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Re: lower Paleolithic butchering of stranded whale

Subject: Re: lower Paleolithic butchering of stranded whale
From: "Lee Olsen"
Date: 30 Aug 2005 07:25:45 -0700
Newsgroups: sci.anthropology.paleo
Marc Verhaegen wrote:
> If you want to believe there was no association between the tools & the
> whale, please do, Lee, not my problem.

OK, you have me convinced of the association. But we still have to work
out one more association at this site---shark teeth. This will be a
multiple-choice question, just chose one.

1) The sharks were eating Homo?
2) The sharks were eating the seashells?
3) The sharks were eating the whale, Homo, and seashells?
4) The seashells were eating the sharks?

 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...

"The lake deposits consist of fine-grained clays and mudstones
deposited at the bottom of the large lake that formed in the basin
sometime during the developmental history of Bed I, and continued into
the period when Bed IV was formed, at which point it completely dried
Hay 2003

"tributary channels ...No conclusive evidence that a major lake
actually existed at this stage."
Feibel 1993

"These streambeds have the appearance of ephemeral, seasonal features:
very shallow, braided grooves with sandy patches along their courses.
The largest were perhaps 15 to 20m wide and 50 to 100 cm deep, with
very gently sloping banks (see sections of DE/89, fig. 17).....Though
there may have been seasonal swamp pools in various parts of the basin,
the stable lake waters, if they existed during the time of the
occupation of the Main Site, were confined to the Koora trough about 3
km away."
Isaac 1977

> ________
> "Lee Olsen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> Marc Verhaegen wrote:
> >
> "The almost complete skeleton of a large whale Balaenoptera sp was
> found
> closely associated with 57 Lower Palaeolithic artefacts near Baia
> Farta,.."
> (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
> Howell
> "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
> away.
> 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
> of
> > its veterbral column, some ribs and isolated vertebrae together with some
> 60
> > 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
> sea
> > 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
> V
> > 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,
> at
> > 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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