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Author Topic: Fish, crabs & fire @750KYA  (Read 1857 times)
Charlie Hatchett
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« on: December 19, 2009, 06:54:46 PM »

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5960/1677

"...Gesher Benot Ya’aqov is located on the shores of the paleo–Lake Hula in the northern Jordan Valley in the Dead Sea Rift (7). The Early to Middle Pleistocene sediments document an oscillating freshwater lake and represent some 100,000 years of hominin occupation (Oxygen Isotope Stages 18–20) dating to 790,000 years ago (8, 9). Fourteen archaeological horizons indicate that Acheulian hominins repeatedly occupied the lake margins, where they skillfully produced stone tools, systematically butchered and exploited animals, gathered plant food, and controlled fire (7, 10–15)..."

"...Although most taxa indicate wet habitats (e.g., lakes, lake margins, swamps, and near streams), the abundant fruit remains of woodland species such as olive, oak, and officinal storax (Styrax officinalis) imply human involvement, as their habitat was likely located some distance from the lake shore. Edible plants include oak acorns, prickly water lily (Euryale ferox) seeds, and water chestnut (Trapa natans) fruits; these were probably staple foods because of the nutritive value of their starchy nuts. Through roasting, the inedible shell of the nuts can easily be peeled and the tannin content of the acorns reduced. The fruits of the wild grapevine (Vitis sylvestris) and olive, and the leaves of the white beet (Beta vulgaris) and holy thistle (Silybum marianum), may also have been consumed..."

"...The 17 crab specimens [minimum number of individuals (MNI) = 4 (22)], identified as the extant Potamon potamios, include pieces of the two asymmetric chelipeds, each with a distinctive form of the movable (upper) and fixed (lower) pincer....Of the seven pincers of the large cheliped present in Level 2, six occur around the hearth. These are the only crab remains in this area (fig. S4) (23)..."

"...The evidence from Gesher Benot Ya’aqov suggests that early Middle Pleistocene hominins carried out different activities at discrete locations. The designation of different areas for different activities indicates a formalized conceptualization of living space, often considered to reflect sophisticated cognition and thought to be unique to Homo sapiens (3). Modern use of space requires social organization and communication between group members, and is thought to involve kinship, gender, age, status, and skill (2)..."



http://johnhawks.net/weblog/reviews/archaeology/lower/gesher-benot-yaaqov-alperson-afil-2009.html
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Rokcet Scientist
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2010, 12:46:34 AM »

I think that by 750 Kya hominins had already been feeding on seafood for the largest part of the protein in their diet for at least 1,5 million years, living and trekking along the contemporary coastlines as they did. Now it seems water was also an important source of starch. Interesting.
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