The application of actualistic studies to assess the taphonomic origin of Musterian rabbit accumulations from Arbreda Cave (North-East Iberia)

Distinguishing leporid bones accumulated by humans and other kind of predators becomes imperative to accurately understand human subsistence activities in the past, specially in the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean region where these taxa are very abundant. Over the last years we have conducted several actualistic studies with modern leporid remains with the aim of identifying differences in the taphonomic signatures produced by competing predators (i.e., humans, nocturnal or diurnal raptors and mammalian terrestrial carnivores). The patterns observed for each of these predators are now applied to the analysis of archaeological leporid remains from Mousterian layers of the Arbreda Cave site (North-East Iberia). The results obtained not only provide new data on Middle Palaeolithic small prey accumulations but also enable us to assess the methodological approach previously followed with modern samples ​
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