New approaches on the studies of Neanderthal dwelling space use: bone refits at units A9 and A5-A6 of Fumane Cave (Verona, Italy)
By: Marta Modolo, Marco Peresani
Published: Archaeofauna, International Journal of Archaeozoology
Contribution: conference paper
Publication date: pending review
Abstract: in recent years, new perspectives in zooarchaeological studies have been possible thanks to the refinement of existing techniques, the development of new methods and the adoption of multidisciplinary approaches. This contribution forms part of a larger project entitled “Attesting Neanderthal Dwelling Space Use (ANDSU): effects of human occupations in the Middle Palaeolithic record of Fumane cave”, which addresses the Neanderthals’ spatial organization of units A9 and A5-A6 of Fumane cave. With a mixed methodology that involves bone refits harnessing spatial and exploratory statistical analysis and 3D reconstructions, it is expected to open new perspectives. Refitting studies provide valuable data to achieve topics like assemblage formation processes, post-depositional dynamics, settlement patterns, and the definition and integrity of stratigraphic units. 3D scan acquisition of refitted bones was carried out to process images in Artifact3-D and calculate angles and fracture surfaces. Based on its potential, this method is employed to develop computerised analytical methods that can make refit semi-automatic or automatic. Acquired data shows the importance of these studies to understand the diversity of occupational patterns in Middle Palaeolithic records. Integrating innovative methods from other disciplines is a fundamental step in this approach.