Trends in Subsistence from the Middle Paleolithic through Mesolithic at Klissoura Cave 1 (Peloponnese, Greece)
AuthorStarkovich, Britt Marie
AdvisorStiner, Mary C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study presents an analysis of the zooarchaeological remains from Klissoura Cave 1, a Middle Paleolithic through Mesolithic site in Peloponnese, Greece. Changes in subsistence patterns are evaluated across a long sequence (ca. 80,000-10,000 BP) against a backdrop of environmental change. Results are interpreted using models from evolutionary ecology, specifically prey choice, central place foraging, and patch choice models. Two major trends are apparent in the series. One is a decline in the exploitation of high-ranked ungulate species with an overall increase in lower-ranked small game animals. The second is an increase in low-ranked small, fast-fast moving animals (e.g., hares and partridges) at the expense of higher-ranked small, slow-moving animals (e.g., tortoises). These changes cannot be accounted for by environmental shifts alone, though shifts in ungulate diversity likely track the expansion and contraction of plant communities. The increase in use of low-ranked prey indicates human population growth and demographic pressure in southern Greece during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. In addition to these overarching trends, there are changes in site use during the sequence. In the Middle Paleolithic, foragers used Klissoura Cave 1 more during the winter and overwhelmingly hunted prime-aged adult animals, maternal herds of fallow deer in particular. In the Upper Paleolithic and later periods, the site continued to be used during the winter, in addition to other times of year, but the mortality profiles reflect a natural fallow deer herd structure. There was an intense period of occupation during the Aurignacian period. This is evidenced by numerous clay-lined hearth features, a possible rock-lined structure, and increases in ornaments, as well as abundant lithic and faunal materials. The ungulate faunas are particularly rich during this period, but there is evidence of resource intensification based on increased bone marrow processing and the transport of marrow-rich elements to the site. After this period there was a gradual decline in site use through the end of the Upper Paleolithic and into the Mesolithic, though the exploitation of low-ranked resources (e.g., small, fast-moving game) indicates that populations were on the rise in there region as a whole.
Degree ProgramGraduate College