Material input rates and dietary breadth during the Upper Paleolithic through Mesolithic at Franchthi and Klissoura 1 Caves (Peloponnese, Greece)

Mary C. Stiner, Natalie D. Munro, Britt M. Starkovich

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Abstract

Two deeply stratified cave sites in southern Greece show how the relations between material input rates and human prey choice may reflect local site function and regional food supply effects simultaneously. The Upper Paleolithic through Mesolithic faunas at Klissoura Cave 1 and Franchthi Cave on the Argolid Peninsula (Peloponnese) provide clear evidence of diet expansion with time, based on increasing use of costly small animals. These cases also reflect, albeit to very different degrees, variation in occupation intensity as determined from sediment and artifact accumulation rates. Centrality is a critical issue for residential sites, and consistency (or the lack of it) in use provides a relative indication of site "importance" in the overall territory of foragers. Changes in site importance explain much of the variation in material inputs in Klissoura Cave 1, with the heaviest use of the site during the Upper Paleolithic and lighter use in the later periods. Small game data from Klissoura 1 nonetheless present a single general trend toward greater resource intensification with time. At Franchthi Cave, the intensity of occupations of the cave increased in tandem with intensified use of animal and plant resources. The parallel trends are explained by greater temporal consistency in the central importance of the latter site on the Pleistocene and early Holocene landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-42
Number of pages13
JournalQuaternary International
Volume275
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2012

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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