Are there marrow cavities in Pleistocene elephant limb bones, and was marrow available to early humans? New CT scan results from the site of Castel di Guido (Italy)

Giovanni Boschian, Davide Caramella, Daniela Saccà, Ran Barkai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

CT-scan analyses were carried out on limb bones of straight-tusked elephants (Palaeoloxodon antiquus)from the Middle Pleistocene site of Castel di Guido (Italy), where bifaces made of elephant bone were found in association with lithics and a large number of intentionally modified bone remains of elephants and other taxa. CT-scans show that marrow cavities are present within the limb bones of this taxon. Though rather small compared to the size of the bones, these cavities suggest that bone raw material procurement may not have been the unique goal of intentional elephant bone fracturing, and the marrow may also have been extracted for consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-97
Number of pages12
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume215
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • CT-Scan
  • Italy
  • Limb bones
  • Lower Palaeolithic
  • Marrow cavities
  • Marrow consumption
  • Palaeoloxodon antiquus
  • Pleistocene

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