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Seminarium: Prof. Charles P. Egeland


Datum: torsdag 19 maj 2022

Tid: 15.00 – 17.00

Plats: Zoom

Neotaphonomy of a “common amenity” on the grasslands of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania.

Identifying the variables that influence the deposition, preservation, and spatial distribution of faunal material across landscapes remains a key goal of taphonomic research. Here, we report on the results of pedestrian surveys for faunal material in two microhabitats within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA)—a treeless grassland and a seasonal waterhole surrounded by woodland. In both areas, all visible faunal material on the surface of a 100x100m block was plotted with a laser total station and collected. The overall density of bones is higher around the waterhole, but neither area shows distributions consistent with complete spatial randomness. High density bone patches near the waterhole are: (1) strongly conditioned by the distribution of trees, (2) often contain the remains of multiple individuals, and (3) preserve taphonomic traces of human and carnivore activity. On the other hand, bone patches on the treeless plain: (1) occur incidentally and (2) include the remains of only a single individual. These microhabitats, then, while separated by only ca. one kilometer, preserve distinct taphonomic signatures. These findings can shed light on the paleoecology and taphonomic histories of early Pleistocene faunal assemblages, including those from the archaeo-paleontological sites in Beds I and II of Olduvai Gorge.

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