Research ArticleANTHROPOLOGY

Bone marrow storage and delayed consumption at Middle Pleistocene Qesem Cave, Israel (420 to 200 ka)

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Science Advances  09 Oct 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 10, eaav9822
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav9822
  • Fig. 1 %MAU distribution by skeletal element and weight size categories split by archaeological contexts (Amudian and Yabrudian).

    Size classes 5 [very large (<1000 kg)] and 1a [very small (<20 kg)] were excluded, as their low number of elements could lead to distorted outcomes.

  • Fig. 2 Bar diagrams showing data on cut mark type, orientation and length in Qesem Cave, and experimental samples.

    Note that only data from metapodial shafts are shown. Percentages were calculated relative to the total number of cut marks per bone surface [anterior (ANT)/posterior (POST) and lateral (LAT)/medial (MED)].

  • Fig. 3 Archaeological (Qesem Cave) and experimental [outdoor scenarios (SC 1 and SC 2)] damage on metapodials.

    Chop marks, cortical scars, and chipped marks on the anterior (C and G) and posterior (A, B, D, E, and F) surface of metapodial shafts. Note the short and slight chop marks combined with flat incisions/sawing marks in (F) and the inclination angle in the mark section almost parallel to the bone on posterior surfaces of metapodials in (A), (F), and (G). Experimental bones in the image are labeled as “EXP” followed by the abbreviation of scenario (SC 1 or SC 2) and exposure week. The 3D images and details were generated by a KH-8700 3D digital microscope. Photo credits: R. Blasco.

  • Fig. 4 Temporal evolution of marrow percentage in metapodials according to week and scenario.

    RMSE, root mean square error.

  • Table 1 NSP, NISP, MNE, MNI, and bone damage from Amudian and Yabrudian archaeological contexts of Qesem Cave.

    Ctm, cut marks; BBr, bone breakage (only diagnostic elements included); Burn, burnt bones; MNI, minimum number of individuals; MNE, minimum number of elements.

    Taxa/size body classAmudianYabrudian
    nn
    NSPNISPMNEMNICtmBBrBurnNSPNISPMNEMNICtmBBrBurn
    Carnivora22222101071313
    Stephanorhinus hemitoechus2020861919431
    Equus ferus12512530111261919954
    Equus hydruntinus181810314
    Sus scrofa56561891421211144
    Cervidae3030152210
    Dama cf. mesopotamica403340332018764581861129138713874683513951473
    Cervus cf. elaphus38038015817321310016016061914541
    Bos primigenius2202204518211865651697
    Capra aegagrus9984113139323
    cf. Capreolus capreolus363613522282818519
    Testudo sp.16516533141026010610680103134
    Large bird222111
    Cygnus sp.111111
    Corvus ruficollis33311
    Columba sp.111111111
    Aves, unident.2222
    Very large size4112368
    Large size332264637110141420242133622
    Medium size929512213322037191940424965797
    Small size3898543937947212041155771941391125684
    Unident.2972219816142814598
    Total5968151032993173109098518948222171829950853722728288
  • Table 2 General utility rate grouped by body size classes for Qesem Cave faunal assemblages.

    Utility rate*AmudianYabrudian
    Large sizeMedium sizeSmall sizeLarge sizeMedium sizeSmall size
    General utilityrs0.316020.07481−0.030800.22898−0.07481−0.15198
    P value0.271000.799400.916700.431000.799400.60400
    Food utilityrs0.19006−0.04180−0.094610.05642−0.20022−0.24559
    P value0.515200.887200.747700.848100.492500.39740
    Bone fatrs0.11934−0.12981−0.14301−0.06084−0.22662−0.23238
    P value0.684500.568300.625700.836300.435900.42400
    Bone marrowrs0.587580.788090.748350.623750.532010.69172
    P value0.027130.000810.002080.017140.050200.00613

    *Data taken from Emerson (10).

    Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/5/10/eaav9822/DC1

      Fig. S1. Examples of cut marks associated to disarticulation and/or skinning from Amudian and Yabrudian levels of Qesem Cave.

      Fig. S2. Test of normality and graphs showing the number of cut marks with inclination almost parallel to the bone and weeks of conservation by scenarios (SC 1 and SC 2).

      Fig. S3. Examples of different actions (skinning, tendon removal, and bone breakage) during the development of the SC 1.

      Fig. S4. Ternary plots showing analysis of bone break planes (outline, angle, and surface edge) of metapodials with more than 20 mm length from experimental series [outdoor (autumn and spring) scenarios] and Qesem Cave faunal assemblage following the criteria established by Villa and Mahieu (31).

      Table S1. Variation on FAME (%) composition according to the week of conservation in the outdoor (autumn) scenario (SC 1).

      Table S2. Weight and energy data (kcal) from the metapodial bones by experimental scenario and exposure time.

    • Supplementary Materials

      This PDF file includes:

      • Fig. S1. Examples of cut marks associated to disarticulation and/or skinning from Amudian and Yabrudian levels of Qesem Cave.
      • Fig. S2. Test of normality and graphs showing the number of cut marks with inclination almost parallel to the bone and weeks of conservation by scenarios (SC 1 and SC 2).
      • Fig. S3. Examples of different actions (skinning, tendon removal, and bone breakage) during the development of the SC 1.
      • Fig. S4. Ternary plots showing analysis of bone break planes (outline, angle, and surface edge) of metapodials with more than 20 mm length from experimental series outdoor (autumn and spring) scenarios and Qesem Cave faunal assemblage following the criteria established by Villa and Mahieu (31).
      • Table S1. Variation on FAME (%) composition according to the week of conservation in the outdoor (autumn) scenario (SC 1).
      • Table S2. Weight and energy data (kcal) from the metapodial bones by experimental scenario and exposure time.

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