Small Mammal Bones on Later Stone Age Sites from the Cape (South Africa): Consumption and Ritual Events

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Abstract

The Dunefield Midden site, located on the Atlantic coast of South Africa, contains abundant, well-preserved animal bones and other archaeological materials believed to reflect multiple short occupations by hunter-gatherer peoples several centuries ago. The bones of small mammals, constituting a subset of a large assemblage of vertebrate remains, present intriguing patterns with respect to spatial distributions of bones and of cutmarked bones. Pronounced differences in the spatial distributions of bones between small carnivores and small noncarnivores probably indicate differences in how the site occupants used the carcasses of these animals.

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