More of 10,000 bone fragments They were recovered from the Lingjing field in Henan province during 2005 and 2006.
Taking statistical analysis of bone elements from the two dominant species in the collection, bison (Bos Primigenius) and horses (Equus caballus), scientists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Archeology and Cultural Relics of Henan Province, have found that hominins from this site practiced sophisticated hunting techniques and livelihood strategies and may be very familiar with the anatomical and ecological features and nutritional values of large prey animals and, therefore, they can take different treatments and management strategies at the hunting site, as reported in the journal of Science China Earth Sciences, 2012, 55.
The Lingjing site is located in the western part of the town of Lingjing, about 15 kilometers northwest of Xuchang City, Henan Province, and is located at an elevation of 117 meters. It was initially discovered in the 20th century, the site was re-excavated by researchers from the Institute of Archeology and Cultural Relics of Henan Province between 2005 and 2006.
In an area of about 300 square meters, the Lingjing field has about 20 fragments of human fossils10,000 stone objects and more than 10,000 pieces of animal fossils. According to the Chinese appreciation of the Paleolithic, it would be between beginnings and end of the Paleolithic Era. Animal fossils are from the same stratum as hominids.
The researchers evaluated the differential influences and the weight of a taxonomic variety and found hominid hunt and its subsequent disarticulation, the sacrifice and its transport in the bony elements of the prey species that are the main factors for the formation of the current set.
After observing the distribution patterns of the cut marks on the long bones of local animals, the researchers found that the marks were made in the middle part of the diaphysis (185 pieces, 98'45%), while only two pieces of distal epiphysis and one piece of proximal epiphysis (1.06% and 0.53%) had cut marks.
And of all the bones with cut marks, 34% and 41% of the specimens belonged to the upper and middle limbs of herbivores, respectively, while only 25% belong to the lower extremities. These data suggest that hominids in the Lingjing area accessed animal resources before the carnivores and they cut the meat from the long bones.
Mortality patterns of two dominant species in Lingjing indicate that mortality profiles of adults predominate compared to a small proportion of young individuals, which implies that hominids already had relatively mature and systematic life strategies and social organizations in this period.
The distribution of the circumferences of the long bones and the lengths of the bones could in part reflect the Differential modifications of hominids and carnivores. The circumferences of the long bones of most Lingjing specimens are less than 25%, which is identical to other hominin sites, but very different from the dens of carnivores. The measurements of 1,300 pieces of long bones are distributed in an area of 3-6 or 6-9 centimeters, clearly showing the influences of hominids on the fauna of the place.
There is a big difference between the profiles of the bone elements of the bison and the horses in Lingjing. There are relatively more fragments of horse skulls and jaws, but the long bones are absent. However, just as modern humans did, hominids always they preferred to transport all the bone parts of the horses back to their camps while they left the bison bones at the site where they had been hunted.
Compared with artiodactyls, the skeletal elements of equines have relatively strong muscle attachment points and even after a more detailed field process there is still a great deal of united nutritional components to bone surfaces. If hominids dumped the bones in the field, it is inevitable that many nutrients would have been lost. Furthermore, the marrow cavities within the bones of equines are significantly smaller and their content is inside the spongy parts of the bones, which cannot be effectively used by ancient humans.
Lingjing's taxonomic study shows that this fauna is not a consequence of large-scale hunting, but is simply a synthesis of the many episodes of small-scale hunting. For hominids with limited resources, perhaps the most sensible option would be move those bone elements that they still had nutritional components attached back to camp, where they not only had enough time, but also technology and capacity to extract nutrients from bones.
“The study of skeletal elements is an essential tool for reconstructing hominid behavior, social activities or the functions of archaeological sites, ”says study lead author Dr. Zhang Shuangquan of IVPP. "This study will identify the different treatments of bison and horse bones in the Paleolithic in East Asia”.
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