Fat residue use-wear found on Acheulian biface scraper associated with butchered elephant remains at the site of Revadim, Israel

Natalya Solodenko, Andrea Zupancich, Stella Nunziante Cesaro, Ofer Marder, Cristina Lemorini, Ran Barkai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

The archaeological record indicates that elephants must have played a significant role in early human diet and culture during Palaeolithic times in the Old World. However, the nature of interactions between early humans and elephants is still under discussion. Elephant remains are found in Palaeolithic sites, both open-air and cave sites, in Europe, Asia, the Levant, and Africa. In some cases elephant and mammoth remains indicate evidence for butchering and marrow extraction performed by humans. Revadim Quarry (Israel) is a Late Acheulian site where elephant remains were found in association with characteristic Lower Palaeolithic flint tools. In this paper we present results regarding the use of Palaeolithic tools in processing animal carcasses and rare identification of fat residue preserved on Lower Palaeolithic tools. Our results shed new light on the use of Palaeolithic stone tools and provide, for the first time, direct evidence (residue) of animal exploitation through the use of an Acheulian biface and a scraper. The association of an elephant rib bearing cut marks with these tools may reinforce the view suggesting the use of Palaeolithic stone tools in the consumption of large game.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0118572
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Mar 2015

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