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Bone and antler working at Grotta Paglicci (Rignano Garganico, Foggia, southern Italy)

Borgia, Valentina, Boschin, Francesco, Ronchitelli, Annamaria
Quaternary international 2016 v.403 pp. 23-39
Capra, bones, climate change, deer, fauna, goats, horses, steppes, wild boars, Italy
In this article we present evidence of the hard animal tissue exploitation at Paglicci Cave (Rignano Garganico, Foggia, southern Italy).The analysis of the 104 bone and antler tools found in the Upper Palaeolithic sequence of the cave, as well as recent studies on faunal remains, have allowed us to reconstruct the choices made by the prehistoric hunters both in terms of hunting and exploitation of hard animal materials for tool fabrication. Most of the archeozoological sequence is characterized by the abundance of remains of species related to open or steppe environments, such as caprines (especially ibex), horses and aurochs.Starting from Final Epigravettian (about 17.000 BP cal.) these taxa decrease in favor of deer, wild boar and hidruntinus, reflecting an important climatic change leading to more humid and temperate conditions. Only some hunted animals bones were chosen for making the tools: deer, horse, aurochs and wild boar. A noteworthy observation concerns the lack of an interconnection between the kinds of species represented in the faunal assemblages and those used for the production of bone (and antler) tools.Even though the small number of pieces in each individual layer did not allow for statistical inferences, we could draw some interesting conclusions on the morpho-technological features of the artifacts, finding that some tool types appear to be linked to particular periods.