Studies of hominid-Faunal interactions at Olduvai Borge

Pat Shipman

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41 Scopus citations


This study reports data on cutmarked bones from all major postcranial skeletal elements of bovids and very large mammals (giraffids, hippopotamids, rhinocerotids, and proboscideans) from Bed I, Olduvai Gorge. Data are analyzed in terms of three main foci: (1) the strategy of foodprocurement (scavenging versus hunting); (2) the patterns of carcass utilization; (3) the paleoecology and habitat of the sites at which these cutamarking activities occurred. New formulations of the predictions of scavenging and hunting hypotheses are given; tests suggest that the scavenging hypothesis is still supported by the Olduvai cutmark data. Different patterns of carcass-utilization for bovids and large mammals are documented, with meat and/or skin being the apparent most common focus of bovid utilization and fat the apparent focus of large mammal utilization. Many more cutmarked bovid specimens are found and the activities producing these marks, however the carcasses were acquired, seems to have been preferentially performed in wetter, more closed habitats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-706
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology


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