Use of meat resources in the Early Pleistocene assemblages from Fuente Nueva 3 (Orce, Granada, Spain)

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Over the last few decades, several types of evidence such as presence of hominin remains, lithic assemblages, and bones with anthropogenic surface modifcations have demonstrated that early human communities inhabited the European subcontinent prior to the Jaramillo Subchron (1.07–0.98 Ma). While most studies have focused primarily on early European lithic technologies and raw material management, relatively little is known about food procurement strategies. While there is some evidence showing access to meat and other animal-based food resources, their mode of acquisition and associated butchery processes are still poorly understood. This paper presents a taphonomic and zooarchaeological analysis of the Fuente Nueva-3 (FN3) (Guadix-Baza, Spain) faunal assemblage, providing a more in-depth understanding of early hominin subsistence strategies in Europe. The present results show that hominins had access to the meat and marrow of a wide range of animal taxa, including elephants, hippopotami, and small- and medium-sized animals. At the same time, evidence of carnivore activity at the site suggests that these communities likely faced some degree of competition from large predators when acquiring and processing carcasses.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2021)