years for the most recent common ancestor of C1d3, in agreement with the initial peopling of the geographic region. No individuals belonging to the defined lineage were found outside of Uruguay, which raises questions regarding the mobility of the prehistoric inhabitants of the country. Moreover, the present study shows the continuity of Native lineages over at least 6,000 years. PMID:26509686

  16. Problems in archaeomagnetic reference curves elaboration in the prehistoric past.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avramova, M.; Kovacheva, M.; Boyadziev, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Most important task of archaeomagnetic studies is the construction of the geomagnetic field secular variations in the past for a given territory. The obtained reference curves would be precise only when a large number of well-dated archaeological sites from different time periods are included as input data. Sofia Palaeomagnetic laboratory is the first one in the Balkans to accumulate a large number of data spanning the time interval of 3000 BP to 8000 BP. Many archaeological sites in Bulgaria are multilevel settlements with clear stratigraphy. Commonly the prehistoric sites are dated according to the relative chronology, the type of archaeological artifacts found and 14C dates, the latter being not always available. The biggest difficulty is that usually the radiocarbon dates are not well constrained, often contradictory to the vertical stratigraphy. The transformation of conventional 14C dates to absolute dates BC depends a lot on which part of dendrochronological calibration curve are they related. Besides, multiple dating intervals are often obtained and the calibrated intervals are usually very large (from 100 to 300 and more years). However, when archaeological discoveries of multilevel prehistoric sites are combined with archaeomagnetic investigations the corresponding archaeomagnetic profiles can be obtained. Currently we have archaeomagnetic data for fifteen prehistoric multilevel sites - two of them are Neolithic, nine - Eneolithic and four are from the Bronze Age. The next step is to juxtapose these stratigraphic profiles with the absolute scale of time having in mind that not all sites and layers have 14C dates. Thanks to abundance of 14C dates for most of Bulgarian prehistoric sites, multilayer sites connected with the absolute chronology exist and can be used as reference profiles. The time frames of each horizon for such reference site are based on series of 14C dates (not single measurements), the analysis of the thickness of layers, type of material

  17. Prehistoric Rock Structures of the Idaho National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Brenda R Pace

    2007-04-01

    Over the past 13,500 years, human populations have lived in and productively utilized the natural resources offered by the cold desert environment of the northeastern Snake River Plain in eastern Idaho. Within an overall framework of hunting and gathering, groups relied on an intimate familiarity with the natural world and developed a variety of technologies to extract the resources that they needed to survive. Useful items were abundant and found everywhere on the landscape. Even the basaltic terrain and the rocks, themselves, were put to productive use. This paper presents a preliminary classification scheme for rock structures built on the Idaho National Laboratory landscape by prehistoric aboriginal populations, including discussions of the overall architecture of the structures, associated artifact assemblages, and topographic placement. Adopting an ecological perspective, the paper concludes with a discussion of the possible functions of these unique resources for the desert populations that once called the INL home.

  18. A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Marta D.; Pereira, Joana B.; Pala, Maria; Fernandes, Verónica; Olivieri, Anna; Achilli, Alessandro; Perego, Ugo A.; Rychkov, Sergei; Naumova, Oksana; Hatina, Jiři; Woodward, Scott R.; Eng, Ken Khong; Macaulay, Vincent; Carr, Martin; Soares, Pedro; Pereira, Luísa; Richards, Martin B.

    2013-01-01

    The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ~40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus. Furthermore, most of the remaining minor founders share a similar deep European ancestry. Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed, nor recruited in the Caucasus, as sometimes suggested, but assimilated within Europe. These results point to a significant role for the conversion of women in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and provide the foundation for a detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history. PMID:24104924

  19. The evolution of social behavior in the prehistoric American southwest.

    PubMed

    Gumerman, George J; Swedlund, Alan C; Dean, Jeffrey S; Epstein, Joshua M

    2003-01-01

    Long House Valley, located in the Black Mesa area of northeastern Arizona (USA), was inhabited by the Kayenta Anasazi from circa 1800 B.C. to circa A.D. 1300. These people were prehistoric precursors of the modern Pueblo cultures of the Colorado Plateau. A rich paleoenvironmental record, based on alluvial geomorphology, palynology, and dendroclimatology, permits the accurate quantitative reconstruction of annual fluctuations in potential agricultural production (kg maize/hectare). The archaeological record of Anasazi farming groups from A.D. 200 to 1300 provides information on a millennium of sociocultural stasis, variability, change, and adaptation. We report on a multi-agent computational model of this society that closely reproduces the main features of its actual history, including population ebb and flow, changing spatial settlement patterns, and eventual rapid decline. The agents in the model are monoagriculturalists, who decide both where to situate their fields and where to locate their settlements. PMID:14761261

  20. A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages.

    PubMed

    Costa, Marta D; Pereira, Joana B; Pala, Maria; Fernandes, Verónica; Olivieri, Anna; Achilli, Alessandro; Perego, Ugo A; Rychkov, Sergei; Naumova, Oksana; Hatina, Jiři; Woodward, Scott R; Eng, Ken Khong; Macaulay, Vincent; Carr, Martin; Soares, Pedro; Pereira, Luísa; Richards, Martin B

    2013-01-01

    The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ~40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus. Furthermore, most of the remaining minor founders share a similar deep European ancestry. Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal lineages were not brought from the Levant, as commonly supposed, nor recruited in the Caucasus, as sometimes suggested, but assimilated within Europe. These results point to a significant role for the conversion of women in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and provide the foundation for a detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history. PMID:24104924

  1. Prehistoric Packrats Piled Up Clues to Climate Change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cole, Kenneth L.

    2008-01-01

    Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and Northern Arizona University studying climate change in the Southwestern United States are getting a helping hand?or would that be paw??from prehistoric packrats. By hoarding parts of animals and plants, including seeds and leaves, in garbage piles or ?middens,? these bushy-tailed rodents preserved crucial ecological and environmental information about the past. From these middens, scientists are able to reconstruct plant communities and natural systems from as long ago as 50,000 years. The contents of middens allow scientists to understand how ecosystems responded to rapid, large-scale climate changes of the past. The insights gained from midden research could offer clues to future changes driven by rapid climate shifts.

  2. Clarifying Prehistoric Parasitism from a Complementary Morphological and Molecular Approach

    PubMed Central

    Cleeland, Lauren M.; Reichard, Mason V.; Tito, Raul Y.; Reinhard, Karl J.; Lewis, Cecil M.

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports an approach to the identification of prehistoric parasitic infection, which integrates traditional morphological methods with molecular methods. The approach includes the strengths of each method while mitigating the limitations. Demonstrating the efficacy of this approach, we provide a case study from a 1,400 year old desiccated fecal sample from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos, archaeological site, near Rio Zape, Durango, Mexico. Traditionally prepared microscope slides were processed via microscopy and tentative ascarids were identified. Information regarding the parasites’ developmental stage was recorded. DNA was then extracted directly from the slide material. From this DNA extract, a small segment of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene variant that is specific to Ascaris, and its phylogenetically close relatives, was targeted for PCR amplification and sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence best matched a member of physalopterids, rather than ascarids, with a single exception of a match to Contracaecum spiculigerum. Subsequent extractions, amplifications and sequencing of the original rehydrated coprolite material confirmed these results. The C. spiculigerum sequence represented a phylogenetic anomaly and subsequent analysis determined the sequence was an error in the BLAST database, likely attributable to misidentification of juvenile specimens prior to sequencing and submission. Physaloptera are a difficult genus to identify morphologically and can carry major health burdens. They may be underreported in humans, in part, because of morphological similarities to the more common human parasites belonging to ascarids. We conclude that integrating traditional morphological methods with molecular methods can help resolve this issue, in both contemporary and prehistoric populations. PMID:23645967

  3. Clarifying Prehistoric Parasitism from a Complementary Morphological and Molecular Approach.

    PubMed

    Cleeland, Lauren M; Reichard, Mason V; Tito, Raul Y; Reinhard, Karl J; Lewis, Cecil M

    2013-07-01

    This paper reports an approach to the identification of prehistoric parasitic infection, which integrates traditional morphological methods with molecular methods. The approach includes the strengths of each method while mitigating the limitations. Demonstrating the efficacy of this approach, we provide a case study from a 1,400 year old desiccated fecal sample from La Cueva de los Muertos Chiquitos, archaeological site, near Rio Zape, Durango, Mexico. Traditionally prepared microscope slides were processed via microscopy and tentative ascarids were identified. Information regarding the parasites' developmental stage was recorded. DNA was then extracted directly from the slide material. From this DNA extract, a small segment of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene variant that is specific to Ascaris, and its phylogenetically close relatives, was targeted for PCR amplification and sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence best matched a member of physalopterids, rather than ascarids, with a single exception of a match to Contracaecum spiculigerum. Subsequent extractions, amplifications and sequencing of the original rehydrated coprolite material confirmed these results. The C. spiculigerum sequence represented a phylogenetic anomaly and subsequent analysis determined the sequence was an error in the BLAST database, likely attributable to misidentification of juvenile specimens prior to sequencing and submission. Physaloptera are a difficult genus to identify morphologically and can carry major health burdens. They may be underreported in humans, in part, because of morphological similarities to the more common human parasites belonging to ascarids. We conclude that integrating traditional morphological methods with molecular methods can help resolve this issue, in both contemporary and prehistoric populations. PMID:23645967

  4. [Mycobacterium infection in prehistoric humans: co-evolution in remote ages].

    PubMed

    Sabbatani, Sandro; Fiorini, Sirio

    2015-03-01

    The introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry at the end of the Mesolithic era, despite enabling a significant demographic growth through an increase in food storage and availability, caused new infectious noxae to enter the pathocoenosis. However in the Palaeolithic era, hunter-gatherers were already in contact with infectious diseases of animal origin, albeit episodically. Modern biomedical technologies allow us to estimate, with better approximation, how long mankind has been in contact with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Archaeological finds, including human and animal remains (especially the aurochs), are particularly studied by palaeopathologists, as mycobacteria frequently cause bone involvement and this characteristic is of particular interest for palaeopathological (even macroscopic) studies; the interest is to detect the ancient DNA of MT, which is the cause of bone tuberculosis in skeletal remains as well as in mummies. According to our present knowledge, palaeopathological findings, confirmed by molecular techniques, suggest that tuberculosis in human skeletons goes back at most to 9000 years ago, while, in a veterinary environment, the most ancient DNA of MTBC to be detected in an American bison dates back about 17,000 years. The possibility of discovering archaeological finds making even more ancient human remains available leaves opens up the possibility of dating back to previous eras the transmission of MTBC infection to mankind. Phylogenetic works examining the available materials (DNAa) suggest that Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of tuberculosis infection in humans and cattle (Aurochs), would have had a co-evolutionary process. On the basis of recent phylogenetic studies, the MTBC genome would have had a wide span of time to reach a suitable adjustment, co-evolving in geographical environments both at high and low host density. It is likely that the strains that did not show this strong "flexibility" underwent extinction, in favour of

  5. A Prehistorical Record of Cultural Eutrophication from Crawford Lake, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Ekdahl, E J; Teranes, J; Guilderson, T; Turton, C L; McAndrews, J H; Wittkop, C A; Stoermer, E F

    2004-08-05

    Cultural eutrophication--the process by which human activities increase nutrient input rates to aquatic ecosystems and thereby cause undesirable changes in surface-water quality--is generally thought to have begun with the start of the industrial era. The prehistoric dimension of human impacts on aquatic ecosystems remains relatively undescribed, particularly in North America. Here we present fossil plankton data (diatoms and rotifers), organic and inorganic carbon accumulations, and carbon isotope ratios from a 1000-yr sediment core record from Crawford Lake, Ontario, Canada. The data documents increased nutrient input to Crawford Lake caused by Iroquoian horticultural activity from A.D. 1268 to 1486 and shows how this increased nutrient input elevated lake productivity, caused bottom-water anoxia, and irreversibly altered diatom community structure within just a few years. Iroquoian settlement in the region declined in the fifteenth century, yet diatom communities and lake circulation never recovered to the predisturbance state. A second phase of cultural eutrophication starting in A.D. 1867, initiated by Canadian agricultural disturbance, increased lake productivity but had comparatively less of an impact on diatom assemblages and carbon-storage pathways than the initial Iroquoian disturbance. This study deepens our understanding of the impact of cultural eutrophication on lake systems, highlights the lasting influence of initial environmental perturbation, and contributes to the debate on the ecological impacts of density and agricultural practices of native North American inhabitants.

  6. Bioarchaeological evidence for trophy-taking in prehistoric central California.

    PubMed

    Andrushko, Valerie A; Latham, Kate A S; Grady, Diane L; Pastron, Allen G; Walker, Phillip L

    2005-08-01

    Fourteen adult burials in a large (N = 224) prehistoric central California cemetery (CA-SCL-674) lack forearm bones. Twelve of these otherwise well-articulated primary interments have distal humeri bearing cutmarks with a distribution like that seen in fur seals butchered by Native Californians. Most of the burials with missing forearms are young adult males, a demographic profile that differs significantly from the full sample. Three of these males show evidence of perimortem trauma in addition to forearm amputation. Drilled and polished human radii and ulnae were recovered from the CA-SCL-674 cemetery in archaeological contexts separate from burials with missing forearms. A warfare-related trophy-taking practice is strongly suggested by these bioarchaeological data. Based on these data, it seems likely that 20% (N = 10) or more of the adult males (N = 59) in this population were victims of violence. Evidence of perimortem violence was much less common among women, with only about 2% (N = 2) of adult females (N = 86) subjected to trophy-taking. Examination of museum collections produced further evidence for perimortem forearm amputation among the Native American inhabitants of this area during the transition between the Early and Middle periods. The emergence of more hierarchical social systems during this period may have fostered warfare-related trophy-taking as a symbolic tool for enhancing the power and prestige of individuals within competing social groups. PMID:15693027

  7. Basalt Pb isotope analysis and the prehistoric settlement of Polynesia.

    PubMed

    Weisler, M I; Woodhead, J D

    1995-03-14

    The prehistoric settlement of the Pacific Ocean has intrigued scholars and stimulated anthropological debate for the past two centuries. Colonized over a few millennia during the mid to late Holocene, the islands of the Pacific--displaying a wide diversity of geological and biotic variability--provided the stage for endless "natural experiments" in human adaptation. Crucial to understanding the evolution and transformation of island societies is documenting the relative degree of interisland contacts after island colonization. In the western Pacific, ideal materials for archaeologically documenting interisland contact--obsidian, pottery, and shell ornaments--are absent or of limited geographic distribution in Polynesia. Consequently, archaeologists have relied increasingly on fine-grained basalt artifacts as a means for documenting colonization routes and subsequent interisland contacts. Routinely used x-ray fluorescence characterization of oceanic island basalt has some problems for discriminating source rocks and artifacts in provenance studies. The variation in trace and major element abundances is largely controlled by near-surface magma-chamber processes and is broadly similar between most oceanic islands. We demonstrate that Pb isotope analysis accurately discriminates rock source and is an excellent technique for charting the scale, frequency, and temporal span of imported fine-grained basalt artifacts found throughout Polynesia. The technique adds another tool for addressing evolutionary models of interaction, isolation, and cultural divergence in the eastern Pacific. PMID:7892194

  8. Volcanic tsunamis and prehistoric cultural transitions in Cook Inlet, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beget, J.; Gardner, C.; Davis, K.

    2008-01-01

    The 1883 eruption of Augustine Volcano produced a tsunami when a debris avalanche traveled into the waters of Cook Inlet. Older debris avalanches and coeval paleotsunami deposits from sites around Cook Inlet record several older volcanic tsunamis. A debris avalanche into the sea on the west side of Augustine Island ca. 450??years ago produced a wave that affected areas 17??m above high tide on Augustine Island. A large volcanic tsunami was generated by a debris avalanche on the east side of Augustine Island ca. 1600??yr BP, and affected areas more than 7??m above high tide at distances of 80??km from the volcano on the Kenai Peninsula. A tsunami deposit dated to ca. 3600??yr BP is tentatively correlated with a southward directed collapse of the summit of Redoubt Volcano, although little is known about the magnitude of the tsunami. The 1600??yr BP tsunami from Augustine Volcano occurred about the same time as the collapse of the well-developed Kachemak culture in the southern Cook Inlet area, suggesting a link between volcanic tsunamis and prehistoric cultural changes in this region of Alaska. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

  9. Transportation, integration, facilitation: Prehistoric trail networks of the Western Papagueria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Devin Alan

    This project used many sources of remotely sensed data, digital image analysis methods, advanced geospatial predictive modeling, and traditional archaeological survey to locate, document, contextualize, and interpret over one hundred prehistoric trails and associated networks in the Western Papagueria region of the North American Southwest in order to gain insight into how several landscapes within the region were used in the past. While a traditional culture history of the region suggests that the landscapes would have collectively been used primarily as a corridor for the transportation of exotic materials such as marine shell and salt from the Gulf of California to the Phoenix Basin and other parts of the Southwest, research has shown that the landscapes cannot be treated as a functional monolith. They exhibit a high degree of sub-regional variation motivated by strong local intra-community ties and sacred/ritual concerns in addition to energy-efficient, long distance travel motivated by exchange. This finding further strengthens current thinking related to the settlement of and regional interactions within the Western Papagueria during prehistory, one that continues to highlight its importance as a trade and transportation corridor, but also supports the idea of an indigenous semi-sedentary population that was focused inwards on fulfilling its own unique set of social, economic, and ideological needs.

  10. Palaeotsunamis and their significance for prehistoric coastal communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goff, J. R.

    2011-12-01

    The damage caused by large tsunamis to human populations at the coast has been all too evident over the past few years. However, while we have seen the immediate after-effects of such events, we are less familiar with the longer term changes associated with them. Using prehistoric New Zealand as a case study, the talk first addresses the wider geological context associated with a tsunami - what caused it and what were the consequences for the physical environment? Prehistoric Maori lived predominantly in coastal settlements, particularly during their early settlement period. They had far ranging canoe trade routes and made widespread use of intertidal and coastal resources. As such it is possible to determine much of the ecological and societal ramifications of a 15th century tsunami inundation. The 15th century tsunami is recorded in numerous purakau or oral recordings. These form part of Maori Traditional Environmental Knowledge (TEK), but the event can also be identified through archaeological, geological and palaeo-ecological indicators. One of several purakau from the 15th century refers to the "Coming of the Sand". This centres on a place called Potiki-taua, where Potiki and his group settled. Mango-huruhuru, the old priest, built a large house on low land near the sea while Potiki-roa and his wife put theirs on higher ground further inland. Mango-huruhuru's house had a rocky beach in front of it that was unsuitable for landing canoes and so he decided to use his powers to bring sand from Hawaiki. After sunset he sat on his roof and recited a karakia (prayer/chant). On conclusion a dark cloud with its burden of sand reached the shore. The women called out "A! The sea rises; the waves and the sand will overwhelm us". The people fell where they stood and were buried in the sand along with the house and cultivations and all the surrounding country, and with them, the old priest and his youngest daughter (memorialised and turned into a rock which stands there

  11. Characterising prehistoric lowland environments using local pollen assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, A. G.

