Fat residue and use-wear found on Acheulian biface and scraper associated with butchered elephant remains at the site of Revadim, Israel.

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Solodenko, Natalya; Zupancich, Andrea; Cesaro, Stella Nunziante; Marder, Ofer; Lemorini, Cristina; Barkai, Ran
Year of Publication: 2015
Journal: PLoS One
Volume: 10
Issue: 3
Pagination: e0118572
Date Published: 2015
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1932-6203
Keywords: Animals, Archaeology, Carnivory, Diet, Elephants, Fats, Humans, Israel, Paleontology

The archaeological record indicates that elephants must have played a significant role in early human diet and culture during Palaeolithic times in the Old World. However, the nature of interactions between early humans and elephants is still under discussion. Elephant remains are found in Palaeolithic sites, both open-air and cave sites, in Europe, Asia, the Levant, and Africa. In some cases elephant and mammoth remains indicate evidence for butchering and marrow extraction performed by humans. Revadim Quarry (Israel) is a Late Acheulian site where elephant remains were found in association with characteristic Lower Palaeolithic flint tools. In this paper we present results regarding the use of Palaeolithic tools in processing animal carcasses and rare identification of fat residue preserved on Lower Palaeolithic tools. Our results shed new light on the use of Palaeolithic stone tools and provide, for the first time, direct evidence (residue) of animal exploitation through the use of an Acheulian biface and a scraper. The association of an elephant rib bearing cut marks with these tools may reinforce the view suggesting the use of Palaeolithic stone tools in the consumption of large game.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118572
Alternate Journal: PLoS ONE