Tuesday 20 December 2011

Archaeologists Find Neanderthal Dwelling Made from Mammoth Bones

     Published online this very day. 'Mammoths used as food and building resources by Neanderthals: Zooarchaeological study applied to layer 4, Molodova I (Ukraine).'
     Look at the scale! Look at the paucity of remains in the 'Circular accumulation of mammoth bones! Not enough for a foundation, much less an entire building! What sort of pattern would result when a dead elephant is repeatedly scavenged? Prolly quasi-circular! I can almost see the outline of a pachyderm in the lighter area inside the 'Circular accumulation.' When is it going to stop? When will they learn?
     I'll have more to say in the coming days. I can't wait! [Comment added at 8:17 PST on Dec. 20, 2011: this paper should never have been published. It lacks any useful discussion of the geomorphological context, which to me appears to be clay-dominated and therefore a mire. It's a place where very large mammals would naturally end up if unlucky enough to lumber by. I've pointed out the shortcomings of the 'hut' hypothesis. There's plenty more. But it'll have to wait. Since they cite 50, 60, 70, 80-year-old literature it might take a bit of time to be seriously critical of this work. But the signs aren't good.]

Site plan reproduced from Demay, Péan and Patou-Mathis (Quaternary International 2011, doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2011.11.019).

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