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A model of hunter-gatherer skeletal element transport: The effect of prey body size, carriers, and distance

Schoville, Benjamin J. ; Otarola - Castillo, Erik

Journal of Human Evolution, August, 2014, Vol.73, p.1(14) [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    A model of hunter-gatherer skeletal element transport: The effect of prey body size, carriers, and distance
  • Autor: Schoville, Benjamin J. ; Otarola - Castillo, Erik
  • Assuntos: Evolutionary Biology -- Analysis ; Evolutionary Biology -- Models ; Archaeology -- Analysis ; Archaeology -- Models ; Hunting And Gathering Societies -- Analysis ; Hunting And Gathering Societies -- Models
  • É parte de: Journal of Human Evolution, August, 2014, Vol.73, p.1(14)
  • Descrição: To link to full-text access for this article, visit this link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.06.004 Byline: Benjamin J. Schoville, Erik Otarola-Castillo Abstract: Zooarchaeologists frequently use the relative abundance of skeletal elements in faunal assemblages in conjunction with foraging theory models to infer subsistence decisions made by prehistoric hunter-gatherers. However, foraging models applied to ethnoarchaeological cases have had variable success linking skeletal transport decisions with foraging predictions. Here, we approach this issue with the well-known Hadza data to statistically model the skeletal element transport decisions in response to distance from the residential hub and the number of carriers available for carcass transport. We compare our modeling approach to the traditional skeletal element utility curves from Binford's work with the Nunamiut, and to the more recently proposed Shannon evenness measure. Our approach, based on standard yet powerful statistical modeling techniques, can help researchers gain increased insight into the prey part transport responses of hunter-gatherers. Our analyses treat individual prey skeletal elements by body size as the response variable. The results of this analysis suggest that utility curves, and the Shannon evenness approach as a proxy for utility curves, are problematic for making statements about prehistoric foraging from zooarchaeological data. Transport distance does not explain a significant portion of small prey (size class 2) skeletal element transport variation. However, distance explains a great deal of transport variation in large prey (size classes 4 and 5). Inferences from skeletal element profiles should be made relative to prey body size and the discard probability of individual elements. Understanding the influence of these variables allows construction of a framework for testing archaeological element profiles against ethnographically derived transport models. Author Affiliation: (a) Institute of Human Origins, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA (b) Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA (c) Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA Article History: Received 18 August 2010; Accepted 13 June 2014
  • Idioma: English

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