Tomorrow, Friday April 9, 2010 (at 2:00PM in AD 200), the UC Denver Department of Anthropology is hosting a colloquium by Jamie Hodgkins on her zooarchaeological research at two French Mousterian sites. Details below.
Tracking Climate-Driven Changes in Neandertal Subsistence Behaviors and Prey Migration
Jamie M. Hodgkins
School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Arizona State University
This project evaluates the Climatic Stress Model of Neandertal extinction, which holds that successive cold phases doomed Neandertals to extinction before modern humans entered Europe. Specifically, this project tests the model’s assumptions that 1) cold climates stressed Neandertal populations, and 2) global climate changes affected local Neandertal habitats. An analysis of Neandertal butchering on red deer and reindeer skeletal material deposited during global warm and cold phases from two French sites – Pech de l’Azé IV and Roc de Marsal – helps test the hypothesis that Neandertals were stressed by cold climates since comparing butchering strategies during different climates will address whether cold climates induced hyper-processing of bones. Because mammals migrate less in warm, well vegetated environments, but more in cold, open environments, the hypothesis that global climates affected local habitats can also be tested through isotopic reconstruction of large mammal migration patterns (e.g., bison, horse, red deer and reindeer). These reconstructions are based on the principle that living tissues absorb chemical isotopes in the water and nutrients that are unique to the region in which they are consumed. Identifying isotopic variation in mammalian fossils enables home range size and migration distance to be inferred, providing an indication of whether environments at Pech de l’Azé IV and Roc de Marsal tracked global climates.
When: Friday, April 9, 2010 – 2:00PM
Where: Administration Building, Room AD 200,University of Colorado Denver
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