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Re: lower Paleolithic butchering of stranded whale

Subject: Re: lower Paleolithic butchering of stranded whale
From: "Marc Verhaegen"
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 23:10:03 +0200
Newsgroups: sci.anthropology.paleo
If you want to believe there was no association between the tools & the
whale, please do, Lee, not my problem.  Our hypothesis is that our ancestors
sometime after the H/P split were littoral once. The comparative evidence is
clear.  It's the dry apers who have to prove there were no large bodies of
water.  The more we know, the more evidence of the presence of large bodies
of water, eg, Zhoukoudian, the Rift lakes...

"Lee Olsen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
Marc Verhaegen wrote:

"The almost complete skeleton of a large whale Balaenoptera sp was
closely associated with 57 Lower Palaeolithic artefacts near Baia

(Binford) "...insists that "claims for the use of tools should be
supported by the citation of marks produced by tools." Although there
are some notable exceptions.....
it is not unreasonable for Binford to take this stance." F. Clark

"Excavations are ongoing at the site." I assume means the site report
has not been written, nor has Marc posted anything that would indicate
if the association between the tools and the whale have been
demonstrated or is simply the opinion of the excavators.

Assume for the time being (until a site report is available) that the
association with the whale is legitimate. Would this be any indication
for support of the AAT and possibly a littoral lifestyle? No.
1) It only confirms what is already known, early Homo had a penchant
for large mammals, elephants, hippos, giant baboons etc. and virtually
nothing that would imply a separate lifestyle unique to littoral.

2) The fact that shark teeth are also present at the site then means
Homo was catching and eating sharks?

3) Lewis and Clark scavenged a whale while at Astoria in 1805. Does
this mean Lewis and Clark were living a  littoral lifestyle? Of course
not. Did they live near the beach? No, actually they lived 3000 miles

4) The human species on occasion has been known to drink urine, eat
feces, and each other. Do we then catagorize our species as s**t eaters
and cannibals? No, it just means that if a person is hungry enough they
will eat almost anything. The whale is evidence of  just another large
animal on an already large list of possible meals for early Homo.
Nothing demonstrated in favor of a littoral lifestyle.

> Fossilized Whale Discovered
> Bernadette Arnaud 13.4.00
> Fossils of a whale that beached on an African shore more than a million
> years ago and was subsequently butchered by hominids have been recovered
> near the town of Benguela, 250 miles south of Luanda, Angola. This is the
> first time a dismembered whale has turned up at a Palaeolithic site,
> elephants and hippopotamuses being far more typical hominid prey. Manuel
> Guttierez of the Université de Paris-10 and Angolan researchers from the
> Archaeological Museum of Benguela found the whale's skull, the front half
> its veterbral column, some ribs and isolated vertebrae together with some
> Olduvaian choppers and flakes. The whale measured 18 feet long and was
> probably a baleen, according to Claude Guérin of Lyon's Université Claude
> Bernard. The site is still littered with the shells, sharks' teeth, and
> urchins of the ancient shore, now two miles distant and 300 feet above the
> sea. Excavations are ongoing at the site.
> Manuel Gutierrez, Claude Guerin, Maria Lena  & Maria Piedade da Jesus 2001
> "Exploitation d'un grand cétacé au Paléolithique ancien: le site de Dungo
> à Baia Farta (Benguela, Angola)"
> CRAS 332:357-362
> The almost complete skeleton of a large whale Balaenoptera sp was found
> closely associated with 57 Lower Palaeolithic artefacts near Baia Farta,
> an altitude of 65 m, 3 km from the present shoreline. It constitutes the
> oldest evidence of the exploitation of a stranded whale by Palaeolithic
> people.

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