Sequential incisions on a cave bear bone from the Middle Paleolithic of Pešturina Cave, Serbia


Material Information

Sequential incisions on a cave bear bone from the Middle Paleolithic of Pešturina Cave, Serbia
Series Title:
Journal of archaeological method and theory
Majkić, Ana
d’Errico, Francesco
Milošević, Stefan
Mihailović, Dušan
Dimitrijević, Vesna
Springer Nature
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource


Subjects / Keywords:
Animal remains (Archaeology) ( lcsh )
Engraving ( lcsh )
Paleolithic period ( lcsh )
Mousterian culture ( lcsh )
Caves ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
Europe -- Serbia -- Suva Planina


We present the detailed analysis of a cervical vertebra from a cave bear, found at Pešturina cave, Serbia, in a Mousterian archaeological level dated by radiocarbon at 43.5–44.6 kyr cal BP, and by ESR to between 93.5 and 102.5 kyr BP. Identified as a portion of the cranial articular facet, the fragment displays ten subparallel grooves. The microscopic study of these grooves and other surface modification present on the bone fragment, conducted with multifocus optical and confocal microscopes and complemented by a taphonomic analysis of the associated faunal assemblage, supports the hypothesis that the incisions were made by humans. Results are used to critically examine ambiguities implicit in the analysis and interpretation of early engravings, a category of material culture that has been playing a key role in the identification of early instances of symbolically mediated behavior.
Original Version:
Volume 25, Issue 1
General Note:
48 p.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-05571 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26-5571 ( USFLDC Handle )

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University of South Florida
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