    1999-10-01

    This paper discusses the archaeological value of small pollen sites which reflect patchy local vegetation conditions typical of prehistoric floodplains. It is argued that both floristics and vegetation structure can only reliably be gained from macrofossil analysis and/or local pollen assemblages where the problem of the mixing of pollen from different communities is minimised and site to site differences are maximised. This exploits the pollen recruitment characteristics of small sites and differences between the pollen transport curves between canopy and understorey/ground cover species, many of which are known to be reliable indicators of vegetation structure and management. The data used to illustrate this approach are taken from six archaeological and environmental sites in the Soar and Nene valleys. The data available at present suggests small-scale temporary clearances of the Neolithic floodplains with regeneration. It is not until the Bronze Age that larger scale deforestation occurs and it appears to be associated with ritual use of the floodplain. By the middle-late Iron Age the floodplains are almost totally deforested and used for grazing. A common feature of the sites is an expansion of Pteridium (bracken) as clearance occurs and its use as bedding in the Iron Age is indicated by macrofossil finds at one site. Given the small scale of the Neolithic clearances (however caused), including permanent changes to the herb curves it is suggested that this may reflect a forest farming (grazing) system. The coincidence of the landscape-scale deforestation of the floodplain and the construction of funery monuments raises the question as to whether the deforestation was primarily a ritualization of the landscape, agriculturally driven, or both.

  12. Evidence of size-selective evolution in the fighting conch from prehistoric subsistence harvesting.

    PubMed

    O'Dea, Aaron; Shaffer, Marian Lynne; Doughty, Douglas R; Wake, Thomas A; Rodriguez, Felix A

    2014-05-01

    Intensive size-selective harvesting can drive evolution of sexual maturity at smaller body size. Conversely, prehistoric, low-intensity subsistence harvesting is not considered an effective agent of size-selective evolution. Uniting archaeological, palaeontological and contemporary material, we show that size at sexual maturity in the edible conch Strombus pugilis declined significantly from pre-human (approx. 7 ka) to prehistoric times (approx. 1 ka) and again to the present day. Size at maturity also fell from early- to late-prehistoric periods, synchronous with an increase in harvesting intensity as other resources became depleted. A consequence of declining size at maturity is that early prehistoric harvesters would have received two-thirds more meat per conch than contemporary harvesters. After exploring the potential effects of selection biases, demographic shifts, environmental change and habitat alteration, these observations collectively implicate prehistoric subsistence harvesting as an agent of size-selective evolution with long-term detrimental consequences. We observe that contemporary populations that are protected from harvesting are slightly larger at maturity, suggesting that halting or even reversing thousands of years of size-selective evolution may be possible. PMID:24648229

  13. Evidence of size-selective evolution in the fighting conch from prehistoric subsistence harvesting

    PubMed Central

    O'Dea, Aaron; Shaffer, Marian Lynne; Doughty, Douglas R.; Wake, Thomas A.; Rodriguez, Felix A.

    2014-01-01

    Intensive size-selective harvesting can drive evolution of sexual maturity at smaller body size. Conversely, prehistoric, low-intensity subsistence harvesting is not considered an effective agent of size-selective evolution. Uniting archaeological, palaeontological and contemporary material, we show that size at sexual maturity in the edible conch Strombus pugilis declined significantly from pre-human (approx. 7 ka) to prehistoric times (approx. 1 ka) and again to the present day. Size at maturity also fell from early- to late-prehistoric periods, synchronous with an increase in harvesting intensity as other resources became depleted. A consequence of declining size at maturity is that early prehistoric harvesters would have received two-thirds more meat per conch than contemporary harvesters. After exploring the potential effects of selection biases, demographic shifts, environmental change and habitat alteration, these observations collectively implicate prehistoric subsistence harvesting as an agent of size-selective evolution with long-term detrimental consequences. We observe that contemporary populations that are protected from harvesting are slightly larger at maturity, suggesting that halting or even reversing thousands of years of size-selective evolution may be possible. PMID:24648229

  14. Crafting a new science: defining paleoanthropology and its relationship to prehistoric archaeology, 1860-1890.

    PubMed

    Goodrum, Matthew R

    2014-12-01

    Paleoanthropology emerged as a science during the late nineteenth century. The discovery of prehistoric artifacts in Pleistocene deposits soon led to the excavation of fossilized human bones. The archaeologists and geologists who unearthed them were primarily concerned with determining whether the human fossils and the artifacts found with them actually dated from the Pleistocene, thus offering evidence for the geological antiquity of humans. Prehistoric archaeologists reconstructed the way of life of prehistoric peoples through the artifacts found, while anthropologists examined the human fossils. They wanted primarily to identify the races of prehistoric humans. It was within this context that French anthropologists began to use the term "paléo-anthropologie" to refer to a new scientific discipline devoted to the study of prehistoric human races and human paleontology. This essay examines how paleoanthropology was defined as a science during the 1870s and 1880s. It shows that a tension existed between the objectives and methods of archaeologists and anthropologists. Paul Topinard criticized archaeologists and argued that a new type of scientist; the paleoanthropologist trained in anatomy or zoology, was needed to study human fossils properly. PMID:25665380

  15. Radiocarbon-dating and ancient DNA reveal rapid replacement of extinct prehistoric penguins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Perry, George L. W.; Smith, Ian W. G.; Scofield, R. Paul; Tennyson, Alan J. D.; Matisoo-Smith, Elizabeth A.; Boessenkool, Sanne; Austin, Jeremy J.; Waters, Jonathan M.

    2015-03-01

    Prehistoric faunal extinctions dramatically reshaped biological assemblages around the world. However, the timing of such biotic shifts is often obscured by the fragmentary nature and limited temporal resolution of fossil records. We use radiocarbon-dating and ancient-DNA analysis of prehistoric (ca A.D. 1450-1834) Megadyptes penguin specimens to assess the time-frame of biological turnover in coastal New Zealand following human settlement. These data suggest that the final extirpation of the endemic Megadyptes waitaha, and subsequent replacement by the previously sub-Antarctic-limited Megadyptes antipodes, likely occurred within a narrow temporal window (e.g. a century or less). This transition represents one of the most rapid prehistoric faunal turnover events documented, and is likely linked to human demographic and cultural transitions during the 15th Century. Our results suggest that anthropogenic forces can trigger rapid biogeographic shifts.

  16. Dynamic Monitoring Reveals Motor Task Characteristics in Prehistoric Technical Gestures

    PubMed Central

    Pfleging, Johannes; Stücheli, Marius; Iovita, Radu; Buchli, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    . These results demonstrate that different gestures used in ‘common’ prehistoric tasks can be distinguished quantitatively based on their dynamic parameters. Future research needs to assess our ability to reconstruct these parameters from observed use-wear patterns. PMID:26284785

  17. Dynamic Monitoring Reveals Motor Task Characteristics in Prehistoric Technical Gestures.

    PubMed

    Pfleging, Johannes; Stücheli, Marius; Iovita, Radu; Buchli, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    . These results demonstrate that different gestures used in 'common' prehistoric tasks can be distinguished quantitatively based on their dynamic parameters. Future research needs to assess our ability to reconstruct these parameters from observed use-wear patterns. PMID:26284785

  18. Assessing the prehistoric shoreline changes of the Mekong delta, Vietnam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, T.; Saito, Y.; Nguyen, V. L.; Ta, T. K. O.; Bateman, M. D.; Sato, A.

    2014-12-01

    The environment and sustainability of deltaic lowlands have been threatened by combined impacts of climate changes, human activities and land subsidence. The Mekong delta has also been disturbed by the construction of upstream river dams and fluvial dredging, and we have a limited knowledge of its morphodynamics response to fluctuations in Asian monsoons that governs the coastal sediment dynamics. In order to understand the recent shoreline changes of the Mekong delta, we attempted to reconstruct the prehistoric changes based on landform records and their chronology. Thirteen optically-stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages of chenier, a record of past shoreline, were obtained from the Soc Trang coastal plain, southwestern part of the delta. The OSL ages are younger than 2770 yr BP, and become younger seawards concordantly with the coastal progradation that cheniers document. The progradation rate has changed drastically; it was 8 m/yr, 31 m/yr, and 5 m/yr during periods of 2770-1370 yr BP, 1370-590 yr BP, and 590 yr BP to present, respectively. The rapid progradation during 1370-590 yr BP did not form cheniers, resulting in an extensive inter-ridge swale. Cheniers generally form in relations to erosion of muddy coast. The chenier distribution and drastic changes in progradation rate were resulted from fluctuations in relative importance of longshore sediment removal to seaward sediment accretion. Beach ridges in the Tra Vinh coastal plain, northeast of the Soc Trang, also indicate similar and synchronous fluctuations in the longshore sediment transport. The dominance of the longshore sediment transport after 590 yr BP is thought caused by the strengthened winter monsoon that drives the southwestward longshore current, which is possibly related to the beginning of the Little Ice Age. Many cheniers occur along the present shoreline in relation to the low progradation rate, and possibly some sporadic erosion after 590 yr BP. Some evidences have suggested that the winter

  19. The hydrology of prehistoric farming systems in a central Arizona ecotone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gumerman, G. J.; Hanson, J. A.; Brew, D.; Tomoff, K.; Weed, C. S.

    1975-01-01

    The prehistoric land use and water management in the semi-arid Southwest was examined. Remote sensing data, geology, hydrology and biology are discussed along with an evaluation of remote sensing contributions, recommendations for applications, and proposed future remote sensing studies.

  20. Uranium-series dating of bone from the Isimila prehistoric site, Tanzania

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howell, F.C.; Cole, G.H.; Kleindienst, M.R.; Szabo, B. J.; Oakley, K.P.

    1972-01-01

    EXCAVATIONS in 1957 and 1958 at the Isimila prehistoric site, in Tanzania1, sampled Acheulian occurrences in horizons at various levels in the Isimila Beds which are approximately 18 m thick. No significant breaks were observed in the sedimentary sequence, although there are numerous local hiatuses. ?? 1972 Nature Publishing Group.

  1. Hype or Reality: Should Patients with Metabolic Syndrome-related NAFLD be on the Hunter-Gatherer (Paleo) Diet to Decrease Morbidity?

    PubMed

    Tarantino, Giovanni; Citro, Vincenzo; Finelli, Carmine

    2015-09-01

    The current Western diet figures centrally in the pathogenesis of several chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and the emerging major health problem nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, all of them negatively impacting on life expectancy. This type of diet is represented by a high calorie uptake, high glycemic load, high fat and meat intake, as well as increased consumption of fructose. On the contrary, a simplified way of eating healthily by excluding highly-processed foods, is presumed to be the Paleolithic diet (a diet based on vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meat, organ meats) which improves insulin resistance, ameliorates dyslipidemia, reduces hypertension and may reduce the risk of age-related diseases. The diet is the foundation of the treatment of obesity- and type 2 diabetes-related nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and a diet similar to those of pre-agricultural societies may be an effective option. To lend sufficient credence to this type of diet, well-designed studies are needed. PMID:26405708

  2. Established dietary estimates of net acid production do not predict measured net acid excretion in patients with Type 2 diabetes on Paleolithic-Hunter-Gatherer-type diets

    PubMed Central

    Frassetto, Lynda A; Shi, Lijie; Schloetter, Monique; Sebastian, Anthony; Remer, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Background Formulas developed to estimate diet-dependent net acid excretion (NAE) generally agree with measured values for typical Western diets. Whether they can also appropriately predict NAE for "Paleolithic-type" (Paleo) diets – which contain very high amounts of fruits and vegetables (F&V) and concurrent high amounts of protein is unknown. Here we compare measured NAEs with established NAE-estimates in subjects with Type 2 diabetes (T2D). Methods Thirteen subjects with well controlled T2D were randomized to either a Paleo or American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet for 14 days. 24-hour urine collections were performed at baseline and end of the diet period, and analyzed for titratable acid, bicarbonate, and ammonium to calculate measured NAE. Three formulas for estimating NAE from dietary intake were used; two (NAE_diet R or L) that include dietary mineral intake and sulfate- and organic acid (OA) production, and one that is empirically-derived (NAE_diet F) only considering potassium and protein intake. Results Measured NAE on the Paleo diet was significantly lower than on the ADA diet (+31±22 vs. 112±52 mEq/day, p=0.002). Although all formula estimates showed similar and reasonable correlations (r=0.52–0.76) with measured NAE, each one underestimated measured values. The formula with the best correlation did not contain an estimate of dietary organic acid production. Conclusions Paleo diets are lower in NAE than typical Western diets. However, commonly used formulas clearly underestimate NAE, especially for diets with very high F&V (as the Paleo diet), and in subjects with T2D. This may be due to an inappropriate estimation of proton loads stemming from OAs, underlining the necessity for improved measures of OA-related proton sources. PMID:23859996

  3. The altitudinal mobility of wild sheep at the Epigravettian site of Kalavan 1 (Lesser Caucasus, Armenia): Evidence from a sequential isotopic analysis in tooth enamel.

    PubMed

    Tornero, Carlos; Balasse, Marie; Bălăşescu, Adrian; Chataigner, Christine; Gasparyan, Boris; Montoya, Cyril

    2016-08-01

    Kalavan 1 is an Epigravettian hunting campsite in the Aregunyats mountain chain in northeastern Armenia (Lesser Caucasus). The site lies at an elevation of 1640 m in a bottleneck that controls the descent into the Barepat Valley from the alpine meadows above. The lithic and faunal assemblages show evidence of the production of hunting weapons, the hunting and targeting of wild sheep (Ovis orientalis), and the constitution of animal product reserves. A seasonal occupation of the site was proposed within a model of occupation by Epigravettian hunter-gatherers that involved a search for obsidian resources in high altitude sources from the spring to the summer and settling at Kalavan 1 at the end of summer or during autumn to coincide with the migration of wild herds from the alpine meadows to the valley. A key parameter of this model is wild sheep ethology, with a specifically seasonal vertical mobility, based on observations from contemporary mouflon populations from the surrounding areas. In this study, the vertical mobility of Paleolithic wild sheep was directly investigated through sequential isotope analysis (δ(18)O, δ(13)C) in teeth. A marked seasonality of birth is suggested that reflects a physiological adaptation to the strong environmental constraints of this mountainous region. Most importantly, a recurrent altitudinal mobility was demonstrated on a seasonal basis, which confirms that wild sheep migrated from lowland areas that they occupied in the winter and then moved to higher altitude meadows during the summer. Last, low inter-individual variability in the stable isotope sequences favors a hypothesis of accumulation for these faunal remains over a short time period. Overall, this new dataset strengthens the previous interpretations for Kalavan 1 and contributes to an understanding of the pattern of occupation of mountain territories by Epigravettian communities. PMID:27457543

  4. Late Quaternary environments and prehistoric occupation in the lower White Nile valley, central Sudan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Martin A. J.; Usai, Donatella; Salvatori, Sandro; Williams, Frances M.; Zerboni, Andrea; Maritan, Lara; Linseele, Veerle

    2015-12-01

    Despite the major contributions provided over fifty years ago by A.J. Arkell and J.D. Tothill to our understanding of late Quaternary environments and prehistoric occupation near the confluence of the Blue and White Nile in central Sudan, three key questions have remained unresolved since then. (a) Was the decline in Nile flood levels from early Holocene times onwards caused by a reduction in Nile discharge, or by channel incision, or both? (b) Was the regional climate wetter during times of high Nile floods and drier during times of low Nile floods? (c) Given the high degree of disturbance of Mesolithic and later prehistoric sites, is it possible to identify primary-context, stratified and undisturbed occupation? Drawing upon dated evidence from three sites to the east of and three to the west of the lower White Nile, we provide a qualified answer to the first question and documented affirmative answers to the second and third questions.

  5. Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science - Tampa Bay Study - Historical and Prehistorical Record of Tampa Bay Environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edgar, Terry

    2005-01-01

    To study how Tampa Bay, Florida, has changed over time, the prehistorical conditions and natural variations in the bay environment are being evaluated. These variations can be tracked by examining the sediments that have accumulated in and around the bay. The prehistorical record, which pre-dates settlers' arrival in the Tampa Bay area around 1850, provides a baseline with which to compare and evaluate the magnitude and effects of sea-level, climate, biological, geochemical, and man-made changes. These data also are valuable for planning and conducting projects aimed at restoring wetlands and other estuarine habitats to their original state. In addition, the data provide a basis for judging efforts to improve the health of the bay.

  6. Evidence of strong earthquake shaking in the lower wabash valley from prehistoric liquefaction features

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Obermeier, S.F.; Bleuer, N.R.; Munson, C.A.; Munson, P.J.; Martin, W.S.; Mcwilliams, K.M.; Tabaczynski, D.A.; Odum, J.K.; Rubin, M.; Eggert, D.L.

    1991-01-01

    Earthquake-induced liquefaction features in Holocene sediments provide evidence of strong prehistoric shaking, magnitude mb 6.2 to 6.7, in the Wabash Valley bordering Indiana and Illinois. The source of the one or more earthquakes responsible was almost certainly in or near the Wabash Valley. The largest event is interpreted to have occurred between 7500 and 1500 years ago on the basis of archeological, pedological, and stratigraphic relations.

  7. Impact of prehistoric cooking practices on paleoenvironmental proxies in shell midden constituents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Peter; Staudigel, Philip; Murray, Sean T.; Westphal, Hildegard; Swart, Peter K.

    2016-04-01

    Paleoenvironmental proxy records such as oxygen isotopes of calcareous skeletal structures like fish otoliths or mollusk shells provide highest-resolution information about environmental conditions experienced by the organism. Accumulations of such skeletal structures by ancient coastal populations in so called "shell midden" deposits provide us with sub-seasonally resolved paleoclimate records covering time spans up to several millennia. Given their high temporal resolution, these deposits are increasingly used for paleoclimate reconstructions and complement our understanding of ancient climate changes. However, gathered as comestibles, most of these skeletal remains were subject to prehistoric cooking methods prior to deposition. The associated alteration of the chemical proxy signatures as well as the subsequent error for paleoenvironmental reconstructions remained almost entirely neglected so far. Here, we present clumped isotope, conventional oxygen and carbon isotopes as well as element:Ca ratios measured in modern bivalve shells after exposing them to different prehistoric cooking methods. Our data show that most cooking methods considerably alter commonly used paleoclimate proxy systems which can lead to substantial misinterpretations of ancient climate conditions. Since the magnitude of chemical alteration is not distinguishable from natural temperature variability in most coastal settings, the alteration of shell midden constituents by prehistoric cooking remains likely unnoticed in most cases. Thus, depending on the cooking method, pre-depositional heating might have introduced considerable errors into previous paleoclimate studies. However, our data also show that clumped isotope thermometry represents a suitable diagnostic tool to detect such pre-depositional cooking events and also allows differentiating between the most commonly applied prehistoric cooking methods.

