viernes, 30 de mayo de 2014

Domestication of Dogs May Explain Mammoth Kill Sites and the Success of Early Modern Humans

1/2. A fragment of a large bone, probably from a mammoth, Pat Shipman reports, was placed in this dog's mouth shortly after death. This finding suggests the animal was according special mortuary treatment, perhaps acknowledging its role in mammoth hunting. The fossil comes from the site of Predmosti, in the Czech republic, and is about 27,000 years B.P. old. This object is one of three canid skulls from Predmosti that were identified as dogs based on analysis of their morphology.

A new analysis of European archaeological sites containing large numbers of dead mammoths and dwellings built with mammoth bones has led Penn State Professor Emerita Pat Shipman to formulate a new interpretation of how these sites were formed. She suggests that their abrupt appearance may have been due to early modern humans working with the earliest domestic dogs to kill the now-extinct mammoth -- a now-extinct animal distantly related to the modern-day elephant. Shipman's analysis also provides a way to test the predictions of her new hypothesis. Advance publication of her article "How do you kill 86 mammoths?" is available online through Quaternary International.

The "mammoth cemetery." The Siberian site of Berelekh is home to thousands of mammoth bones. P. N. Kolosov, Natural Resources, 5, 3 (2014)

Spectacular archaeological sites yielding stone tools and extraordinary numbers of dead mammoths -- some containing the remains of hundreds of individuals -- suddenly became common in central and eastern Eurasia between about 45,000 and 15,000 years ago, although mammoths previously had been hunted by humans and their extinct relatives and ancestors for at least a million years. Some of these mysterious sites have huts built of mammoth bones in complex, geometric patterns as well as piles of butchered mammoth bones. [...]

Entrada relacionada (2011)

Actualización: Los perros ayudaron a los primeros humanos a cazar mamuts, sugiere un estudio
Un nuevo análisis de yacimientos arqueológicos europeos que contienen un gran número de restos de mamuts y viviendas construidas con los huesos de estos animales ha llevado a Pat Shipman, una investigadora de la Penn State University de Estados Unidos a formular una nueva interpretación del papel de los perros en la historia más antigua de la humanidad.

Shipman sugiere que la repentina aparición de estos asentamientos podría tener su origen en la cooperación entre los primeros humanos modernos y los primeros perros domesticados.

Esa colaboración habría potenciado la caza de los mamuts, una especie ya extinta lejanamente emparentada con los elefantes actuales. El análisis de Shipman también proporciona una manera de probar las predicciones de su hipótesis... 

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Actualización: Los perros ayudaron a los primeros humanos a cazar mamuts, sugiere un estudio