Trampling animals alter Stone Age sites
Published on September 28th, 2010 | by Admin0
In seeking to understand how much artifacts can be disturbed, the new study documented how animal trampling in a water-saturated area can result in an alarming amount of disturbance, says archaeologist Metin I. Eren, a graduate student at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and one of eight researchers on the study.
In a startling finding, the animals’ hooves pushed artifacts as much as 21 centimeters into the ground — a variation that could equate to a difference of thousands of years for a scientist interpreting a site, said Erin. The findings suggest archaeologists should reanalyze some previous discoveries, he said.
“Given that during the Lower and most of the Middle Pleistocene, hominids stayed close to water sources, we cannot help but wonder how prevalent saturated substrate trampling might be, and how it has affected the context, and resulting interpretation, of Paleolithic sites throughout the Old World,” conclude the authors in a scientific paper detailing their experiment and its findings.