  8. Prehistoric blood residues: detection on tool surfaces and identification of species of origin.

    PubMed

    Loy, T H

    1983-06-17

    Blood residues from several animal species have been discovered on the surfaces of chert, basalt, and obsidian prehistoric tools (1000 to 6000 years old) from open-air sites along the western coast and in the northern boreal forest of Canada. A screening test has been developed to detect residual blood. Hemoglobin has been crystallized from the residues, and the species of origin determined. PMID:17769366

  9. Y Chromosome analysis of prehistoric human populations in the West Liao River Valley, Northeast China

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The West Liao River valley in Northeast China is an ecologically diverse region, populated in prehistory by human populations with a wide range of cultures and modes of subsistence. To help understand the human evolutionary history of this region, we performed Y chromosome analyses on ancient human remains from archaeological sites ranging in age from 6500 to 2700 BP. Results 47 of the 70 individuals provided reproducible results. They were assigned into five different Y sub-haplogroups using diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms, namely N1 (xN1a, N1c), N1c, C/C3e, O3a (O3a3) and O3a3c. We also used 17 Y short tandem repeat loci in the non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome. There appears to be significant genetic differences between populations of the West Liao River valley and adjacent cultural complexes in the prehistoric period, and these prehistoric populations were shown to carry similar haplotypes as present-day Northeast Asians, but at markedly different frequencies. Conclusion Our results suggest that the prehistoric cultural transitions were associated with immigration from the Yellow River valley and the northern steppe into the West Liao River valley. They reveal the temporal continuity of Y chromosome lineages in populations of the West Liao River valley over 5000 years, with a concurrent increase in lineage diversity caused by an influx of immigrants from other populations. PMID:24079706

  10. Prehistoric contacts over the Straits of Gibraltar indicated by genetic analysis of Iberian Bronze Age cattle

    PubMed Central

    Anderung, Cecilia; Bouwman, Abigail; Persson, Per; Carretero, José Miguel; Ortega, Ana Isabel; Elburg, Rengert; Smith, Colin; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Ellegren, Hans; Götherström, Anders

    2005-01-01

    The geographic situation of the Iberian Peninsula makes it a natural link between Europe and North Africa. However, it is a matter of debate to what extent African influences via the Straits Gibraltar have affected Iberia's prehistoric development. Because early African pastoralist communities were dedicated to cattle breeding, a possible means to detect prehistoric African–Iberian contacts might be to analyze the origin of cattle breeds on the Iberian Peninsula. Some contemporary Iberian cattle breeds show a mtDNA haplotype, T1, that is characteristic to African breeds, generally explained as being the result of the Muslim expansion of the 8th century A.D., and of modern imports. To test a possible earlier African influence, we analyzed mtDNA of Bronze Age cattle from the Portalón cave at the Atapuerca site in northern Spain. Although the majority of samples showed the haplotype T3 that dominates among European breeds of today, the T1 haplotype was found in one specimen radiocarbon dated 1800 calibrated years B.C. Accepting T1 as being of African origin, this result indicates prehistoric African–Iberian contacts and lends support to archaeological finds linking early African and Iberian cultures. We also found a wild ox haplotype in the Iberian Bronze Age sample, reflecting local hybridization or backcrossing or that aurochs were hunted by these farming cultures. PMID:15941827

  11. Evidence for large prehistoric earthquakes in the northern New Madrid Seismic Zone, central United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Li, Y.; Schweig, E.S.; Tuttle, M.P.; Ellis, M.A.

    1998-01-01

    We surveyed the area north of New Madris, Missouri, for prehistoric liquefaction deposits and uncovered two new sites with evidence of pre-1811 earthquakes. At one site, located about 20 km northeast of New Madrid, Missouri, radiocarbon dating indicates that an upper sand blow was probably deposited after A.D. 1510 and a lower sand blow was deposited prior to A.D. 1040. A sand blow at another site about 45 km northeast of New Madrid, Missouri, is dated as likely being deposited between A.D.55 and A.D. 1620 and represents the northernmost recognized expression of prehistoric liquefaction likely related to the New Madrid seismic zone. This study, taken together with other data, supports the occurrence of at least two earthquakes strong enough to indcue liquefaction or faulting before A.D. 1811, and after A.D. 400. One earthquake probably occurred around AD 900 and a second earthquake occurred around A.D. 1350. The data are not yet sufficient to estimate the magnitudes of the causative earthquakes for these liquefaction deposits although we conclude that all of the earthquakes are at least moment magnitude M ~6.8, the size of the 1895 Charleston, Missouri, earthquake. A more rigorous estimate of the number and sizes of prehistoric earthquakes in the New Madrid sesmic zone awaits evaluation of additional sites.

  12. Mollusk collecting and environmental change during the Prehistoric Period in the Mariana Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amesbury, J. R.

    2007-12-01

    Archaeological research in the Mariana Islands has revealed changes in mollusk collecting during the Prehistoric Period (approximately 1500 BC to AD 1521). The earliest people at Tumon Bay, Guam and Chalan Piao, Saipan collected mostly bivalves, especially the arc clam Anadara antiquata. After several hundred years, they no longer collected A. antiquata, but collected smaller bivalves instead. By AD 1000, they collected mostly gastropods, primarily the coral reef species Strombus gibberulus gibbosus. One possible explanation is that the people preferred the large arc clam but overharvested it until they were forced to eat the smaller bivalves and then the snails. However, recent evidence in the form of mangrove wood and mangrove pollen supports another explanation, one of non-anthropogenic environmental change. In this case, the relative sea-level decline, which took place in the Marianas within the last 4,000 years, caused the demise of mangrove habitats and of the arc clam at Tumon Bay, Guam and Chalan Piao, Saipan. As mangrove habitats were diminished by sea-level decline, collecting effort shifted to coral reefs, and S. gibberulus gibbosus was harvested throughout the remainder of the Prehistoric Period and into the Historic Period. Southern Guam is the only area in the Marianas in which A. antiquata increased in abundance during the Prehistoric Period. The same types of evidence, mangrove wood and mangrove pollen, indicate that, in contrast to the situation at Tumon Bay and Chalan Piao, mangroves increased in abundance in southern Guam.

  13. Identifying pre-Historic Land use Through Stable Isotope and Geomorphic Analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, D. M.; Springer, G. S.; Rowe, H. D.

    2006-12-01

    The effects of prehistoric and modern land use may be recorded in cave stalagmites and clastic sediments as variations in δ13C, which describe the relative influence of C3 versus C4 plants. Mass spectrometry of macerated organic material in the cave sediments display fluctuations in δ13C representing changes in floral composition at the time of deposition. We report unexplained stable isotope excursions (δ13C) in stalagmites of a West Virginia cave that are temporally associated (~ 1850 BP) with Native American presence in the study area. We use spatially explicit, but geographically separated datasets of δ13C in clastic cave sediments to distinguish between pre-European anthropogenic effects, chemical disequilibria, or alternate terrestrial explanations for spatially explicit variations of δ13C. We use a new technique whereby known, independent climate-driven δ13C timelines are subtracted from histories suspected of containing land use signals to uncover anomalies perhaps attributable to prehistoric land use. Hydrologic and geomorphic responses are represented by changes in sediment characteristics and subtle grain size variations. The residual anomalies represent pre-European land use or undiscovered terrestrial processes operating within the watershed. Studies of spatial and temporal variations of δ13C provide an important new tool for our understanding of interactions between humans and ecosystems. Correlating prehistoric land use with subsequent recovery offers the rare opportunity to project ecosystem recovery from modern disturbances.

  14. Remote sensing and the assessment of prehistoric productivity in cultivation practices of Rapa Nui, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalchik, Jacob

    While there is a tradition that the population of Rapa Nui was large during prehistory, there is remarkably little evidence used to support to these claims. This study represents an empirically-based estimate of pre-contact agricultural productivity to create a sound evaluation of Rapa Nui's prehistoric population. In this study, I map the spatial distributions of lithic mulching using satellite imagery, RPV aerial photography, in situ spectral reflectance analyses, and supervised and sub-pixel image classification methods. Using the results of these analyses, I estimate the total mapped lithic mulch area and combine this estimate with previously documented distributions of manavai. Together these analyses provide an estimate of the extent of these two important cultivation practices and an upper-limit magnitude of prehistoric food production. The spatial data, when evaluated in conjunction with appropriate agricultural cultivation statistic proxies, are then used to conservatively quantify the island's carrying capacity. In my final analysis, I argue that the prehistoric productivity was insufficient to support the large populations that have been suggested.

  15. Prehistoric inter-archipelago trading of Polynesian tree snails leaves a conservation legacy.

    PubMed

    Lee, Taehwan; Burch, John B; Coote, Trevor; Fontaine, Benoît; Gargominy, Olivier; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Foighil, Diarmaid O

    2007-11-22

    Inter-archipelago exchange networks were an important aspect of prehistoric Polynesian societies. We report here a novel genetic characterization of a prehistoric exchange network involving an endemic Pacific island tree snail, Partula hyalina. It occurs in the Society (Tahiti only), Austral and Southern Cook Islands. Our genetic data, based on museum, captive and wild-caught samples, establish Tahiti as the source island. The source lineage is polymorphic in shell coloration and contains a second nominal species, the dark-shelled Partula clara, in addition to the white-shelled P. hyalina. Prehistoric inter-island introductions were non-random: they involved white-shelled snails only and were exclusively inter-archipelago in scope. Partulid shells were commonly used in regional Polynesian jewellery, and we propose that the white-shelled P. hyalina, originally restricted to Tahiti, had aesthetic value throughout these archipelagoes. Demand within the Society Islands could be best met by trading dead shells, but a low rate of inter-archipelago exchange may have prompted the establishment of multiple founder populations in the Australs and Southern Cooks. The alien carnivorous land snail Euglandina rosea has recently devastated populations of all 61 endemic species of Society Island partulid snails. Southern Cooks and Australs P. hyalina now represent the only unscathed wild populations remaining of this once spectacular land snail radiation. PMID:17848368

  16. Prehistoric inter-archipelago trading of Polynesian tree snails leaves a conservation legacy

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Taehwan; Burch, John B; Coote, Trevor; Fontaine, Benoît; Gargominy, Olivier; Pearce-Kelly, Paul; Foighil, Diarmaid Ó

    2007-01-01

    Inter-archipelago exchange networks were an important aspect of prehistoric Polynesian societies. We report here a novel genetic characterization of a prehistoric exchange network involving an endemic Pacific island tree snail, Partula hyalina. It occurs in the Society (Tahiti only), Austral and Southern Cook Islands. Our genetic data, based on museum, captive and wild-caught samples, establish Tahiti as the source island. The source lineage is polymorphic in shell coloration and contains a second nominal species, the dark-shelled Partula clara, in addition to the white-shelled P. hyalina. Prehistoric inter-island introductions were non-random: they involved white-shelled snails only and were exclusively inter-archipelago in scope. Partulid shells were commonly used in regional Polynesian jewellery, and we propose that the white-shelled P. hyalina, originally restricted to Tahiti, had aesthetic value throughout these archipelagoes. Demand within the Society Islands could be best met by trading dead shells, but a low rate of inter-archipelago exchange may have prompted the establishment of multiple founder populations in the Australs and Southern Cooks. The alien carnivorous land snail Euglandina rosea has recently devastated populations of all 61 endemic species of Society Island partulid snails. Southern Cooks and Australs P. hyalina now represent the only unscathed wild populations remaining of this once spectacular land snail radiation. PMID:17848368

  17. Cyclic Geochemical Variation in Prehistoric and Historic Lavas, Sakura-jima, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, A.; Harpp, K. S.; Forbes, J.; Nagle, A.

    2014-12-01

    Sakura-jima volcano, on Kyushu Island, is one of Japan's most active volcanic centers. It has been in an eruptive phase since 1955, primarily in the Vulcanian style. Prior to its current activity, Sakura-jima had 11 prehistoric and 4 historic lava-producing events, after its initiation 12-13,000 years ago (Moriwaki, 1992). We present geochemical analyses of a suite of lavas collected from all the mapped historic eruptions and a representative suite of pre-historic eruptions. Lavas vary from andesite to dacite (60.6-66.7 wt.% SiO2), with typical phenocryst assemblages of 20% plagioclase, 5% pyroxenes, and <5% magnetite. Major and trace element studies of historic eruptions indicate that Sakura-jima lavas have become steadily more mafic since 1475 (Yanagi et al., 1991; Arakawa et al., 1998). Consideration of prehistoric lavas, however, suggests that the variations are cyclic, shifting from more felsic to more mafic compositions at least twice during this period of activity. Previous researchers hypothesized a cumulate plug in the magma chamber that gradually sinks, allowing basaltic magma to ascend into a shallower chamber where it fractionates (Yanagi et al., 1991). Alternatively, Arakawa et al. (1998) propose a model in which magmas from two chambers, one basaltic and one dacitic, are injected into a third, shallower chamber where they mix. To test these models, we performed Sr and Pb isotopic analysis on a subset of prehistoric and historic Sakura-jima lavas. The 87Sr/86Sr, 206Pb/204Pb, and 207Pb/204Pb ratios decrease steadily from the oldest prehistoric lavas to the youngest historic lavas, in direct contrast to the cyclic variations of the major and trace elements. None of the isotopic ratios correlate strongly with major element compositions. Thus it appears that the simple AFC mechanisms to which the major and trace element variations were originally attributed are not the only process responsible for the cyclic behavior. One of the simplest alternative

  18. Prehistoric land use in southern Loess Plateau reconstructed from archeological data by a new developed model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Y.; Wu, H.; Guo, Z.

    2014-12-01

    Estimation of land use during the Holocene is crucial to understand impacts of human activity on climate change in preindustrial period. Until now it is still a key issue to reconstruct amount and spatial distribution of prehistoric land use due to lack of data. Most reconstructions are simply extrapolations of population, cleared land amount per person and land suitability for agriculture. In this study, a new quantitative prehistoric land use model (PLUM) is developed based on semi-quantitative predictive models of archeological sites. The PLUM is driven by environmental and social parameters of archeological sites, which are objective evidences of prehistoric human activity, and produces realistic patterns of land use. After successful validations of the model with modern observed data, the PLUM was applied to reconstruct land use from 8 to 4 ka B.P. in Yiluo and Wei valleys, southern Loess Plateau. Both of them are the most important agriculture origin centers in northern China. Results reveal that about 9% of land areas in both valleys have been used by human activity from 8 to 4 ka B.P., expanding from gentle slopes along the river to hinterlands of the valleys. The land cover was affected by increasing agricultural land use during the middle Holocene. The extensive spreads of land use since 7 ka B.P. in both valleys were driven by the combined impacts of population increase and agriculture development, which was further favored by wet and warm climate conditions during middle Holocene; while the decreasing rates of land use expansions after 5 ka B.P. were mainly induced by improved agriculture technology. With the scaling up of PLUM to larger regional or global levels by a greater use of archeological data, the impact of human land use on global change can be studied more accurately.

  19. Canine transposition in prehistoric Pakistan: Bronze Age and Iron Age case reports.

    PubMed

    Lukacs, J R

    1998-10-01

    This report documents two prehistoric cases of canine-first premolar transposition (Mx.C.P1) from the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. Recent discussion of the etiology of canine transposition and reports of high prevalence for the condition in modern India accentuate the significance of the ancient cases reported there. Case 1 is from the Iron Age site of Sarai Khola in northern Pakistan (1000 BC). The specimen, an adult female, 25 to 30 years of age at death, exhibits unilateral Mx.C.P1 transposition on the left side. The condition is associated with a barrel-shaped maxillary left third molar in an otherwise normal and healthy maxillary dental arch. Case 2 is from the Bronze Age urban site of Harappa (2500 BC), an important center of the Indus Valley Civilization. In this specimen, an adult female, transposition is bilateral, resulting in displacement of premolars and large diastemata between the maxillary lateral incisors and first premolars. Bilateral agenesis of maxillary third molars and rotation of maxillary and mandibular teeth occur with transposition in this specimen. In neither case are the lateral incisors reduced in size, peg-shaped, or congenitally absent. This report of Mx.C.P1 transposition in prehistoric times is significant because it provides historical documentation for the female predilection of the trait and establishes its co-occurrence with specific dental variants, such as agenesis, reduction, and rotation of teeth. PMID:9770107

  20. Prehistorical tropical cyclones inferred from washover deposits in the Gulf of Exmouth (W Australia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    May, Simon Matthias; Brill, Dominik; Leopold, Matthias; Callow, Nik; Engel, Max; Pint, Anna; Scheffers, Anja; Brückner, Helmut

    2015-04-01

    The NW Australian coast is impacted by 1-2 tropical cyclones (TCs) making landfall per year, and ten historical tsunamis are recorded since 1858. Notwithstanding, little is known about the geological imprint of both (pre)historical TCs and tsunamis in NW Australia in general. Past coastal flooding events may be inferred from geomorphic and sedimentary archives, i.e. in the form of particular landforms (beach ridges, washover fans), deposits (washover sediments in lagoons) or erosional features. Here we present new data on the sedimentology and chronostratigraphy of prehistorical washover events found in geological archives in the NW part of Western Australia. Along the W coast of the Exmouth Gulf, distinct lobate washover fans consist of shell debris layers, sand, coarse coral fragments and entire shells and exhibit delta-type sedimentation patterns. Using ground penetrating radar, unmanned aerial vehicle survey techniques as well as geomorphological and sedimentological investigations, multiple reactivation of the washover fans due to strong TCs is inferred from their complex pattern of accumulation and incision and a minimum of three palaeosols. Each of the palaeosols indicate one major depositional event and a subsequent period of geomorphological stability. Our study aims at (i) providing a detailed characterization of the washover fans' geomorphology and stratigraphical architecture; (ii) documenting the depositional processes involved in the formation of the fans; and (iii) presenting a consistent OSL-based chronostratigraphy spanning the last ~2000 a, showing how OSL can be a key in establishing late Holocene event chronologies.

  1. Farming in Prehistoric Europe: modelling the impact of the first agriculturists on the landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Beek, Rens; Feiken, Rik

    2013-04-01

    The meso-scale landscape dynamics model, CALEROS, has been developed to simulate the interactions between climate, soil production and erosion, vegetation and land use on geomorphological to human time scales in Mediterranean environments. In this study we re-evaluate the scenarios of Gregg (1988) to explore the options open to the first, Neolithic farmers in such an environment. Starting from a static model, we evaluate optimal farming strategies across a Mediterranean landscape gradient in and compare this to the outcome of Gregg's study for temperate Europe in order to reveal inter-regional and local differences and the sensitivity to the underlying assumptions. Subsequently, the impact of agriculture on the landscape is implemented and dynamically evaluated in terms of primary production and sediment yield. Thus, the stability of the first agricultural ecosystems is explored and the ultimate carrying capacity of the Neolithic landscape determined. Gregg, S.A. (1988): Foragers and Farmers: Population Interaction and Agricultural Expansion in Prehistoric Europe. In: Butzer & Freeman (Eds.), Prehistoric Archeology and Ecology Series. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 275.

