Programmes > Par auteur > Jones Emily Lena

Rabbits in Iberia: A paleobiogeographic approach to Neanderthal leporid consumption
Milena Carvalho  1, *@  , Emily Lena Jones@
1 : The University of New Mexico [Albuquerque]  -  Site web
Albuquerque, Nouveau-Mexique 87131 -  États-Unis
* : Auteur correspondant

On the Iberian Peninsula, Neanderthals may have survived for several millennia longer than elsewhere in Europe. This suggests that some factor other than genetic swamping contributed to their disappearance. One proposed such factor is differences in anatomically modern human (AMH) and Neanderthal subsistence strategies: Neanderthals seem to have been less frequent small-game hunters than AMHs, and a number of researchers have suggested that this difference in strategy may have contributed to Neanderthal demise. In particular, the European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has been the focus of recent archaeofaunal studies, with some positing that Neanderthals, too, sometimes included small prey in their subsistence strategies (e.g., Blasco & Fernández Peris 2012), while others (e.g., Fa et al. 2013) suggest Neanderthals ignored this locally abundant prey item. The incorporation of rabbits into subsistence strategies may have happened for many reasons. Some attribute the shift to inclusion of rabbits as a response to population pressure in the Upper Paleolithic, others suggest that AMHs sought rabbits to fulfill specific nutritional purposes. Regardless of why, focusing so narrowly on a such a small food packet can be a testament of evolutional shifts in foraging adaptations. In this paper, we present a paleogeobiographic meta-analysis of Middle Paleolithic Iberian faunal assemblages. Using published data and multivariate and spatial analyses, we explore regional, temporal and contextual trends that may explain why Neanderthals sometimes, but seemingly not always, incorporated rabbits into their diet. We then use these trends to consider the role rabbit exploitation may have played in the Neanderthal disappearance. 

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