Opportunism or aquatic specialization? Evidence of freshwater fish exploitation at ohalo II- a waterlogged upper paleolithic site

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Abstract

Analysis of ca. 17,000 fish remains recovered from the late Upper Paleolithic/early Epi-Paleolithic (LGM; 23,000 BP) waterlogged site of Ohalo II (Rift Valley, Israel) provides new insights into the role of wetland habitats and the fish inhabiting them during the evolution of economic strategies prior to the agricultural evolution. Of the current 19 native fish species in Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), eight species were identified at Ohalo II, belonging to two freshwater families: Cyprinidae (carps) and Cichlidae (St. Peter fish). Employing a large set of quantitative and qualitative criteria (NISP, species richness, diversity, skeletal element representation, fragmentation, color, spatial distribution, etc.), we demonstrate that the inhabitants of Ohalo II used their knowledge of the breeding behavior of different species of fish, for year-round intensive exploitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0198747
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2018

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