  2. Archaeoseismological Study of Prehistoric Earthquakes in Anhui Province, China and Adjacent Areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, D.; Shen, X.; Gong, X.; Wu, W.; Hu, Z.; Zheng, H.; Chen, A.; Zhao, P.; Yang, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Damaging earthquakes on faults typically recur at intervals of centuries to millennia but the seismographs that record them have only been around for about hundred years. Complete records of earthquakes of Ms5 or above for Anhui Province of China and its adjacent areas began in 1336 and most previous records were lost. To reduce the hazard from earthquakes we need a longer record of them than can be provided from such instruments. Archaeoseismological evidence has the potential to determine earthquake activity over millennial time spans, especially when integrated with historical documents and geological evidence. In recent years, taking advantage of large-scale civil excavations, our research team including earthquake and archaeological scientists have cataloged, identified, and analyzed deformation relics of the late-Quaternary period, especially the Neolithic Age. Prehistoric earthquake traces were found in the cultural layers of the Western Zhou Dynasty and the Spring and Autumn Period in Southwest Anhui, the late Dawenkou cultural period in North Anhui, and the Eastern Zhou in South Henan. Along the segment of the Tanlu Fault Zone on the border of Jiangsu-Anhui Provinces, several rapid deformation events mainly in the form of oblique translational thrust had occurred since Late Pleistocene, which was confirmed by microscopic studies. The research findings have partly filled the gap of earthquake records in the area and enriched research methodologies in archaeology, prehistoric earthquakes and earthquake prediction. The project was sponsored by China Earthquake Science Special Research Funding Program (#201308012)

  3. Relative dental maturity and associated skeletal maturity in prehistoric native Americans of the Ohio valley area.

    PubMed

    Sciulli, Paul W

    2007-04-01

    Estimation of age-at-death of subadults in prehistoric skeletal samples based on modern reference standards rests on a number of assumptions of which many are untestable. If these assumptions are not met error of unknown magnitude and direction will be introduced to the subadult age estimates. This situation suggests that an independent estimate or estimates of age-related features, free of most of the assumptions made when using modern reference standards may be useful supplements in evaluating the age of subadults in prehistoric samples. The present study provides an internally consistent, population-specific measure of maturity for prehistoric Ohio valley Native Americans based on the seriation of dental development that may be used as a supplement to age-estimation. The developing dentition of 581 subadults from eight Ohio valley prehistoric-protohistoric groups was seriated within and among individuals resulting in a sequence of tooth development and a sequence of individuals from least to most mature. Dental maturity stages or sorting categories were then defined based on exclusive, easily observable, and highly repeatable tooth-formation stages. Tooth eruption (into occlusion), bone lengths, and fusion of skeletal elements are summarized by dental maturity stage. This procedure provides maturity estimates for skeletal features ordered by dental maturity stages derived from the same sample thus making explicit the relationship between dental and skeletal maturity. PMID:17243123

  4. Prehistoric Agriculture and Soil Fertility on Lava Flows in Northern Arizona, USA: Results from the San Francisco Volcanic Field REU

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broadman, E.; Anderson, K. C.

    2013-12-01

    The San Francisco Volcanic Field in northern Arizona is home to ~600 cinder cones, the youngest of which is Sunset Crater (erupted ~AD 1100). This study documents trends in available phosphate and nitrate content with time, testing whether lowered soil pH from the addition of Sunset cinders increased soil fertility and became a factor in Anasazi agricultural success. Soil fertility is examined both before and after Sunset's eruption in soils of different ages that have developed from eolian deposition on top of lava flows. An increase in phosphate and nitrate levels following acidification would suggest that the presence of Sunset cinders brought the soils to the optimal pH for mobilization of these nutrients. The combined effects of the cinder layer retaining nutrients and water, wetter climates, and increases in phosphate and nitrate (both limiting nutrients for plant growth), would have contributed to Anasazi agricultural success after Sunset's eruption. Samples for this study were taken from eolian-derived soils of different ages atop lava flows in the San Francisco Volcanic Field. OSL data from these soils on Strawberry and SP Craters' lava flows yielded age estimates of ~12.3 ka (Strawberry) and ~32.7 ka (SP), on which a soil chronosequence was based. Results from the chronosequence supported these OSL ages, indicating that soils on the SP flow are older than those on the Strawberry flow. Field descriptions, Harden Development Indices, particle size analysis, and nutrient content analysis were used for this aspect of the project. An experimental acid wash method will be used to simulate the addition of Sunset's acidic cinders, and will yield data for phosphate and nitrate content after Sunset erupted. Preliminary results indicate that phosphate and nitrate accumulate in upper, eolian-derived horizons (Av, Bw) and in more deeply buried carbonate horizons (Bk). Higher concentrations of phosphate and nitrate were found in older (SP) soils than younger

  5. Towards a strontium isoscape for the determination of provenance of prehistoric wooden findings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horsky, Monika; Tintner, Johannes; Bolka, Monika; Grabner, Michael; Kowarik, Kerstin; Reschreiter, Hans; Kern, Anton; Horacek, Micha; Prohaska, Thomas

    2014-05-01

    Prehistoric wood artefacts have been excavated from ancient salt mine galleries in Hallstatt, Austria. These findings present a unique archive of information on Bronze and Iron Age mining and trade relations, as for certain tools a production elsewhere and transport to the mine is assumed. These wooden artefacts contain the geochemical information of their growth location, though masked by secondary salts due to the storage conditions. Consequently, the analysis of the biogenic 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios of the findings was carried out in comparison to the respective signatures of trees from possible regions of origin, in order to draw conclusions on prehistoric trade routes. Thus - in addition to Hallstatt - seven regions in the Alpine region of Austria as well as in the Northern and Southern lowlands were selected based on known settlements in the time period of interest. Within all regions, the geological bedrock variability was considered for the definition of sampling spots, which resulted in a total of 26 locations. Four tree species represented in the archaeological finds (i.e. Picea abies, Abies alba, Fagus sylvatica and Quercus sp.) were sampled upon availability. Wood sample digests from eight replicate trees per location were analysed using multicollector-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). In order to reveal the biogenic signatures of the prehistoric findings, a decontamination method based on acid leaching was developed. We could successfully separate biogenic from secondary Sr and adopted a mixing theory to account for possibly incomplete removal of the latter. The Sr isotope ratio data obtained from modern trees (i.e. bioavailable Sr) reflect the geological heterogeneity of the Alps, which challenges the creation of an isoscape and its applicability to distinct provenance determination. Different geologic bedrock types can be clearly distinguished by their 87Sr/86Sr, e.g. marine sedimentary and igneous rocks. Furthermore, the data

  6. Mobile Learning Using Mobile Phones

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vicente, Paula

    2013-01-01

    The participation in mobile learning programs is conditioned by having/using mobile communication technology. Those who do not have or use such technology cannot participate in mobile learning programs. This study evaluates who are the most likely participants of mobile learning programs by examining the demographic profile and mobile phone usage…

  7. Ancient mitochondrial genome reveals trace of prehistoric migration in the east Pamir by pastoralists.

    PubMed

    Ning, Chao; Gao, Shizhu; Deng, Boping; Zheng, Hongxiang; Wei, Dong; Lv, Haoze; Li, Hongjie; Song, Li; Wu, Yong; Zhou, Hui; Cui, Yinqiu

    2016-02-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome of one 700-year-old individual found in Tashkurgan, Xinjiang was target enriched and sequenced in order to shed light on the population history of Tashkurgan and determine the phylogenetic relationship of haplogroup U5a. The ancient sample was assigned to a subclade of haplogroup U5a2a1, which is defined by two rare and stable transversions at 16114A and 13928C. Phylogenetic analysis shows a distribution pattern for U5a2a that is indicative of an origin in the Volga-Ural region and exhibits a clear eastward geographical expansion that correlates with the pastoral culture also entering the Eurasian steppe. The haplogroup U5a2a present in the ancient Tashkurgan individual reveals prehistoric migration in the East Pamir by pastoralists. This study shows that studying an ancient mitochondrial genome is a useful approach for studying the evolutionary process and population history of Eastern Pamir. PMID:26511065

  8. Determining the magnitude, frequency and source of prehistoric events - Is there a Holy Grail?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goff, James; Dominey-Howes, Dale; Chague-Goff, Catherine; Strotz, Luke; Anning, David; Bird, Deanne; Calgaro, Emma; Courtney, Claire

    2010-05-01

    Over the last five years there has been a growing body of literature on efforts to try and identify evidence for prehistoric precursors of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Similar work is also being carried out in many parts of the World and evidence for palaeotsunamis is slowly emerging - this is commendable. In some cases extensive databases for individual events have been, and continue to be, assembled. The Storegga Slide off Norway is probably the most comprehensive dataset collated for a single event and provides an excellent example of how the source and magnitude of a prehistoric tsunami can be assessed. As an increasing amount of information is gathered a growing number of palaeotsunamis are being recognised as "hybrids" - events that are historic in one country and prehistoric in another. The 1700AD Cascadia event is probably the most well-known of these, although the 1575AD Chilean tsunami is another one of increasing importance. Hybrid tsunamis help us to better understand the nature and extent of palaeotsunamis in regions with short historical records - Pacific Island nations are an excellent example. Globally, we are recognising that the study of contemporary tsunamis is a multi-disciplinary field. Not surprisingly, the same applies to palaeotsunamis. The collation and interpretation of data for these prehistoric events however, is fraught with difficulties and currently nearly every palaeotsunami database that has been developed consists almost entirely of geological data. In an increasingly multidisciplinary field this is severely limiting. We provide three examples from the New Zealand palaeotsunami database - one includes a range of multidisciplinary data for a local event, another is a distantly sourced hybrid, and the final one looks at regional source identification using multiple contemporaneous deposits. This is quite a remarkable dataset, but it throws up some interesting issues. To be able to effectively identify regional and distant

  9. Biochemical evidence of cannibalism at a prehistoric Puebloan site in southwestern Colorado.

    PubMed

    Marlar, R A; Leonard, B L; Billman, B R; Lambert, P M; Marlar, J E

    2000-09-01

    The existence of cannibalism is one of the most controversial issues in the archaeology of the American Southwest. Disarticulated, cut-marked and heat-altered human remains from non-burial contexts at prehistoric Puebloan (Anasazi) archaeological sites in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest have been interpreted by some scholars as evidence of cannibalism. Osteological studies indicate that many of the disarticulated bodies found at these sites were processed in a manner consistent with food preparation. Opponents of this interpretation point out that non-cannibalistic practices such as secondary interment, corpse mutilation and ritualized witch executions might account for the assemblages. Osteological evidence alone does not document the actual ingestion of human flesh. Here we show consumption of human flesh did occur as demonstrated in preserved human waste containing identifiable human tissue remains from a site with osteological evidence of cannibalism. PMID:10993075

  10. Ancient jades map 3,000 years of prehistoric exchange in Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Hung, Hsiao-Chun; Iizuka, Yoshiyuki; Bellwood, Peter; Nguyen, Kim Dung; Bellina, Bérénice; Silapanth, Praon; Dizon, Eusebio; Santiago, Rey; Datan, Ipoi; Manton, Jonathan H

    2007-12-11

    We have used electron probe microanalysis to examine Southeast Asian nephrite (jade) artifacts, many archeologically excavated, dating from 3000 B.C. through the first millennium A.D. The research has revealed the existence of one of the most extensive sea-based trade networks of a single geological material in the prehistoric world. Green nephrite from a source in eastern Taiwan was used to make two very specific forms of ear pendant that were distributed, between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D., through the Philippines, East Malaysia, southern Vietnam, and peninsular Thailand, forming a 3,000-km-diameter halo around the southern and eastern coastlines of the South China Sea. Other Taiwan nephrite artifacts, especially beads and bracelets, were distributed earlier during Neolithic times throughout Taiwan and from Taiwan into the Philippines. PMID:18048347

  11. Paleoepidemiolgical patterns of trauma in a prehistoric population from central California.

    PubMed

    Jurmain, R

    2001-05-01

    Skeletal trauma was investigated in a large collection of human remains from central California (N = 162 aged and sexed adults). Lesions investigated included cranial and long bone fractures, projectile wounds, and dislocation. Long bone fractures were found in 10.5% of individuals; overall, incidence by element was 2.3%. In addition, cranial injuries were found in 4.4% of complete adult crania. Projectile wounds were seen unambiguously in four individuals (with embedded obsidian fragments) and strongly suggested in two other individuals with partially healed lesions. Finally, one case of traumatic hip dislocation was also observed. In both incidence and patterning of injuries, this population is similar to other archeological groups from California. This evidence further supports earlier reports indicating that interpersonal aggression was quite common in prehistoric California. PMID:11309746

  12. [The mystery of prehistoric trepanations: Is neurosurgery the world eldest profession?].

    PubMed

    Chauvet, D; Sainte-Rose, C; Boch, A-L

    2010-10-01

    Trepanation is known to be the first surgical procedure ever performed. Its origins date from the Neolithic Age in Europe and the operation was particularly performed in South America at the Pre-Colombian era, a few thousand years later. Based on many archeological studies on trepanned skulls, we compare the differences and similarities of these two periods through epidemiological, topographical, and technical approaches. Signs of bony regeneration are assessed in an attempt to understand the postoperative survival of trepanned patients. The literature in surgery and archeology does not mention the possible relation between trepanations and growing skull fractures. However, it is reasonable to think that these cranial holes, occurring after a pediatric skull fracture, could mimic real trepanation orifices. The possible connections between these two entities are discussed. The etiological hypotheses on prehistoric trepanation are reviewed. PMID:20869089

  13. Parasitism of prehistoric humans and companion animals from Antelope Cave, Mojave County, northwest Arizona.

    PubMed

    Fugassa, Martín H; Reinhard, Karl J; Johnson, Keith L; Gardner, Scott L; Vieira, Mônica; Araújo, Adauto

    2011-10-01

    Previously, we reported a tick recovered from Antelope Cave in extreme northwest Arizona. Further analyses of coprolites from Antelope Cave revealed additional parasitological data from coprolites of both human and canid origin. A second tick was found. This site is the only archaeological locality where ticks have been recovered. We also discovered an acanthocephalan in association with Enterobius vermicularis eggs in the same coprolite. This association shows that the coprolite was deposited by a human. This discovery expands our knowledge of the range of prehistoric acanthocephalan infection. In addition, findings from canid coprolites of Trichuris vulpis are reported. This is the first published discovery of T. vulpis from a North American archaeological context. The close association of dogs with humans at Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) sites raises the potential that zoonotic parasites were transferred to the human population. The archaeological occupation is associated with the Ancestral Pueblo culture 1,100 yr ago. PMID:21506807

  14. Ancient jades map 3,000 years of prehistoric exchange in Southeast Asia

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Hsiao-Chun; Iizuka, Yoshiyuki; Bellwood, Peter; Nguyen, Kim Dung; Bellina, Bérénice; Silapanth, Praon; Dizon, Eusebio; Santiago, Rey; Datan, Ipoi; Manton, Jonathan H.

    2007-01-01

    We have used electron probe microanalysis to examine Southeast Asian nephrite (jade) artifacts, many archeologically excavated, dating from 3000 B.C. through the first millennium A.D. The research has revealed the existence of one of the most extensive sea-based trade networks of a single geological material in the prehistoric world. Green nephrite from a source in eastern Taiwan was used to make two very specific forms of ear pendant that were distributed, between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D., through the Philippines, East Malaysia, southern Vietnam, and peninsular Thailand, forming a 3,000-km-diameter halo around the southern and eastern coastlines of the South China Sea. Other Taiwan nephrite artifacts, especially beads and bracelets, were distributed earlier during Neolithic times throughout Taiwan and from Taiwan into the Philippines. PMID:18048347

  15. Stone tools from the ancient Tongan state reveal prehistoric interaction centers in the Central Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Geoffrey R.; Reepmeyer, Christian; Melekiola, Nivaleti; Woodhead, Jon; Dickinson, William R.; Martinsson-Wallin, Helene

    2014-07-01

    Tonga was unique in the prehistoric Pacific for developing a maritime state that integrated the archipelago under a centralized authority and for undertaking long-distance economic and political exchanges in the second millennium A.D. To establish the extent of Tonga's maritime polity, we geochemically analyzed stone tools excavated from the central places of the ruling paramounts, particularly lithic artifacts associated with stone-faced chiefly tombs. The lithic networks of the Tongan state focused on Samoa and Fiji, with one adze sourced to the Society Islands 2,500 km from Tongatapu. To test the hypothesis that nonlocal lithics were especially valued by Tongan elites and were an important source of political capital, we analyzed prestate lithics from Tongatapu and stone artifacts from Samoa. In the Tongan state, 66% of worked stone tools were long-distance imports, indicating that interarchipelago connections intensified with the development of the Tongan polity after A.D. 1200. In contrast, stone tools found in Samoa were from local sources, including tools associated with a monumental structure contemporary with the Tongan state. Network analysis of lithics entering the Tongan state and of the distribution of Samoan adzes in the Pacific identified a centralized polity and the products of specialized lithic workshops, respectively. These results indicate that a significant consequence of social complexity was the establishment of new types of specialized sites in distant geographic areas. Specialized sites were loci of long-distance interaction and formed important centers for the transmission of information, people, and materials in prehistoric Oceania.

