"The carnivore and human occupations of the Wildscheuer cave, an Upper Pleistocene "des. res." in Hesse, Germany "

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:Turner, E
Journal:Revue de Paleobiologie
Date Published:2004
Keywords:Canis lupus

The former Wildscheuer cave was situated, along with the Wildhaus fissure, close to Steeden (Limburg-Weilburg District) in the valley of a small tributary of the Lahn River. Five archaeological horizons have been recognised in the deposits on the cave platform. Horizons I and II consist of deposits containing only five Middle Palaeolithic artefacts. The bulk of the fauna from these levels has been identified as cave bear and, along with the evidence from the mortality structure of the individuals, clearly relates to the use of the cave as a winter den by bears. The remains of hyaena, wolf and fox from these levels probably attest to the intermittent use of the cave by these carnivores as a den for rearing their young. A classic Upper Palaeolithic sequence of Aurig nacian, Gravettian and Magdalenian levels (Horizons III, IV and V) is stratified above the older deposits. With their rich lithic and bone industries, these levels represent periods when humans lived at the site. The faunas are dominated by reindeer (Aurignacian), large herbivores (Gravettian) and mammoth, rhinoceros and reindeer (Magdalenian). Carnivores play only a minor role in the faunas from the Aurignacian and Magdalenian levels; during the Gravettian period, the cave appears to have been occupied again by denning carnivores.

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