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TOPIC: Hunter gatherers


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RE: Hunter gatherers
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On the track  of Palaeolithic Moroccan

The National Research Centre on Human Evolution (CENIEH) explores the remains of two Lower Palaeolithic cultures that settled in the basin of Ain Beni Matar, near the city of Uchda (in the northeast of Morocco, close to Algeria 150 km from Melilla). At this location, when hominids arrived consisted of a landscape with higher rainfall and with rivers flowing to the sea, developed the Olduvayense and Acheulean cultures; industries characterised by the use of bifaces carved edges.

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Title: Thirty thousand-year-old evidence of plant food processing
Authors: Anna Revedina, Biancamaria Arangurenb, Roberto Becattinia, Laura Longoc, Emanuele Marconid, Marta Mariotti Lippie, Natalia Skakunf, Andrey Sinitsynf, Elena Spiridonovag, and Jirí Svobodah

European Paleolithic subsistence is assumed to have been largely based on animal protein and fat, whereas evidence for plant consumption is rare. We present evidence of starch grains from various wild plants on the surfaces of grinding tools at the sites of Bilancino II (Italy), Kostenki 16-Uglyanka (Russia), and Pavlov VI (Czech Republic). The samples originate from a variety of geographical and environmental contexts, ranging from northeastern Europe to the central Mediterranean, and dated to the Mid-Upper Paleolithic (Gravettian and Gorodtsovian). The three sites suggest that vegetal food processing, and possibly the production of flour, was a common practice, widespread across Europe from at least ~30,000 y ago. It is likely that high energy content plant foods were available and were used as components of the food economy of these mobile hunter-gatherers.

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Many researchers had assumed people living in Europe thousands of years ago ate mainly meat because of bones left behind, and little evidence of plant food.
Now, new findings indicate grains were part of the diet at ancient sites in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic, researchers report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The team led by Anna Revedin of the Italian Institute of Prehistory and Early History in Florence found grinding stones, similar to a stone and pestle, with remains of grains at the sites.

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Archaeologists are claiming to have discovered the oldest house in Britain.
The circular structure, found at a site near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, has been dated as being made in 8,500BC.
Described as a "sensational discovery" by archaeologists, this is 500 years older than the previous oldest house.

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Mesolithic axe head unearthed at Culmore

A stone age axe head, believed to be 7,000 years old, has been uncovered in Derry.
The artefact was found on freshly ploughed land on the banks of the River Foyle near Thornhill College. The suspected axe head was spotted by a man walking his dog in the area and he took the item home.

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Scientists have analysed DNA extracted from the remains of a 30,000-year-old European hunter-gatherer.
Studying the DNA of long-dead humans can open up a window into the evolution of our species (Homo sapiens).

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Staff at the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have been excited by the results from a recently excavated major Prehistoric site at Asfordby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
The Mesolithic site may date from as early as 9000BC, by which time hunter-gatherers had reoccupied the region after the last ice age. These hunters crossed the land bridge from the continental mainland Britain was only to become an island several thousand years later.
The site was excavated during 2009 by ULAS in advance of a residential development for Jelson Homes Ltd. Initial trenching work identified several worked flint blades of characteristic Mesolithic type, and clearly in an unworn and undisturbed state. Further work confirmed that these rare flint finds were preserved in a Mesolithic soil, buried by a much later plough soil. Because this early soil had survived intact, it was thought possible that original features such as hearths and structures might still remain, and activities linked to the flint scatter could also be found.

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Over 5000 worked flints, some used for hunting, discovered
Staff at the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have been excited by the results from a recently excavated major Prehistoric site at Asfordby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
The Mesolithic site may date from as early as 9000BC, by which time hunter-gatherers had reoccupied the region after the last ice age. These hunters crossed the land bridge from the continental mainland - 'Britain' was only to become an island several thousand years later.
The site was excavated during 2009 by ULAS in advance of a residential development for Jelson Homes Ltd. Initial trenching work identified several worked flint blades of characteristic Mesolithic type, and clearly in an unworn and undisturbed state. Further work confirmed that these rare flint finds were preserved in a Mesolithic soil, buried by a much later ploughsoil. Because this early soil had survived intact, it was thought possible that original features such as hearths and structures might still remain, and activities linked to the flint scatter could also be found.

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Budding archaeologist Samuel Owens uncovered a 10,000 year old piece of history when he found a segment of flint in his dads allotment.
The piece has now been identified as coming from the Mesolithic era and is believed to have been used as a type of sharp weapon, possibly for spearing fish.

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Early Europeans
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Title: Possible freshwater resource consumption by the earliest directly dated European modern humans: Implications for direct radiometric dating
Authors: Hervé Bocherens

Richards and Trinkaus  infer from bone collagen carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic composition a significant contribution of freshwater resources in the diet of early European modern humans, especially for the oldest directly dated specimen from Pestera cu Oase, Romania.

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