  16. Stone tools from the ancient Tongan state reveal prehistoric interaction centers in the Central Pacific.

    PubMed

    Clark, Geoffrey R; Reepmeyer, Christian; Melekiola, Nivaleti; Woodhead, Jon; Dickinson, William R; Martinsson-Wallin, Helene

    2014-07-22

    Tonga was unique in the prehistoric Pacific for developing a maritime state that integrated the archipelago under a centralized authority and for undertaking long-distance economic and political exchanges in the second millennium A.D. To establish the extent of Tonga's maritime polity, we geochemically analyzed stone tools excavated from the central places of the ruling paramounts, particularly lithic artifacts associated with stone-faced chiefly tombs. The lithic networks of the Tongan state focused on Samoa and Fiji, with one adze sourced to the Society Islands 2,500 km from Tongatapu. To test the hypothesis that nonlocal lithics were especially valued by Tongan elites and were an important source of political capital, we analyzed prestate lithics from Tongatapu and stone artifacts from Samoa. In the Tongan state, 66% of worked stone tools were long-distance imports, indicating that interarchipelago connections intensified with the development of the Tongan polity after A.D. 1200. In contrast, stone tools found in Samoa were from local sources, including tools associated with a monumental structure contemporary with the Tongan state. Network analysis of lithics entering the Tongan state and of the distribution of Samoan adzes in the Pacific identified a centralized polity and the products of specialized lithic workshops, respectively. These results indicate that a significant consequence of social complexity was the establishment of new types of specialized sites in distant geographic areas. Specialized sites were loci of long-distance interaction and formed important centers for the transmission of information, people, and materials in prehistoric Oceania. PMID:25002481

  17. Evidence for prehistoric origins of Egyptian mummification in late Neolithic burials.

    PubMed

    Jones, Jana; Higham, Thomas F G; Oldfield, Ron; O'Connor, Terry P; Buckley, Stephen A

    2014-01-01

    Traditional theories on ancient Egyptian mummification postulate that in the prehistoric period (i.e. the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, 5th and 4th millennia B.C.) bodies were naturally desiccated through the action of the hot, dry desert sand. Although molding of the body with resin-impregnated linen is believed to be an early Pharaonic forerunner to more complex processes, scientific evidence for the early use of resins in artificial mummification has until now been limited to isolated occurrences during the late Old Kingdom (c. 2200 B.C.), their use becoming more apparent during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000-1600 BC). We examined linen wrappings from bodies in securely provenanced tombs (pit graves) in the earliest recorded ancient Egyptian cemeteries at Mostagedda in the Badari region (Upper Egypt). Our investigations of these prehistoric funerary wrappings using a combination of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and thermal desorption/pyrolysis (TD/Py)-GC-MS have identified a pine resin, an aromatic plant extract, a plant gum/sugar, a natural petroleum source, and a plant oil/animal fat in directly AMS-dated funerary wrappings. Predating the earliest scientific evidence by more than a millennium, these embalming agents constitute complex, processed recipes of the same natural products, in similar proportions, as those utilized at the zenith of Pharaonic mummification some 3,000 years later. The antibacterial properties of some of these ingredients and the localized soft-tissue preservation that they would have afforded lead us to conclude that these represent the very beginnings of experimentation that would evolve into the famous mummification practice of the Pharaonic period. PMID:25118605

  18. Stone tools from the ancient Tongan state reveal prehistoric interaction centers in the Central Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Geoffrey R.; Reepmeyer, Christian; Melekiola, Nivaleti; Woodhead, Jon; Dickinson, William R.; Martinsson-Wallin, Helene

    2014-01-01

    Tonga was unique in the prehistoric Pacific for developing a maritime state that integrated the archipelago under a centralized authority and for undertaking long-distance economic and political exchanges in the second millennium A.D. To establish the extent of Tonga’s maritime polity, we geochemically analyzed stone tools excavated from the central places of the ruling paramounts, particularly lithic artifacts associated with stone-faced chiefly tombs. The lithic networks of the Tongan state focused on Samoa and Fiji, with one adze sourced to the Society Islands 2,500 km from Tongatapu. To test the hypothesis that nonlocal lithics were especially valued by Tongan elites and were an important source of political capital, we analyzed prestate lithics from Tongatapu and stone artifacts from Samoa. In the Tongan state, 66% of worked stone tools were long-distance imports, indicating that interarchipelago connections intensified with the development of the Tongan polity after A.D. 1200. In contrast, stone tools found in Samoa were from local sources, including tools associated with a monumental structure contemporary with the Tongan state. Network analysis of lithics entering the Tongan state and of the distribution of Samoan adzes in the Pacific identified a centralized polity and the products of specialized lithic workshops, respectively. These results indicate that a significant consequence of social complexity was the establishment of new types of specialized sites in distant geographic areas. Specialized sites were loci of long-distance interaction and formed important centers for the transmission of information, people, and materials in prehistoric Oceania. PMID:25002481

  19. Evidence for Prehistoric Origins of Egyptian Mummification in Late Neolithic Burials

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Jana; Higham, Thomas F. G.; Oldfield, Ron; O'Connor, Terry P.; Buckley, Stephen A.

    2014-01-01

    Traditional theories on ancient Egyptian mummification postulate that in the prehistoric period (i.e. the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, 5th and 4th millennia B.C.) bodies were naturally desiccated through the action of the hot, dry desert sand. Although molding of the body with resin-impregnated linen is believed to be an early Pharaonic forerunner to more complex processes, scientific evidence for the early use of resins in artificial mummification has until now been limited to isolated occurrences during the late Old Kingdom (c. 2200 B.C.), their use becoming more apparent during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000-1600 BC). We examined linen wrappings from bodies in securely provenanced tombs (pit graves) in the earliest recorded ancient Egyptian cemeteries at Mostagedda in the Badari region (Upper Egypt). Our investigations of these prehistoric funerary wrappings using a combination of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and thermal desorption/pyrolysis (TD/Py)-GC-MS have identified a pine resin, an aromatic plant extract, a plant gum/sugar, a natural petroleum source, and a plant oil/animal fat in directly AMS-dated funerary wrappings. Predating the earliest scientific evidence by more than a millennium, these embalming agents constitute complex, processed recipes of the same natural products, in similar proportions, as those utilized at the zenith of Pharaonic mummification some 3,000 years later. The antibacterial properties of some of these ingredients and the localized soft-tissue preservation that they would have afforded lead us to conclude that these represent the very beginnings of experimentation that would evolve into the famous mummification practice of the Pharaonic period. PMID:25118605

  20. Human induced prehistoric and historical soil erosion and landscape development in Southwestern USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dotterweich, Markus; Ivester, Andrew H.; Hanson, Paul R.; Daniel, Larsen; Dye, David H.; Foster, Thomas H., II

    2015-04-01

    The significance of soil erosion due to pre-historic land use and possible feedback mechanisms had been hardly recognized in the Southeastern USA. Here, the agricultural practices only began in the second half of the Holocene. Sedentary hunters and gatherers started to domesticate squash and sunflowers. Associated with the expansion of maize cultivation in the Mississippian period between AD 800 and 1100, significant forest clearings took place on the river floodplains. During this time, central settlements with up to 30,000 residences existed and the surrounding ridge and furrow fields extended to up to 30 ha. It is still open to question why these groups already declined in the 14/15th centuries already before the arrival of the Europeans. However, around AD 1540 the conquistador de Soto still reports extended fields with intensive cultivation of maize in the uplands of Northern Mississippi. Despite of this intensive land use by Native Americans, current research gives no indication that these activities had any significant impact on river channel form. Also, no clear evidence exists for distinct channel change occurring in response to any sort of middle Holocene Hypsithermal, Medieval warm period, or the Little Ice Age. We will present results of a project which aims to explore erosion forms, colluvial sediments and buried soils in selected 0-order and 1st-order watersheds in the southeastern USA in order to gain, solidify, and evaluate general data on soil erosion during the Native American land use period and its respective long-term effects on the environment. This will be achieved by 1) recording the stratigraphy of colluvial and alluvial sediments and buried soils, 2) mapping the extent of erosional and colluvial forms, 3) analyzing chemical and physical soil and sediment properties, 4) establishing chronological control using various dating techniques including radiocarbon and OSL dating, and 5) quantifying soil erosion using hillslope sediments. The

  1. Climate and habitat reconstruction using stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of collagen in prehistoric herbivore teeth from Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambrose, Stanley H.; DeNiro, Michael J.

    1989-05-01

    Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios have been determined for tooth collagen of 27 prehistoric herbivores from a rock shelter in the central Rift Valley of Kenya. Collagen samples whose isotope ratios were not altered by diagenesis were identified using several analytical methods. During the later Holocene, when the climate was as dry or drier than at present, the isotopic compositions of individual animals are similar to those of modern individuals of the same species. During the earlier Holocene, when the climate was wetter than at present, the δ 15N and δ 13C values are lower than those for their modern counterparts. When diagenetic factors can be discounted and adequate modern comparative data are available, stable isotope analysis of herbivore teeth and bones can be used to evaluate prehistoric climate and habitat conditions.

  2. Multielemental analysis of prehistoric animal teeth by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

    SciTech Connect

    Galiova, Michaela; Kaiser, Jozef; Fortes, Francisco J.; Novotny, Karel; Malina, Radomir; Prokes, Lubomir; Hrdlicka, Ales; Vaculovic, Tomas; Nyvltova Fisakova, Miriam; Svoboda, Jiri; Kanicky, Viktor; Laserna, Javier J.

    2010-05-01

    Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and laser ablation (LA) inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometry (MS) were utilized for microspatial analyses of a prehistoric bear (Ursus arctos) tooth dentine. The distribution of selected trace elements (Sr, Ba, Fe) was measured on a 26 mmx15 mm large and 3 mm thick transverse cross section of a canine tooth. The Na and Mg content together with the distribution of matrix elements (Ca, P) was also monitored within this area. The depth of the LIBS craters was measured with an optical profilometer. As shown, both LIBS and LA-ICP-MS can be successfully used for the fast, spatially resolved analysis of prehistoric teeth samples. In addition to microchemical analysis, the sample hardness was calculated using LIBS plasma ionic-to-atomic line intensity ratios of Mg (or Ca). To validate the sample hardness calculations, the hardness was also measured with a Vickers microhardness tester.

  3. Organic Fertilization and Sufficient Nutrient Status in Prehistoric Agriculture? – Indications from Multi-Proxy Analyses of Archaeological Topsoil Relicts

    PubMed Central

    Lauer, Franziska; Prost, Katharina; Gerlach, Renate; Pätzold, Stefan; Wolf, Mareike; Urmersbach, Sarah; Lehndorff, Eva; Eckmeier, Eileen; Amelung, Wulf

    2014-01-01

    Neolithic and Bronze Age topsoil relicts revealed enhanced extractable phosphorus (P) and plant available inorganic P fractions, thus raising the question whether there was targeted soil amelioration in prehistoric times. This study aimed (i) at assessing the overall nutrient status and the soil organic matter content of these arable topsoil relicts, and (ii) at tracing ancient soil fertilizing practices by respective stable isotope and biomarker analyses. Prehistoric arable topsoils were preserved in archaeological pit fillings, whereas adjacent subsoils served as controls. One Early Weichselian humic zone represented the soil status before the introduction of agriculture. Recent topsoils served as an additional reference. The applied multi-proxy approach comprised total P and micronutrient contents, stable N isotope ratios, amino acid, steroid, and black carbon analyses as well as soil color measurements. Total contents of P and selected micronutrients (I, Cu, Mn, Mo, Se, Zn) of the arable soil relicts were above the limits for which nutrient deficiencies could be assumed. All pit fillings exhibited elevated δ15N values close to those of recent topsoils (δ15N>6 to 7‰), giving first hints for prehistoric organic N-input. Ancient legume cultivation as a potential source for N input could not be verified by means of amino acid analysis. In contrast, bile acids as markers for faecal input exhibited larger concentrations in the pit fillings compared with the reference and control soils indicating faeces (i.e. manure) input to Neolithic arable topsoils. Also black carbon contents were elevated, amounting up to 38% of soil organic carbon, therewith explaining the dark soil color in the pit fillings and pointing to inputs of burned biomass. The combination of different geochemical analyses revealed a sufficient nutrient status of prehistoric arable soils, as well as signs of amelioration (inputs of organic material like charcoal and faeces-containing manure). PMID

  4. The Moon in the Perception and Measurement of Social and Ritual Time. Comments on the Pre-historic Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, C.

    2009-08-01

    According to Mircea Eliade, supported by evidence from the history of ancient religions, the Moon was crucial in the first mental synthesis of mankind, which we inherited. In particular, it was fundamental to the first perceptions and measurements of time by early societies and expressed symbolically the cosmic unity. We suggest here that prehistoric remains (monuments, astral orientations, artefacts) may help us to go deeper in time, and understand the importance of the first lunar observations and symbolizations in human thought.

  5. Organic fertilization and sufficient nutrient status in prehistoric agriculture?--Indications from multi-proxy analyses of archaeological topsoil relicts.

    PubMed

    Lauer, Franziska; Prost, Katharina; Gerlach, Renate; Pätzold, Stefan; Wolf, Mareike; Urmersbach, Sarah; Lehndorff, Eva; Eckmeier, Eileen; Amelung, Wulf

    2014-01-01

    Neolithic and Bronze Age topsoil relicts revealed enhanced extractable phosphorus (P) and plant available inorganic P fractions, thus raising the question whether there was targeted soil amelioration in prehistoric times. This study aimed (i) at assessing the overall nutrient status and the soil organic matter content of these arable topsoil relicts, and (ii) at tracing ancient soil fertilizing practices by respective stable isotope and biomarker analyses. Prehistoric arable topsoils were preserved in archaeological pit fillings, whereas adjacent subsoils served as controls. One Early Weichselian humic zone represented the soil status before the introduction of agriculture. Recent topsoils served as an additional reference. The applied multi-proxy approach comprised total P and micronutrient contents, stable N isotope ratios, amino acid, steroid, and black carbon analyses as well as soil color measurements. Total contents of P and selected micronutrients (I, Cu, Mn, Mo, Se, Zn) of the arable soil relicts were above the limits for which nutrient deficiencies could be assumed. All pit fillings exhibited elevated δ15N values close to those of recent topsoils (δ15N>6 to 7‰), giving first hints for prehistoric organic N-input. Ancient legume cultivation as a potential source for N input could not be verified by means of amino acid analysis. In contrast, bile acids as markers for faecal input exhibited larger concentrations in the pit fillings compared with the reference and control soils indicating faeces (i.e. manure) input to Neolithic arable topsoils. Also black carbon contents were elevated, amounting up to 38% of soil organic carbon, therewith explaining the dark soil color in the pit fillings and pointing to inputs of burned biomass. The combination of different geochemical analyses revealed a sufficient nutrient status of prehistoric arable soils, as well as signs of amelioration (inputs of organic material like charcoal and faeces-containing manure). PMID

  6. GPR survey to detect buried prehistorical remains at North Ballachulish Moss (Scotland).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soldovieri, F.; Persico, R.; Utsi, E.

    2009-04-01

    This work deals with the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) exploitation to map the underlying topography of North Ballachulish Moss as part of an archaeological evaluation of the area that was under threat of development. The aim of the survey has been to reconstruct peat depth and detect and locate buried localised targets [1]. During the survey many radar anomalies have been detected and the reliability of the radar survey has been confirmed by ground-truthing under the form of sediment coring, test-pitting and trial excavations. Sediment coring and test-pitting provided corroborative evidence for the peat depths as defined by the radar survey. Trial trenching revealed that a suite of radar anomalies, identified during the course of the survey, are related to a buried prehistoric surface with an associated abundance of man-made artefacts (wooden stakes). The data interpretation has benefited of the representation of the GPR results under the format of horizontal time-slices that well pointed out the depth of the peat and the localization and the shape of the buried localised targets. In particular, the series of time-slices show the development of discrete surfaces and their relationship to an adjacent headland. The orientation of the site and its proximity to the location of a buried prehistoric wooden figure suggest ritual importance. Finally, the measurements have been processed by a novel data processing approach based on the microwave tomography [3-4]; the results of this data processing have been compared with the ones of the standard data processing and have confirmed the above said outcomes of the standard data processing. [1] C.M. Clarke, E.Utsi, V. Utsi, "Ground penetrating radar investigations at North Ballachulish Moss, Highland, Scotland", Archaeological Prospection, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 107-121-75 , 1999 [2] E. Utsi, "Ground-penetrating radar time-slices from North Ballachulish Moss", Archaeological Prospection, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 65-75, 2004. [3] F

  7. Combining ER and GPR surveys for evidence of prehistoric landscape construction: case study at Mound City, Ohio, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, B. B.; Mandel, R. D.; Tsoflias, G. P.; De Vore, S. L.; Lynott, M.

    2016-06-01

    Mound City, located at the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in south-central Ohio, USA, is a prehistoric earthwork (200 BC-500 AD) that consists of 24 mounds enclosed in a square embankment wall and is surrounded by eight pits. Recent excavation of two of these pits resulted in the discovery of a clay loam liner that appears to have been placed on the floor of the pits by a prehistoric society known as the Hopewell. The aim of this study was to determine the spatial pattern of this liner in one of the pits using non-invasive geophysical techniques, specifically electrical resistivity and ground-penetrating radar. Minimally invasive soil augers and a test trench yielded information that was used to corroborate interpretations of the geophysical data. The geophysical methods proved to be useful in locating and defining the remnants of the prehistoric clay loam liner, and the results of our investigation indicate that almost 50% of the liner still remains in the pit today. This discovery supports a new interpretation that the Hopewell excavated and preserved the pits at the Mound City site because they served as cultural landscape features.

  8. Could the Health Decline of Prehistoric California Indians be Related to Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) from Natural Bitumen?

    PubMed Central

    Sholts, Sabrina B.; Erlandson, Jon M.; Gjerdrum, Thor; Westerholm, Roger

    2011-01-01

    Background: The negative health effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are well established for modern human populations but have so far not been studied in prehistoric contexts. PAHs are the main component of fossil bitumen, a naturally occurring material used by past societies such as the Chumash Indians in California as an adhesive, as a waterproofing agent, and for medicinal purposes. The rich archaeological and ethnohistoric record of the coastal Chumash suggests that they were exposed to multiple uptake pathways of bituminous PAHs, including direct contact, fume inhalation, and oral uptake from contaminated water and seafood. Objectives: We investigated the possibility that PAHs from natural bitumen compromised the health of the prehistoric Chumash Indians in California. Conclusions: Exposure of the ancient Chumash Indians to toxic PAHs appears to have gradually increased across a period of 7,500 years because of an increased use of bitumen in the Chumash technology, together with a dietary shift toward PAH-contaminated marine food. Skeletal analysis indicates a concurrent population health decline that may be related to PAH uptake. However, establishing such a connection is virtually impossible without knowing the actual exposure levels experienced by these populations. Future methodological research may provide techniques for determining PAH levels in ancient skeletal material, which would open new avenues for research on the health of prehistoric populations and on the long-term effects of human PAH exposure. PMID:21596651

  9. Recognizing and dating prehistoric liquefaction features: Lessons learned in the New Madrid seismic zone, central United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tuttle, M.P.; Schweig, E.S.

    1996-01-01

    The New Madrid seismic zone (NMSZ), which experienced severe liquefaction during the great New Madrid, Missouri, earthquakes of 1811 and 1812 as well as during several prehistoric earthquakes, is a superb laboratory for the study of world-class, arthquake-induced liquefaction features and their use in paleoseismology. In seismically active regions like the NMSZ, frequent large earthquakes can produce a complex record of liquefaction events that is difficult to interpret. Lessons learned studying liquefaction features in the NMSZ may help to unravel the paleoseismic record in other seismically active regions. Soil characteristics of liquefaction features, as well as their structural and sratigraphic relations to Native American occupation horizons and other cultural features, an help to distinguish prehistoric liquefaction features from historic features. In addition, analyses of artifact assemblages and botanical content of cultural horizons can help to narrow the age ranges of liquefaction features. Future research should focus on methods for defining source areas and estimating magnitudes of prehistoric earthquakes from liquefaction features. Also, new methods for dating liquefaction features are needed.

