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W. Van Neer, W. Wouters and M. Germonpré (2007)

Fish remains from three Upper Palaeolithic cave deposits in southern Belgium

Anthropologica et Praehistorica, 118:5-22.

Fish remains are described that were excavated in the 19th century from Trou de Chaleux, Trou du Frontal and Trou du Sureau, three Upper Palaeolithic cave sites in the Meuse basin, Belgium. After a critical assessment of possible taphonomic agents acting in caves, it is concluded that the material — consisting mainly of medium-sized and large salmonids, burbot and cyprinids — is anthropogenic. Using present-day behavioural information on the identified fish species it is hypothesised that the exploited fish were an abundant and predictable food resource during the spawning season, when they occurred en masse in shallow, marginal waters. Finally the possible fishing techniques and the dietary role of freshwater fish in Palaeolithic times are discussed.
Peer Review, International Redaction Board, RBINS Collection(s)
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