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The Horse Butchery Site GTP17: A high-resolution record of Lower Palaeolithic hominin behaviour at Boxgrove, UK

Pope, M; Roberts, M; Parfitt, S; (2020) The Horse Butchery Site GTP17: A high-resolution record of Lower Palaeolithic hominin behaviour at Boxgrove, UK. SpoilHeap Publications

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Abstract

The Boxgrove Horse Butchery Site represents a significant discovery, preserving a single landsurface associated with tight clusters of flint artefacts and the butchered remains of a large female horse, sealed under intertidal silts. This volume presents the first integrated analysis of this exceptional site. It documents the evidence used to reconstruct activities including biface manufacture, defleshing of bones, marrow extraction and the production of bone tools. The Boxgrove Horse Butchery Site began as a small test pit, designated GTP17, excavated in 1988. It quickly became clear that the site represented a significant discovery, preserving a single landsurface associated with tight clusters of flint artefacts sealed under intertidal silts. As excavations continued during the summers of 1989–91, it became apparent that this landsurface also preserved the butchered remains of a large female horse. It provided the first well-preserved and combined accumulation of artefacts and faunal remains from Boxgrove, representing an opportunity to study what appeared to be a hominin group working together to butcher a single animal. This volume presents the first integrated analysis of this exceptional site. It documents the evidence used to reconstruct activities including biface manufacture, defleshing of bones, marrow extraction and the production of bone tools. Detailed analysis of site formation processes suggest the entire episode possibly occurred within a single day, with the scatters of flint and bone sealed quickly within fine intertidal silts. These silts not only preserved the spatial integrity of the activity at the site, but also sealed a record allowing behaviour of an entire hominin group, including social interactions, to be brought under direct study. While the sediments at Boxgrove are renowned for their preservation of hominin behaviour at landscape scale, the Horse Butchery Site represents a vivid and intimate picture of group activity at human scales of time and space. With the publication of this volume we present an important case study for Palaeolithic archaeology, one through which aspects of Middle Pleistocene hominin subsistence, ecology, technology and social behaviour can be explored.

Type: Book
Title: The Horse Butchery Site GTP17: A high-resolution record of Lower Palaeolithic hominin behaviour at Boxgrove, UK
ISBN-13: 978-1912331154
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology ASE
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10114053
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