Reconstructing the Diet of Kůlna 1 (Czech Republic)

John Willman is one of the authors of the article Reconstructing the Diet of Kůlna 1 from the Moravian Karst (Czech Republic), published in the Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology. The work is available online, HERE.

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Abstract

The dietary proclivities of an early adolescent Neandertal, Kůlna 1, are reconstructed using dental microwear texture analysis. Examining the diet of Kůlna 1 provides new information about the lifeways and paleoecological conditions faced by Neandertals living in the Moravian karst, an area of extensive anthropogenic activity during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3. Comparative samples include Hortus cave (n = 6), La Quina 5, Malarnaud, Spy I, Krapina (n = 19), and Vindija (n = 4) as well as human foragers, farmers, and pastoralists (n = 181). Kůlna 1 yields a relatively low value for anisotropy (epLsar) compared to most of the Neandertals investigated, suggesting heterogeneous jaw movements typical of Holocene foragers. In contrast, Kůlna 1 exhibits one of the highest Middle Paleolithic complexity (Asfc) values. Since elevated complexity is associated with Holocene humans who consumed poorly processed, abrasive, and mechanically hard resources, the diet of Kůlna 1 is reconstructed as based largely on hard and brittle plant foods, perhaps available from an interval of higher temperatures during an interstadial period of MIS 3 or possibly from other factors, including individual variation in diet preferences, food availability, grit load, seasonality, and group cultural traditions.

Reconstructing the Diet of Kůlna 1 (Czech Republic)

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