  10. Some thoughts on the factors that controlled prehistoric maize production in the American Southwest with application to southwestern Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, L.V.; Ramsey, D.K.; Stahle, D.W.; Petersen, K.L.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we present a model of prehistoric southwestern Colorado maize productivity. The model is based on a tree-ring reconstruction of water-year precipitation for Mesa Verde for the period A.D. 480 to 2011. Correlation of historic Mesa Verde precipitation with historic precipitation at 11 other weather stations enabled the construction of an elevation-dependent precipitation function. Prehistoric water-year precipitation values for Mesa Verde together with the elevation-dependent precipitation function allowed construction of the elevation of southwest Colorado precipitation contours for each year since A.D. 480, including the 30-cm contour, which represents the minimum amount of precipitation necessary for the production of maize and the 50-cm contour, which represents the optimum amount of precipitation necessary for the production of maize. In this paper, calculations of prehistoric maize productivity and field life for any specific elevation are also demonstrated. These calculations were performed using organic nitrogen measurements made on seven southwestern Colorado soil groups together with values of reconstructed water-year precipitation and estimations of the organic nitrogen mineralization rate.

  11. Prehistoric land use and Neolithisation in Europe in the context of regional climate events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemmen, C.; Wirtz, K. W.; Gronenborn, D.

    2009-04-01

    We present a simple, adaptation-driven, spatially explicit model of pre-Bronze age socio-technological change, called the Global Land Use and Technological Evolution Simulator (GLUES). The socio-technological realm is described by three characteristic traits: available technology, subsistence style ratio, and economic diversity. Human population and culture develop in the context of global paleoclimate and regional paleoclimate events. Global paleoclimate is derived from CLIMBER-2 Earth System Model anomalies superimposed on the IIASA temperature and precipitation database. Regional a forcing is provided by abrupt climate deteriorations from a compilation of 138 long-term high-resolution climate proxy time series from mostly terrestrial and near-shore archives. The GLUES simulator provides for a novel way to explore the interplay between climate, climate change, and cultural evolution both on the Holocene timescale as well as for short-term extreme event periods. We sucessfully simulate the migration of people and the diffusion of Neolithic technology from the Near East into Europe in the period 12000-4000 a BP. We find good agreement with recent archeological compilations of Western Eurasian Neolithic sites. No causal relationship between climate events and cultural evolution could be identified, but the speed of cultural development is found to be modulated by the frequency of climate events. From the demographic evolution and regional ressource consumption, we estimate regional land use change and prehistoric greenhouse gas emissions.

  12. Variations of late prehistoric houses in coastal Northwest Alaska: a view from Wales.

    PubMed

    Harritt, Roger K

    2010-01-01

    A review of literature and archival images reveals a distinctive method of double-walled house construction that predominated at the Beach site at Wales, Alaska, minimally from early contact through ca. 1930. Prior studies have suggested that this house construction form was a widespread convention during the contact period; however, this paper demonstrates that this was not the case. The only other occurrence of this house construction form was a kashim at St. Michael observed by Nelson in the late nineteenth century. The double-walled house represents a set of traits that form a fundamental aspect of the ethnic and group identity of the Kiatanamiut occupants of the Beach site. Recent excavations at Kurigitavik Mound have, however, uncovered remains of a house that is consistent with the double walled construction form. Full documentation of this house awaits the completion of an ongoing excavation and the new data will illuminate the relations between the Kashigitagmiut, Kiatanamiut, and Agianamiut in late prehistoric times. PMID:20648984

  13. Testing a simulation model for reconstruction of prehistoric forest-stand dynamics*1, *2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, Allen M.; Delcourt, Hazel R.; West, Darrell C.; Blasing, T. J.

    1980-11-01

    Three characteristics of the output of a forest-stand simulation model were matched to pollen records of actual vegetation in central Tennessee. Temporal shifts of individual pollen taxon frequencies were compared to shifts of individual plant species frequencies in simulated biomass for the last 16,000 yr. Individual pollen profiles (temporally ordered species frequencies) were also compared to simulated biomass profiles during that period. Modern ratios of pollen to vegetation composition ( R values) were compared with those calculated from simulated biomass percentages and fossil pollen percentages. The model output was similar to the comparable characteristics of the pollen record. The model output is therefore a plausible description of vegetation characteristics at the site of pollen deposition in central Tennessee. The model produced information unavailable from other sets of prehistoric data. This information describes the invasion and growth of the yellow-poplar which produces no windborne pollen, and of palynologically indistinguishable oak and pine species. These results suggest that many paleoecological questions can be answered through appropriate simulation modeling studies.

  14. Testing a simulation model for reconstruction of prehistoric forest-stand dynamics

    SciTech Connect

    Solomon, A.M.; Delcourt, H.R.; West, D.C.; Blasing, T.J.

    1980-01-01

    Three characteristics of the output of a forest-stand simulation model were matched to pollen records of actual vegetation in central Tennessee. Temporal shifts of individual pollen taxon frequencies were compared to shifts of individual plant species frequencies in simulated biomass for the last 16,000 y. Individual pollen profiles (temporally ordered species frequencies) were also compared to simulated biomass profiles during that period. Modern ratios of pollen to vegetation composition (R values) were compared with those calculated from simulated biomass percentages and fossil pollen percentages. The model output was similar to the comparable characteristics of the pollen record. The model output is therefore a plausible description of vegetation characteristics at the site of pollen deposition in central Tennessee. The model produced information unavailable from other sets of prehistoric data. This information describes the invasion and growth of the yellow-poplar which produces no windborne pollen, and of palynologically indistinguishable oak and pine species. These results suggest that many paleoecological questions can be answered through appropriate simulation modeling studies.

  15. Chemical Analysis of Pottery Demonstrates Prehistoric Origin for High-Altitude Alpine Dairying

    PubMed Central

    Carrer, Francesco; Colonese, André Carlo; Lucquin, Alexandre; Petersen Guedes, Eduardo; Thompson, Anu; Walsh, Kevin; Reitmaier, Thomas; Craig, Oliver E.

    2016-01-01

    The European high Alps are internationally renowned for their dairy produce, which are of huge cultural and economic significance to the region. Although the recent history of alpine dairying has been well studied, virtually nothing is known regarding the origins of this practice. This is due to poor preservation of high altitude archaeological sites and the ephemeral nature of transhumance economic practices. Archaeologists have suggested that stone structures that appear around 3,000 years ago are associated with more intense seasonal occupation of the high Alps and perhaps the establishment of new economic strategies. Here, we report on organic residue analysis of small fragments of pottery sherds that are occasionally preserved both at these sites and earlier prehistoric rock-shelters. Based mainly on isotopic criteria, dairy lipids could only be identified on ceramics from the stone structures, which date to the Iron Age (ca. 3,000–2,500 BP), providing the earliest evidence of this practice in the high Alps. Dairy production in such a marginal environment implies a high degree of risk even by today’s standards. We postulate that this practice was driven by population increase and climate deterioration that put pressure on lowland agropastoral systems and the establishment of more extensive trade networks, leading to greater demand for highly nutritious and transportable dairy products. PMID:27100391

  16. Chemical Analysis of Pottery Demonstrates Prehistoric Origin for High-Altitude Alpine Dairying.

    PubMed

    Carrer, Francesco; Colonese, André Carlo; Lucquin, Alexandre; Petersen Guedes, Eduardo; Thompson, Anu; Walsh, Kevin; Reitmaier, Thomas; Craig, Oliver E

    2016-01-01

    The European high Alps are internationally renowned for their dairy produce, which are of huge cultural and economic significance to the region. Although the recent history of alpine dairying has been well studied, virtually nothing is known regarding the origins of this practice. This is due to poor preservation of high altitude archaeological sites and the ephemeral nature of transhumance economic practices. Archaeologists have suggested that stone structures that appear around 3,000 years ago are associated with more intense seasonal occupation of the high Alps and perhaps the establishment of new economic strategies. Here, we report on organic residue analysis of small fragments of pottery sherds that are occasionally preserved both at these sites and earlier prehistoric rock-shelters. Based mainly on isotopic criteria, dairy lipids could only be identified on ceramics from the stone structures, which date to the Iron Age (ca. 3,000-2,500 BP), providing the earliest evidence of this practice in the high Alps. Dairy production in such a marginal environment implies a high degree of risk even by today's standards. We postulate that this practice was driven by population increase and climate deterioration that put pressure on lowland agropastoral systems and the establishment of more extensive trade networks, leading to greater demand for highly nutritious and transportable dairy products. PMID:27100391

  17. Prehistoric birds from New Ireland, Papua New Guinea: Extinctions on a large Melanesian island

    PubMed Central

    Steadman, David W.; White, J. Peter; Allen, Jim

    1999-01-01

    At least 50 species of birds are represented in 241 bird bones from five late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeological sites on New Ireland (Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea). The bones include only two of seabirds and none of migrant shorebirds or introduced species. Of the 50 species, at least 12 (petrel, hawk, megapode, quail, four rails, cockatoo, two owls, and crow) are not part of the current avifauna and have not been recorded previously from New Ireland. Larger samples of bones undoubtedly would indicate more extirpated species and refine the chronology of extinction. Humans have lived on New Ireland for ca. 35,000 years, whereas most of the identified bones are 15,000 to 6,000 years old. It is suspected that most or all of New Ireland’s avian extinction was anthropogenic, but this suspicion remains undetermined. Our data show that significant prehistoric losses of birds, which are well documented on Pacific islands more remote than New Ireland, occurred also on large, high, mostly forested islands close to New Guinea. PMID:10051683

  18. Geoarchaeology of a 'drowning' island: geomorphologic formation and prehistoric human habitation of Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaguchi, T.; Kobayashi, R.

    2012-12-01

    There seem to be a variety to vulnerability of atolls. In fact our archaeological investigations of Majuro in Marshall and Funafuti in Tuvalu revealed diverse duration of human settlement histories. The most reliable charcoal ages for earliest human habitation on Oceanic atolls were obtained from Majuro Atoll, which date back to 1800 - 2000 yr. BP, but radiocarbon ages of charcoal samples retrieved from Funafuti and Vaitupu suggest that Tuvalu were inhabited around ca. 500 yr. BP. It should be helpful to examine geomorphic formation of each atoll islet in considering this temporal difference of human settlement histories. During the mid-Holocene period, the paleoreef had grown up to reach the highstand sea level over the bedrock of Pleistocene limestone. The emergence of the Holocene reef is estimated around 2000 yr. BP in the central Pacific, which is viewed as a trigger of depositional process of atoll islets. There is, however, the possibility that the process was not uniform and sedimentation of foraminiferal sand and coral shingle was affected with more local conditions. Several results of our geoarchaeological excavations in Fongafale, Funafuti Atoll, would be related with this topic. Synthesizing them with the late 18th century's topographic information reported by the Royal Society of London, I then discuss a tentative scenario of geomorphologic formation and prehistoric human settlement of Fongafale. The diversity of human settlement histories could be an indicator of the relative vulnerability of atoll islets.

  19. Biomechanical beam analysis of long bones from a late 18th century slave cemetery in Cape Town, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Ledger, M; Holtzhausen, L M; Constant, D; Morris, A G

    2000-06-01

    This study aims to quantify the physical demands of a sample of late 18th century skeletons from an unmarked burial site on Cobern Street, Cape Town, South Africa. Historical studies suggest that these individuals were either slaves or "free black" people of low socioeconomic standing. Cortical cross-sectional areas of paired humeri and tibiae from the Cobern Street collection (N = 29), a modern cadaver collection (N = 31), and a hunter-gatherer collection (N = 30) were compared by means of biomechanical beam analysis on computerized tomography scans. Results showed that the Cobern Street sample, both males and females, were closer to the modern group in total tibial cortical area and in the second moments and polar moments of cortical area, than to the hunter-gatherer group. It is assumed that these results can be explained by differences in lower limb activity. Tibial strength properties showed the hunter-gatherer peoples to be highly mobile and active walkers in comparison to the Cobern Street and modern samples. The males from the Cobern Street sample showed significantly higher values for humeral strength properties than either the hunter-gatherer or modern individuals, attesting to their status as manual laborers. The humeral cross-sectional strength properties for females were very similar between the Cobern Street and modern groups but again significantly different from the hunter-gatherer sample. The domestic chores performed by females of the recent cadaver sample may be very similar to those performed by the Cobern Street sample. PMID:10813703

  20. Remote Sensing for Detection of Prehistoric Landscape Use in NW Arizona, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buck, P.; Sabol, D. E.

    2012-12-01

    Optimal maize field locations possibly used by prehistoric agriculturalists in the Mt. Trumbull portion of the Colorado Plateau in NW AZ were modeled using remotely sensed data and ground based observations. Over 400 prehistoric archaeological sites have been recorded in the study area; in some areas site density is ~120 sites/mi2, including many 1-2 room structures traditionally referred to as "field houses" that archaeologists have long assumed were located on or immediately adjacent to maize fields. Other site types are larger C-shaped pueblos with up to 20 rooms and somewhat smaller multi room structures. We collected and used ground-based field measurements and satellite image data from ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) to produce GIS layers to predict ancient maize fields and compare these with known "field house" sites. Input data layers for the model included early spring maximum solar illumination, surface gradient, surface radiant temperature, water surface flow collection, water infiltration, and soil type. We constructed 2 types of optimality models: "restrictive" (or classification) models and "fuzzy logic" (or grouping) models. Highest values were assigned to pixels with more surface water, warmer temperature, better soils, etc. and then assigned a color for display. Analyses of patterns for the "green" restrictive model shows a disproportionate number of large sites found within 200 m of the green optimal zone; for the yellow optimal zone there is a statistically significant relationship between larger sites and the yellow zones at 100 m or less. For the blue fuzzy logic model, again there is a strong relationship between the number of large sites and a blue zone both at 100 m and 200 m distances. So-called "field houses" are not located preferentially close to our optimal areas. Rather, there is a clear preference for larger sites to be found closer to optimal areas. Using the proportion of site types from the

  1. Building and Applying "Insularity Theory": Review on Knapp's Prehistoric and Protohistoric Cyprus, 2008.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katsarou-Tzeveleki, Stella

    Prehistoric and Protohistoric Cyprus by A. Bernard Knapp involves us in a highly creative reading. This is due mainly to the fact that the author engages in a holistic synthesis of Cyprus in the Bronze Age, not by emphasizing the events and descriptions of the material remains, but by concentrating upon the difficult question of the identity of the islanders of this period and the processes by which it was formed. The author's teaching of Mediterranean prehistory at the University of Glasgow fully accounts for his need to produce a comprehensive theoretical work of this kind: the basic questions asked by students give rise to theoretical concerns for any teacher aiming to 'distil' the essential synthesis that forms the starting point for any further detailed archaeological description. This essential answer seems to have troubled Knapp for some time, judging by the long list of his writings seeking to synthesize aspects of Cypriot economy, cult and society; the present book is thus the highly interesting outcome of the mature thinking of an experienced fieldworker as much as a theoretical archaeologist and teacher. What, then, is the essential question that Knapp seeks to answer through this book? His question focuses on the identity of the islanders of Cyprus during the 'most formative periods, from the village based culture to the international, town-centred, even state-level polity' (p. 1), the way in which this identity was formed, and how it is reflected in both any recorded event and the material culture of the island in this specific period. Moreover, he also explores more fully what the distinctive features of island identity in general are, how they are constituted and how they influence the material culture of any island population. In seeking the answers, the author avoids a number of the usual approaches to Cypriot archaeology and turns, instead, to new interpretive directions. The approaches he avoids are the citing of events of Cypriot prehistory, the

  2. Variable effects of cinder-cone eruptions on prehistoric agrarian human populations in the American southwest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ort, Michael H.; Elson, Mark D.; Anderson, Kirk C.; Duffield, Wendell A.; Samples, Terry L.

    2008-10-01

    Two ˜ 900 BP cinder-cone eruptions in the American Southwest affected prehistoric human populations in different ways, mostly because of differences in the eruption styles and area affected. Primary pre-eruption cultural factors that may have led to successful adaptation to the eruptions include decision-making at the family or household level, low investment in site structures, dispersion of agricultural sites in varied environments, and settlement spread over a large area so that those who were less affected could shelter and feed evacuees. Sunset Crater, near Flagstaff, Arizona, produced about 8 km 2 lava flow fields and a ˜ 2300-km 2 tephra blanket in an area that had been settled by prehistoric groups for at least 1000 years. Local subsistence relied on agriculture, primarily maize, and > 30 cm tephra cover rendered 265 km 2 of prime land unfarmable. This area was apparently abandoned for at least several generations. A > 500-km 2 area was probably marked by collapsed roofs and other structural damage from the fallout. If the eruption occurred during the agricultural season, the fallout would also have significantly damaged crops. The eruption did have some benefits to local groups because lower elevation land, which had previously been too dry to farm, became agriculturally productive due to 3-8 cm of tephra 'mulch' and some temporary soil nutrient improvements. This previously uninhabited land became the site of significant year-round settlement and farming, eventually containing some of the largest pueblo structures ever built in the region. New agricultural techniques were developed to manage the fallout mulch. The eruption also affected ceramic production and trading patterns, and volcano-related ritual behavior - the production of maize-impressed lava-spatter agglutinate - was initiated. Little Springs Volcano, about 200 km northwest of Sunset Crater, is a small spatter rampart around a series of vents that produced about 5 km 2 of lava flow fields

  3. Pre-excavation studies of prehistoric cave sites by magnetic prospecting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itkis., Sonia; Matskevich, Zinovii; Meshveliani, Tengiz

    2014-05-01

    Detailed magnetic survey was performed for caves study in Israel (1995-1996) within the framework of the Beit Shemesh Regional Project (Judean Shephelah). The experience accumulated in Israel we applied later (2010) in two Georgian prehistoric cave sites: Cherula and Kotias-Klde. The magnetic method is based on the contrast in magnetic properties between a target object (e.g., buried archaeological feature) and the host medium (i.e, the surrounding bedrock and soil). The feasibility of the magnetic method for cave revealing was evaluated by magnetic susceptibility (κ) measurements of surrounding soil and rocks, and archaeological features: stones making up the walls, ceramic fragments and cave fill. According to data obtained, the κ of soil within caves (cave fill) is higher than that of surrounding soil. The enhancement of cave fill κ occurs because processes associated with human habitation: repeated heating and accumulation of organic debris. Both these processes provide good conditions for the conversion of the iron oxide found within the soil to a strongly ferromagnetic form (Mullins, 1977; Maher, 1986; Dalan and Banerjee, 1998, Itkis and Eppelbaum, 1999; Itkis, 2003) The presence of highly magnetic ceramics in caves also enhances magnetic contrast between practically non-magnetic bed rock (chalk in Ramat Beit Shemesh Site (Israel) and limestone (Georgian sites) and the cave fill, increasing the potential of the magnetic method to reveal caves (Itkis, 2011). Based on magnetic survey results, an excavation revealed a cave with a large amount of well preserved pottery and finds typical of the Early Bronze Age. Both studied cave sites in Georgia were located in Chiatura region of Imeretia province. Cherula site is a karstic rockshelter with a single chamber, ca 100 sq. m. The site was briefly tested in 1970s'. The area excavated in 2010 went to the depth of 60 cm below the present day surface; the limestone bedrock was not reached. The excavation revealed

  4. [Dietary habits and the state of the human oral cavity in the prehistoric age].

