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Ambiguities in human and elephant interactions? Stories of bones, sand and water from Castel di Guido (Italy)

Quaternary International
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2009.10.016
  • Archaeology


Abstract Geoarchaeological and taphonomical studies have been carried out on the sequence and on the faunal remains of Castel di Guido (Central Italy), a Middle Pleistocene site with Acheulean industry and faunas including Elephas (Palaeoloxodon) antiquus, Bos primigenius, Equus ferus and other taxa. Investigation focused on remains accumulated on the bottom of a depressed area, probably an ephemeral stream channel sometimes acting as a seep. The assemblage resulted prevalently from human activity, as shown by the selection of the faunas, by the thorough fracturing of the bones, and by the occurrence of abundant chipped stone industry and bone bifaces. It is still a matter of debate whether the animals were hunted or scavenged. The present-day distribution of the remains does not represent exactly their original configuration, as in most sites of this type and age. More likely, the objects are partly in their original position and partly reworked, and lie within a complex palimpsest of several phases of fluvial transport and human activity, with the addition of external inputs of reworked bones and artefacts.

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