Inferences on Sicilian Mesolithic subsistence patterns from cross-sectional geometry and entheseal changes

Luca Sineo, Vitale Stefano Sparacello, Villotte, Vittoria Schimmenti, Samsel, Varalli

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

3 Citazioni (Scopus)


Using cross-sectional geometry (CSG), entheseal changes (ECs), and presence of external auditory meatus exostosis (EAE), this study tests the hypothesis—based on isotopic and zooarchaeological evidence—that in the Sicilian Mesolithic terrestrial rather than marine resources were predominantly exploited, in substantial continuity with previous Epigravettian hunters. Results show similarities in the general frequency of ECs—a rough proxy for overall activity—with Late Pleistocene hunters, in contrast with Mesolithic coastal foragers or Neolithic herders/farmers. Yet, CSG suggests that this possible continuity in the type of resources exploited was accompanied by a behavioral change, and in particular the abandonment of the throwing technology, possibly in favor of new tools such as traps and the bow and arrow. In fact, the dramatic decrease in humeral bilateral asymmetry documented at a European level with the Pleistocene-Holocene transition can be found also in the Sicilian Mesolithic. Results for the lower limb appear compatible with a certain degree of terrestrial mobility in a rugged environment. The frequency of EAE suggests that activities related to water were present but not common; however, their prominence is difficult to determine given the small sample size. The pattern of information provided by the proxies for activity used here is complex and partially contrasting, but has the potential to integrate and enrich archeological methods and biochemical approaches. This study corroborates a varied scenario of continuity and discontinuity in subsistence at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, and highlights the importance of a regional bioarchaeological approach of human biological and behavioral adaptations.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-21
Numero di pagine21
RivistaArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.3300.3314???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.3300.3302???


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