    PubMed

    Kee, C D

    1990-06-01

    This is an age-by-age summation of literature on over 100 sites (of more than 250 excavated prehistoric ruins on the Korean Peninsula: about 160 places in South Korea--Paleolithic Age 15, Neolithic Age 21, Bronze Age 90 and Iron Age 35--and about 90 places in North Korea) which produced dietary-habit-related devices such as hunting tools, fishing instruments, farming equipments, tools of daily life, and human bones and teeth. 1) Various dietary-habit-related Old Stone-Age tools, instruments and other items were found. Among them were stone axes, stone hand axes, fish spears and hooks made of bone or horn, stone blades, stone scrapers and stone drills believed to have been used in daily life, and charcoal and sites of furnaces used for cooking. Furthermore, it was found that there were severe dental abrasions and dental caries among the inhabitants of the Korean Peninsula in the Old Stone Age. 2) Some evidences were found which lead us to believe that hunting was practiced with stone arrowheads in the New Stone Age. Stone net sinkers, which is the evidence of the use of fish nets, were also found. In addition, farming stone tools and charred cereals, both of which date back to the latter part of this period, were unearthed. Millstones, which began to be used in this age, and livestock bones were found. Where these items were discovered, 23 maxillae and mandibles with teeth and a total of 231 separate teeth of Neolithic period human beings were reported. However, there are no records indicating dental caries, but some records describe severe abrasion. PMID:2130134

  5. Prehistoric versus modern Baltic Sea cod fisheries: selectivity across the millennia

    PubMed Central

    Limburg, Karin E; Walther, Yvonne; Hong, Bongghi; Olson, Carina; Storå, Jan

    2008-01-01

    Combining Stone Age and modern data provides unique insights for management, extending beyond contemporary problems and shifting baselines. Using fish chronometric parts, we compared demographic characteristics of exploited cod populations from the Neolithic Period (4500 BP) to the modern highly exploited fishery in the central Baltic Sea. We found that Neolithic cod were larger (mean 56.4 cm, 95% confidence interval (CI)±0.9) than modern fish (weighted mean length in catch =49.5±0.2 cm in 1995, 48.2±0.2 cm in 2003), and older (mean ages =4.7±0.11, 3.1±0.02 and 3.6±0.02 years for Neolithic, 1995, and 2003 fisheries, respectively). Fishery-independent surveys in 1995 and 2003 show that mean sizes in the stock are 16–17 cm smaller than reflected in the fishery, and mean ages approximately 1–1.5 years younger. Modelled von Bertalanffy growth and back-calculated lengths indicated that Neolithic cod grew to smaller asymptotic lengths, but were larger at younger ages, implying rapid early growth. Very small Neolithic cod were absent and large individuals were rare as in modern times. This could be owing to selective harvests, the absence of small and large fish in the area or a combination. Comparing modern and prehistoric times, fishery selection is evident, but apparently not as great as in the North Atlantic proper. PMID:18755680

  6. Interpersonal violence in prehistoric San Pedro de Atacama, Chile: behavioral implications of environmental stress.

    PubMed

    Torres-Rouff, Christina; Costa Junqueira, María Antonietta

    2006-05-01

    The prehistoric population of San Pedro de Atacama lived through periods marked by prosperity and interregional interaction, as well as times of severe drought, social stress, and widespread poverty. A sample of 682 crania was analyzed for evidence of cranial trauma in order to assess changing patterns of interpersonal violence during the occupation of the oasis. It was hypothesized that the level of traumatic injuries in this population would parallel some of the changes seen in the archaeological record. Low fracture rates would be expected in periods of affluence and environmental stability, while periods characterized by environmental extremes and state collapse would yield elevated rates of aggression. This analysis found that rates of trauma escalated from 5.1% (5/99) in the earliest period, to 10.9% (10/92) in the Middle Horizon (AD 600-950). Although it may reflect problems related to increasing population density in the oasis, this increase is surprising, given that the early period witnessed the shift to permanent settlements, and the middle period was one of prosperity and plentiful resource availability. Trauma rates peaked at 35.6% (16/45) in an early Late Intermediate period (AD 950-1400) cemetery, with other Late Intermediate cemeteries demonstrating similarly high rates of traumatic injury. The elevated trauma rates during this period correlate with major droughts, the concentration of settlements on the oasis' east side, fortified structures, and material poverty, all reflected in the archaeological record. As the Late Intermediate waned and environmental conditions improved, trauma concomitantly decreased (7.0%), and remained low throughout the Inka occupation (AD 1400-1532). This indicates that while the Atacama was not peaceful, violence became commonplace only during periods of great social change and resource stress. PMID:16353221

  7. Timing and slip for prehistoric earthquakes on the Superstition Mountain Fault, Imperial Valley, southern California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurrola, Larry D.; Rockwell, Thomas K.

    1996-03-01

    Trenches excavated across the Superstition Mountain fault in the Imperial Valley, California, have exposed evidence for four prehistorical earthquakes preserved in displaced lacustrine stratigraphy associated with ancient Lake Cahuilla. The presence of shoreline peat accumulations along with abundant detrital charcoal allows for high-precision age determination of some stratigraphic units, thereby providing constraints on the timing of three of the paleoearthquakes. These three events occurred within a 480- to 820-year interval during the past 1200 years. The most recent earthquake (event 1) occurred during a fluvial phase of deposition between A.D. 1440-1637, immediately prior to the inundation of the Cahuilla basin at about A.D. 1480 and 1660. A channel margin was offset 2.2 +0.4/-0.15 m in this rupture, suggesting an earthquake with a magnitude ≥7. The penultimate event (event 2) also occurred during fluvial deposition after A.D. 1280 but before another lakestand at A.D. 1440-1640. Lateral slip could not be resolved for event 2. However, based on juxtaposition of dissimilar units and the amount of deformation produced by this event, it is presumed that this was also a large earthquake. The timing of event 3 is constrained to have occurred between about A.D. 820 and 1280. This event is represented by several fractures and small displacements that rupture up to a distinct stratigraphic level or event horizon. Slip was not resolved for this event. Finally, the timing of event 4 is very poorly constrained to between A.D. 964 and 4670 B.C. Undoubtedly, many events may have occurred during this period. Notably, the past three earthquakes occurred within a period of less than 820 years, and it has been over 350 years since the last earthquake.

  8. Modelling prehistoric terrain Models using LiDAR-data: a geomorphological approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Höfler, Veit; Wessollek, Christine; Karrasch, Pierre

    2015-10-01

    -genetic character and can be called a prehistoric terrain model.

  9. A Study on Generic Representation of Skeletal Remains Replication of Prehistoric Burial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shao, C.-W.; Chiu, H.-L.; Chang, S.-K.

    2015-08-01

    Generic representation of skeletal remains from burials consists of three dimensions which include physical anthropologists, replication technicians, and promotional educators. For the reason that archaeological excavation is irreversible and disruptive, detail documentation and replication technologies are surely needed for many purposes. Unearthed bones during the process of 3D digital scanning need to go through reverse procedure, 3D scanning, digital model superimposition, rapid prototyping, mould making, and the integrated errors generated from the presentation of colours and textures are important issues for the presentation of replicate skeleton remains among professional decisions conducted by physical anthropologists, subjective determination of makers, and the expectations of viewers. This study presents several cases and examines current issues on display and replication technologies for human skeletal remains of prehistoric burials. This study documented detail colour changes of human skeleton over time for the reference of reproduction. The tolerance errors of quantification and required technical qualification is acquired according to the precision of 3D scanning, the specification requirement of rapid prototyping machine, and the mould making process should following the professional requirement for physical anthropological study. Additionally, the colorimeter is adopted to record and analyse the "colour change" of the human skeletal remains from wet to dry condition. Then, the "colure change" is used to evaluate the "real" surface texture and colour presentation of human skeletal remains, and to limit the artistic presentation among the human skeletal remains reproduction. The"Lingdao man No.1", is a well preserved burial of early Neolithic period (8300 B.P.) excavated from Liangdao-Daowei site, Matsu, Taiwan , as the replicating object for this study. In this study, we examined the reproduction procedures step by step for ensuring the surface

  10. Magnetic Properties of Lake Sediments as a Possible Tool to Improve Estimates of Prehistoric Fluctuations in Fish Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiss, C. E.; Oleskewicz, M.; West, D.; Post, D. M.

    2010-12-01

    Alewives are small anadromous fish that spend most of their lives in the ocean, but use small coastal lakes as their spawning grounds. Since many of these fish die after spawning they can supply a significant amount of marine derived nutrients to these lacustrine ecosystems. Over the past decades, however, alewife numbers have declined significantly in Connecticut lakes. We studied the magnetic properties of two Connecticut lakes to investigate whether changes in alewife populations are reflected in the sediment magnetic record and could be used to improve the estimates of prehistoric fluctuations in alewife populations. Since the marine derived nitrogen is enriched in δ15N, nitrogen isotope ratios are used as a proxy for anadromous fish population size. Sediment magnetic properties were characterized through measurements of magnetic susceptibility, anhysteretic remanent magnetization, Isothermal remanent magnetization, coercivity parameters, hysteresis looks and Curie-temperature measurements. We used a paired watershed approach utilizing Bride Lake which has a viable alewife population and nearby Uncas Pond which due to the presence of a waterfall cannot receive anadromous fish. Bride Lake shows prehistoric variations in δ15N, which are also reflected in the sediment magnetic properties. Time periods with high δ15N (high marine nutrient input) are characterized by low ARM/IRM ratios and lower S-ratios, indicating intense dissolution of soft ferrimagnetic minerals and a relative increase in coarse ferrimagnets and a shift to higher coercivity titanomagnetite minerals. Uncas Lake does not show this shift in grain size or magnetic coercivity, suggesting that sediment magnetic properties can assist in the reconstruction of prehistoric alewife populations.

  11. Building and Applying "Insularity Theory": Review on Knapp's Prehistoric and Protohistoric Cyprus, 2008.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katsarou-Tzeveleki, Stella

    Prehistoric and Protohistoric Cyprus by A. Bernard Knapp involves us in a highly creative reading. This is due mainly to the fact that the author engages in a holistic synthesis of Cyprus in the Bronze Age, not by emphasizing the events and descriptions of the material remains, but by concentrating upon the difficult question of the identity of the islanders of this period and the processes by which it was formed. The author's teaching of Mediterranean prehistory at the University of Glasgow fully accounts for his need to produce a comprehensive theoretical work of this kind: the basic questions asked by students give rise to theoretical concerns for any teacher aiming to 'distil' the essential synthesis that forms the starting point for any further detailed archaeological description. This essential answer seems to have troubled Knapp for some time, judging by the long list of his writings seeking to synthesize aspects of Cypriot economy, cult and society; the present book is thus the highly interesting outcome of the mature thinking of an experienced fieldworker as much as a theoretical archaeologist and teacher. What, then, is the essential question that Knapp seeks to answer through this book? His question focuses on the identity of the islanders of Cyprus during the 'most formative periods, from the village based culture to the international, town-centred, even state-level polity' (p. 1), the way in which this identity was formed, and how it is reflected in both any recorded event and the material culture of the island in this specific period. Moreover, he also explores more fully what the distinctive features of island identity in general are, how they are constituted and how they influence the material culture of any island population. In seeking the answers, the author avoids a number of the usual approaches to Cypriot archaeology and turns, instead, to new interpretive directions. The approaches he avoids are the citing of events of Cypriot prehistory, the

  12. Evidence of four prehistoric supernovae <250 pc from Earth during the past 50,000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Firestone, R. B.

    2009-12-01

    Analysis of the radiocarbon record for the past 50 ka indicates that four supernovae exploded near Earth 44 ka (~110 pc), 37 ka (~180 pc), 32 ka (~160 pc), and 22 ka (250 pc) ago. Each SN left a unique signature in the radiocarbon record consisting of a sudden increase in atmospheric radiocarbon at the time of the initial explosion due to the arrival of γ-rays and neutrinos, followed by a much larger increase in global radiocarbon spanning centuries due to cosmic rays produced by diffusive shock in the SN remnant, and concluding with the decay of the excess global 14C produced in these events. Temporal evolution of this signature is identical for each SN as if it were a “standard candle”. The ~22 ka SN is most likely the Vela SN that is known to have exploded 10-30 ka ago 250 pc from Earth. The distances of the other SNe are calculated from the relative amounts of radiocarbon produced on Earth with respect to the Vela SN assuming a 1/r2 relationship. The rate of these nearby prehistoric SNe is comparable to that expected from the more distant historical SNe observed during the past 1000 years and it is consistent with the galactic cosmic ray rate at Earth. Global radiocarbon doubled after the ~44 ka SN which exploded 110 pc from Earth, a distance consistent with the Upper Scorpius OB Association. It coincides with the advent of modern man, mutations leading to the development of type A and B blood, and major megafaunal extinctions in Southeast Asia. An exponential fit to the past 18 ka of INTCAL04 Δ14C data gives a half-life of 5700±700 yr, consistent with the half-life of 14C (5730 yr), and establishes an absolute scale of Δ14C=5±2% for T=0 in 1950. Small variations about the exponential decay curve correlate with observed changes in the strength of Earth’s virtual axial dipole moment (VADM). Analysis of the energy necessary to produce the excess global radiocarbon indicates that these SNe explosions released ~3x1050 ergs of energy into the production

  13. GPR study of a prehistoric archaeological site near Point Barrow, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, R. B.; Jensen, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    A ground penetrating radar (GPR) study was performed on the prehistoric Thule cemetery site near Point Barrow, Alaska. The goals of this study were (a) to test this technology in this type of polar environment, and (b) to search for burials and other archaeological features in a location in imminent danger from ocean erosion. The Nuvuk site is currently eroding at an average rate measured at over 6 m/year. Prior archaeological work at the site had recovered over 80 burials with nearly 100 individuals represented, all of which were less than 1 m below surface, and detectable with small test pits. In addition, the first coastal Ipiutak occupation known north of Point Hope had been recently discovered, at a depth of nearly 2m below surface, in the erosion face. The occupation appeared to have been terminated by a large storm which overwashed the site, leaving a strandline immediately superimposed on the living surface. After that, approximately 1.5 m of sterile gravels had been deposited before the surface on which the Thule people were living formed. Both occupations are of considerable scientific interest. The matrix at the site consists of unconsolidated beach gravels, which necessitates opening large surface areas or use of shoring to test even small units to the depths of the Ipiutak deposit (approximately 8m x 8m at the surface to test 1m x 1m at 2m depth). Such excavations promote erosion, and are very costly in terms of time and labor, so a means to detect features buried at depths greater than those exposed by shovel test pits was desirable. GPR seemed a likely candidate, but it had not been used in such conditions before, and thus it was necessary to test it thoroughly prior to relying on GPR to eliminate areas from physical testing. The GPR imaged the subsurface to a depth of 3 meters at a frequency of 500MHz. Meter-deep test pits were placed at 2-meter intervals in the survey area in a grid pattern since the efficacy of the technology had yet to be shown

  14. Isotope sourcing of prehistoric willow and tule textiles recovered from western Great Basin rock shelters and caves - proof of concept

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, L.V.; Hattori, E.M.; Taylor, H.E.; Poulson, S.R.; Jolie, E.A.

    2006-01-01

    Isotope and trace-metal analyses were used to determine the origin of plants used to manufacture prehistoric textiles (basketry and matting) from archaeological sites in the western Great Basin. Research focused on strontium (87Sr/86Sr) and oxygen (18O/16O) isotope ratios of willow (Salix sp.) and tule (Schoenoplectus sp.), the dominant raw materials in Great Basin textiles. The oxygen-isotope data indicated that the willow and tule used to produce the textiles were harvested from the banks of rivers or in marshes characterized by flowing water and not from lakes or sinks. The strontium-isotope data were useful in showing which plants came from the Humboldt River and which came from rivers headed in the Sierra Nevada.

  15. Technical synthesis of prehistoric archaeological investigations on the Savannah River Site, Aiken and Barnwell Counties, South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Sassaman, K.E.; Brooks, M.J.; Hanson, G.T.; Anderson, D.G.

    1989-12-01

    Archaeological investigations on the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) in south Carolina span 16 years and continue today through a cooperative agreement between DOE and the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA), University of South Carolina. The Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (SRARP) of SCIAA has been and continues to be the sole archaeological consultant for DOE-SRS. This report documents technical aspects of all prehistoric archaeological research conducted by the SRARP between 1973 and 1987. Further, this report provides interpretative contexts for archaeological resources as a basis for an archaeological resource plan reported elsewhere (SRARP 1989), and as a comprehensive statement of our current understanding of Native American prehistory and history.

  16. 3D Recording methodology applied to the Grotta Scritta Prehistoric Rock-Shelter in Olmeta-Di-Capocorso (Corsica, France)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grussenmeyer, P.; Burens, A.; Guillemin, S.; Alby, E.; Allegrini Simonetti, F.; Marchetti, M.-L.

    2015-08-01

    The Grotta Scritta I prehistoric site is located on the west side of Cap Corse, in the territory of the municipality of Olmeta-di- Capocorso (Haute-Corse, France). This rock shelter is located on a western spur of the mountains La Serra, at 412 m height above sea level. In the regional context of a broad set of megalithic burial sites (regions Nebbiu and Agriates) and a rich insular prehistoric rock art with several engraved patterns (mainly geometric), the Grotta Scritta is the only site with painted depictions of Corsica. Around twenty parietal depictions are arranged in the upper part of the rock-shelter and takes advantage of the microtopography of the wall. Today, the Grotta Scritta is a vulnerable site, made fragile by the action of time and man. The 3D scanning of the rockshelter and paintings of the Grotta Scritta was carried out by surveyors and archaeologists from INSA Strasbourg and from UMR 5602 GEODE (Toulouse), by combining accurate terrestrial laser scanning and photogrammetry techniques. These techniques are based on a full 3D documentation without contact of the rock-shelter paintings. The paper presents the data acquisition methodology followed by an overview of data processing solutions based on both imaging and laser scanning. Several deliverables as point clouds, meshed models, textured models and orthoimages are proposed for the documentation. Beyond their usefulness in terms of valorization, communication and virtual restitution, the proposed models also provide support tools for the analysis and perception of the complexity of the volumes of the shelter (namely for the folded forms of the dome housing the paintings) as well as for the accuracy of the painted depictions recorded on the orthophotos processed from the 3D model.

