Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Paleo round-up, Aug. 11, 2010 edition

Three items of note in recent paleonews:

  • In England, ongoing excavations at the Mesolithic site of Star Carr have uncovered the remains of the 10,500 year-old house described as "a round house - a smaller version of iron age round houses - with a circle of timber posts around a sunken circular floor area, which could have been covered by reeds." The structure appears to have been reused and upkept/rebuilt over time (as much as several hundred years), and its discoveries alters the perception of the site's occupants as highly nomadic hunter-gatherers.
  • Still in Spain, Esquilleu Cave has yielded phytoliths suggesting that the Neanderthals who occupied the site between 53-39,000 years ago arranged mats of grasses around a well-organized central hearth. These mats are taken as further evidence of Neanderthal sleeping structures, which also could have served as "sitting areas during waking hours for the Neanderthals."

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