Castel di Guido is a typical Middle Pleistocene elephant site where intentionally fragmented bones of elephant and of other large mammals were found together with Acheulean biface-like industry, including bifaces made of various stone types and of elephant bone, associated with flint tools on pebbles and flakes. Following a first interpretation of the evidence, the site represented a single and short phase of use, and elephants, horses, aurochs and few other species were killed and butchered on site, or partly brought to the site to be butchered after having been killed elsewhere. The bones were intentionally fractured for marrow extraction and left to “season” before being used as raw material for artefact production. Further evidence deriving from more recent studies suggests that the site lasted for much longer time and is in fact an intricate palimpsest of several phases of human use and partial reworking. Castel di Guido results largely from anthropic processes, deriving from peculiar behavioural aspects of the Early Neandertal groups that frequented the site. The carcasses of various taxa were exploited for food, and the elephant ones also for raw material in bone tool production. This choice was probably due to limited availability of good quality flint (or other hard rocks) in the area. Because of these characteristics, Castel di Guido is an ideal ground for exploring the aspects of use, reuse and recycling of food and raw material resources, and of tools. Several stone and some bone tools show clear evidence of recycling, such as subsequent knapping or refashioning phases put into evidence by different wear of the surfaces. These characteristics point to long continuity of use of the site for similar purposes, which is in accordance with the very different preservation of the remains that were partly reworked by short-range fluvial processes. These aspects indicate that the bones of large taxa, mostly elephant, were part of a complex subsistence system characterised by hunting and scavenging on one side, and an extremely fuzzy boundary among use, re-use and recycling on the other one. This system was based on the recycling e or transfunctionalisation e of the carcasses, which were exploited for food consumption (meat and possibly marrow), and later for raw material procurement over a long time of permanence and availability on the surface of the site.
|Autori:||Boschian G; Saccà D|
|Titolo:||In the elephant, everything is good: Carcass use and re-use at Castel di Guido (Italy)|
|Anno del prodotto:||2014|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.quaint.2014.04.030|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|