  17. The geological record of prehistorical tsunami at a coastal area of Beppu Bay in eastern Kyushu, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamada, M.; Fujino, S.; Chiba, T.; Shinozaki, T.; Okuwaki, R.; Takeda, D.

    2015-12-01

    Tsunamis are typically generated by plate-boundary ruptures at subduction zones, but also vertical displacement associated with intraplate earthquakes. Historical written records documented that coasts of Beppu Bay, eastern Kyushu, Japan was devastated by a tsunami associated with the AD 1596 Keicho-Bungo earthquake (M7.0). It is considered that the earthquake occurred at submarine active faults in the bay. The aim of this study is to unravel the occurrence age and source of tsunamis that struck the coast of the bay in prehistorical ages. This study may also make a contribution to the understanding of tsunami-generating system at submarine active faults. We conducted a coring survey at paddy fields along the north coast of the bay. The 10 cm thick muddy sand layer with a few granules (hereinafter, sand layer), bounded by sharp contacts, was evident in the 1.7 m long sediment core taken at 700 m from the shoreline. Plant materials obtained from mud above the sand layer was dated to 1880-2000 cal. yr BP. Sharp contacts between sand and surrounding muds imply that the sand layer is formed by a sudden event. Existence of mud clast in the sand layer indicates erosion of surface mud. There were no brackish-marine diatoms in surrounding mud, but they accounted for 5-6% of the total within the sand layer, indicating that the sand grains were sourced at least in part from brackish-marine environment. Mean grain size/sorting of the sand layer and beach sand were 2.31/0.94 and 2.03/0.41 phi. The difference in sorting probably suggests that the sand layer partly contains the onshore sediments eroded in inundation process. Additional coring surveys would clarify the distribution of prehistorical tsunami deposits and source of past tsunamis.

  18. Study of a prehistoric landslide using seismic reflection methods integrated with geological data in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tingey, B.E.; McBride, J.H.; Thompson, T.J.; Stephenson, W.J.; South, J.V.; Bushman, M.

    2007-01-01

    An integration of geological and geophysical techniques characterizes the internal and basal structure of a landslide along the western margin of the Wasatch Mountains in northern Utah, USA. The study area is within a region of planned and continuing residential development. The Little Valley Landslide is a prehistoric landslide as old as 13??ka B.P. Drilling and trenching at the site indicate that the landslide consists of chaotic and disturbed weathered volcanic material derived from Tertiary age volcanic rocks that comprise a great portion of the Wasatch Range. Five short high-resolution common mid-point seismic reflection profiles over selected portions of the site examine the feasibility of using seismic reflection to study prehistoric landslides in the Wasatch Mountain region. Due to the expected complexity of the near-surface geology, we have pursued an experimental approach in the data processing, examining the effects of muting first arrivals, frequency filtering, model-based static corrections, and seismic migration. The results provide a framework for understanding the overall configuration of the landslide, its basal (failure) surface, and the structure immediately underlying this surface. A glide surface or de??collement is interpreted to underlie the landslide suggesting a large mass movement. The interpretation of a glide surface is based on the onset of coherent reflectivity, calibrated by information from a borehole located along one of the seismic profiles. The glide surface is deepest in the center portion of the landslide and shallows up slope, suggesting a trough-like feature. This study shows that seismic reflection techniques can be successfully used in complex alpine landslide regions to (1) provide a framework in which to link geological data and (2) reduce the need for an extensive trenching and drilling program. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Sr isotope signatures of Austrian trees as a tool for the determination of origin of prehistoric wood

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horsky, Monika; Tintner, Johannes; Grabner, Michael; Kowarik, Kerstin; Reschreiter, Hans; Kern, Anton; Prohaska, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    Wood artefacts from prehistoric times have been preserved in a salt mine environment in Hallstatt, Austria, for more than 3000 years and thus present a unique archive of information on past mining industry. Certain findings are assumed to have been traded, so the finding spot is not equivalent to the growth region of the tree. Therefore, 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratio measurements have been applied to investigate the origin of these artefacts, in order to allow conclusions on trade routes. As a basis for this, modern trees from several selected regions in Austria were analysed for their Sr isotopic ratios. The regions were chosen based on archaeological knowledge of settlements in the time period of interest and under consideration of the geological, climatic and silvicultural situation. Four tree species, which are also represented in the archaeological finds, were sampled. Thus, the first steps towards a map of Sr isotopic signatures bioavailable to different trees in Austria are presented here. The applicability to the prehistoric findings, however, is challenged by the storage conditions with respect to inorganic contamination by the repository material. The extent of penetration of salt into the wood tissue was screened using laser ablation ICPMS. A decontamination strategy based on acid leaching was developed and successful separation of contamination and natural strontium could be achieved. This was shown by measurement of 87Sr/86Sr in leaching solutions and digests of wood using multi-collector ICPMS. The assumption of non-exhaustive removal of secondary salts was included into the evaluation by adoption of a mixing curve, which allows the mathematical extraction of biogenic Sr isotope ratios of the wood samples.

  20. Mitochondrial genome diversity at the Bering Strait area highlights prehistoric human migrations from Siberia to northern North America.

    PubMed

    Dryomov, Stanislav V; Nazhmidenova, Azhar M; Shalaurova, Sophia A; Morozov, Igor V; Tabarev, Andrei V; Starikovskaya, Elena B; Sukernik, Rem I

    2015-10-01

    The patterns of prehistoric migrations across the Bering Land Bridge are far from being completely understood: there still exists a significant gap in our knowledge of the population history of former Beringia. Here, through comprehensive survey of mitochondrial DNA genomes retained in 'relic' populations, the Maritime Chukchi, Siberian Eskimos, and Commander Aleuts, we explore genetic contribution of prehistoric Siberians/Asians to northwestern Native Americans. Overall, 201 complete mitochondrial sequences (52 new and 149 published) were selected in the reconstruction of trees encompassing mtDNA lineages that are restricted to Coastal Chukotka and Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, and the Aleutian chain. Phylogeography of the resulting mtDNA genomes (mitogenomes) considerably extends the range and intrinsic diversity of haplogroups (eg, A2a, A2b, D2a, and D4b1a2a1) that emerged and diversified in postglacial central Beringia, defining independent origins of Neo-Eskimos versus Paleo-Eskimos, Aleuts, and Tlingit (Na-Dene). Specifically, Neo-Eskimos, ancestral to modern Inuit, not only appear to be of the High Arctic origin but also to harbor Altai/Sayan-related ancestry. The occurrence of the haplogroup D2a1b haplotypes in Chukotka (Sireniki) introduces the possibility that the traces of Paleo-Eskimos have not been fully erased by spread of the Neo-Eskimos or their descendants. Our findings are consistent with the recurrent gene flow model of multiple streams of expansions to northern North America from northeastern Eurasia in late Pleistocene-early Holocene. PMID:25564040

  1. Earliest evidence for the use of pottery.

    PubMed

    Craig, O E; Saul, H; Lucquin, A; Nishida, Y; Taché, K; Clarke, L; Thompson, A; Altoft, D T; Uchiyama, J; Ajimoto, M; Gibbs, K; Isaksson, S; Heron, C P; Jordan, P

    2013-04-18

    Pottery was a hunter-gatherer innovation that first emerged in East Asia between 20,000 and 12,000 calibrated years before present (cal bp), towards the end of the Late Pleistocene epoch, a period of time when humans were adjusting to changing climates and new environments. Ceramic container technologies were one of a range of late glacial adaptations that were pivotal to structuring subsequent cultural trajectories in different regions of the world, but the reasons for their emergence and widespread uptake are poorly understood. The first ceramic containers must have provided prehistoric hunter-gatherers with attractive new strategies for processing and consuming foodstuffs, but virtually nothing is known of how early pots were used. Here we report the chemical analysis of food residues associated with Late Pleistocene pottery, focusing on one of the best-studied prehistoric ceramic sequences in the world, the Japanese Jōmon. We demonstrate that lipids can be recovered reliably from charred surface deposits adhering to pottery dating from about 15,000 to 11,800 cal bp (the Incipient Jōmon period), the oldest pottery so far investigated, and that in most cases these organic compounds are unequivocally derived from processing freshwater and marine organisms. Stable isotope data support the lipid evidence and suggest that most of the 101 charred deposits analysed, from across the major islands of Japan, were derived from high-trophic-level aquatic food. Productive aquatic ecotones were heavily exploited by late glacial foragers, perhaps providing an initial impetus for investment in ceramic container technology, and paving the way for further intensification of pottery use by hunter-gatherers in the early Holocene epoch. Now that we have shown that it is possible to analyse organic residues from some of the world's earliest ceramic vessels, the subsequent development of this critical technology can be clarified through further widespread testing of hunter-gatherer

  2. Social Mobility and Equality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, S. M.

    Social mobility is generally studied in three different ways: stratum mobility, intergenerational social mobility, and intragenerational or career mobility. This paper deals with the first two types of mobility and more with intergenerational mobility than with stratum mobility. The working hypothesis of both discussions is that, in general, a…

  3. Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Migratory Behavior of Ungulates Using Isotopic Analysis of Tooth Enamel and Its Effects on Forager Mobility.

    PubMed

    Pilaar Birch, Suzanne E; Miracle, Preston T; Stevens, Rhiannon E; O'Connell, Tamsin C

    2016-01-01

    Zooarchaeological and paleoecological investigations have traditionally been unable to reconstruct the ethology of herd animals, which likely had a significant influence on the mobility and subsistence strategies of prehistoric humans. In this paper, we reconstruct the migratory behavior of red deer (Cervus elaphus) and caprids at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the northeastern Adriatic region using stable oxygen isotope analysis of tooth enamel. The data show a significant change in δ18O values from the Pleistocene into the Holocene, as well as isotopic variation between taxa, the case study sites, and through time. We then discuss the implications of seasonal faunal availability as determining factors in human mobility patterns. PMID:27275784

  4. Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Migratory Behavior of Ungulates Using Isotopic Analysis of Tooth Enamel and Its Effects on Forager Mobility

    PubMed Central

    Pilaar Birch, Suzanne E.; Miracle, Preston T.; Stevens, Rhiannon E.; O’Connell, Tamsin C.

    2016-01-01

    Zooarchaeological and paleoecological investigations have traditionally been unable to reconstruct the ethology of herd animals, which likely had a significant influence on the mobility and subsistence strategies of prehistoric humans. In this paper, we reconstruct the migratory behavior of red deer (Cervus elaphus) and caprids at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the northeastern Adriatic region using stable oxygen isotope analysis of tooth enamel. The data show a significant change in δ18O values from the Pleistocene into the Holocene, as well as isotopic variation between taxa, the case study sites, and through time. We then discuss the implications of seasonal faunal availability as determining factors in human mobility patterns. PMID:27275784

  5. Pre-excavation studies of prehistoric cave sites by magnetic prospecting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itkis., Sonia; Matskevich, Zinovii; Meshveliani, Tengiz

    2014-05-01

    Detailed magnetic survey was performed for caves study in Israel (1995-1996) within the framework of the Beit Shemesh Regional Project (Judean Shephelah). The experience accumulated in Israel we applied later (2010) in two Georgian prehistoric cave sites: Cherula and Kotias-Klde. The magnetic method is based on the contrast in magnetic properties between a target object (e.g., buried archaeological feature) and the host medium (i.e, the surrounding bedrock and soil). The feasibility of the magnetic method for cave revealing was evaluated by magnetic susceptibility (κ) measurements of surrounding soil and rocks, and archaeological features: stones making up the walls, ceramic fragments and cave fill. According to data obtained, the κ of soil within caves (cave fill) is higher than that of surrounding soil. The enhancement of cave fill κ occurs because processes associated with human habitation: repeated heating and accumulation of organic debris. Both these processes provide good conditions for the conversion of the iron oxide found within the soil to a strongly ferromagnetic form (Mullins, 1977; Maher, 1986; Dalan and Banerjee, 1998, Itkis and Eppelbaum, 1999; Itkis, 2003) The presence of highly magnetic ceramics in caves also enhances magnetic contrast between practically non-magnetic bed rock (chalk in Ramat Beit Shemesh Site (Israel) and limestone (Georgian sites) and the cave fill, increasing the potential of the magnetic method to reveal caves (Itkis, 2011). Based on magnetic survey results, an excavation revealed a cave with a large amount of well preserved pottery and finds typical of the Early Bronze Age. Both studied cave sites in Georgia were located in Chiatura region of Imeretia province. Cherula site is a karstic rockshelter with a single chamber, ca 100 sq. m. The site was briefly tested in 1970s'. The area excavated in 2010 went to the depth of 60 cm below the present day surface; the limestone bedrock was not reached. The excavation revealed

  6. Mobile Customer Relationship Management and Mobile Security

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanayei, Ali; Mirzaei, Abas

    The purpose of this study is twofold. First, in order to guarantee a coherent discussion about mobile customer relationship management (mCRM), this paper presents a conceptualization of mCRM delineating its unique characteristics because of Among the variety of mobile services, considerable attention has been devoted to mobile marketing and in particular to mobile customer relationship management services. Second, the authors discusses the security risks in mobile computing in different level(user, mobile device, wireless network,...) and finally we focus on enterprise mobile security and it's subgroups with a series of suggestion and solution for improve mobile computing security.

  7. Change of PAHs with evolution of paddy soils from prehistoric to present over the last six millennia in the Yangtze River Delta region, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jin; Cornelia, Mueller-Niggemann; Wang, Minyan; Cao, Zhihong; Luo, Xiping; Wong, Minghung; Chen, Wei

    2013-04-01

    To evaluate the influence of hydroponics management on soil organic components with evolution of paddy soil over the last six millennia, PAHs, as a biomarker, as well as total organic carbon content were used to explore changes of paddy soil organic carbon in two entirely buried ancient paddy soil profiles. The results showed that hydroponics management can cause organic carbon deposition in rice paddy. The changing of total PAH concentrations was not always in accordance with the changing of total organic carbon contents in layers of the buried ancient paddy soils. The PAHs in 6280 BP prehistoric paddy soil layer was 3-ring>5-ring>4-ring>6-ring, while in layers of the present paddy soil and the prehistoric upland were 3-ring>4-ring>5-ring>6-ring. The contribution of phenanthrene to total PAHs in two profiles and the increasing ratio of phenanthrene to alkylated PAHs from parent material/6280 BP prehistoric upland to 6280 BP paddy suggested substantial increase of the anthropogenic influence of hydroponics management on rice paddy soil. And in view of the (14)C age and bioremains in the two profiles, it was only possible for PAHs to be derived from hydroponics management with evolution of the paddy soils form the Neolithic age. Cadalene could be used as an indicator for biological sources of PAHs released by rice plant residues, and benzo[g,h,i]fluoranthene and benzo[g,h,i]perylene for pyrogenic sources released by field vegetation fires. PMID:23435064

  8. A Dynamical Analysis of the Suitability of Prehistoric Spheroids from the Cave of Hearths as Thrown Projectiles.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Andrew D; Zhu, Qin; Barham, Lawrence; Stanistreet, Ian; Bingham, Geoffrey P

    2016-01-01

    Spheroids are ball-shaped stone objects found in African archaeological sites dating from 1.8 million years ago (Early Stone Age) to at least 70,000 years ago (Middle Stone Age). Spheroids are either fabricated or naturally shaped stones selected and transported to places of use making them one of the longest-used technologies on record. Most hypotheses about their use suggest they were percussive tools for shaping or grinding other materials. However, their size and spherical shape make them potentially useful as projectile weapons, a property that, uniquely, humans have been specialised to exploit for millions of years. Here we show (using simulations of projectile motions resulting from human throwing) that 81% of a sample of spheroids from the late Acheulean (Bed 3) at the Cave of Hearths, South Africa afford being thrown so as to inflict worthwhile damage to a medium-sized animal over distances up to 25 m. Most of the objects have weights that produce optimal levels of damage from throwing, rather than simply being as heavy as possible (as would suit other functions). Our results show that these objects were eminently suitable for throwing, and demonstrate how empirical research on behavioural tasks can inform and constrain our theories about prehistoric artefacts. PMID:27506611

  9. A Dynamical Analysis of the Suitability of Prehistoric Spheroids from the Cave of Hearths as Thrown Projectiles

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Andrew D.; Zhu, Qin; Barham, Lawrence; Stanistreet, Ian; Bingham, Geoffrey P.

    2016-01-01

    Spheroids are ball-shaped stone objects found in African archaeological sites dating from 1.8 million years ago (Early Stone Age) to at least 70,000 years ago (Middle Stone Age). Spheroids are either fabricated or naturally shaped stones selected and transported to places of use making them one of the longest-used technologies on record. Most hypotheses about their use suggest they were percussive tools for shaping or grinding other materials. However, their size and spherical shape make them potentially useful as projectile weapons, a property that, uniquely, humans have been specialised to exploit for millions of years. Here we show (using simulations of projectile motions resulting from human throwing) that 81% of a sample of spheroids from the late Acheulean (Bed 3) at the Cave of Hearths, South Africa afford being thrown so as to inflict worthwhile damage to a medium-sized animal over distances up to 25 m. Most of the objects have weights that produce optimal levels of damage from throwing, rather than simply being as heavy as possible (as would suit other functions). Our results show that these objects were eminently suitable for throwing, and demonstrate how empirical research on behavioural tasks can inform and constrain our theories about prehistoric artefacts. PMID:27506611

  10. Evidence of prehistoric flooding and the potential for future extreme flooding at Coyote Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glancy, Patrick A.

    1994-01-01

    Coyote Wash, east of Yucca Mountain and southwest of the Nevada Test Site, is the potential location for an exploratory shaft to investigate the feasibility of underground storage of radioactive waste. The potential for flooding and related fluvial-debris hazards was investigated with respect to the potential shaft location. Trenches excavated through fluvial sediment deposits revealed interstratified rock detritus emplaced by floods and debris flows. Most of the deposits are believed to be of late Quaternary age. Debros-flow deposits contain boulders as large as 3 feet in diameter. This evidence of intense prehistoric flooding and debris movement indicates the possibility of similar continuing activity. Empirical estimates of extreme flood flows in North Fork Coyote Wash, a 0.094- square-mile drainage to the shaft site, range from 900 to 2,600 cubic feet per second. Current (1992) knowledge indicates that flows of water and debris as much as 2,500 cubic feet per second can occur in the vicinity of the shaft from this drainage. Similar size flows from adjacent South Fork Coyote Wash, could arrive simultaneously in the vicinity of the shaft. Thus, cumulative water and debris from both tributaries could subject the alluvial flood plain near the shaft site to flows of as much as 5,000 cubic feet per second.