Human behavioural ecology in the middle palaeolithic : a comparative study based on how we quantify the use of raw material

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University of New Brunswick


Resource Selection Function (RSF) analyses can be used to understand what variables influenced hominin choices for selection of lithic raw materials. Previous work examined stone tool assemblages from the Bau de l’Aubesier (Vaucluse, France), quantifying raw material use by the number of lithics from a particular source area. My study compares this to quantifying use by the weight of those pieces, using Generalized Linear Models that describe the sources of raw material used in each archaeological layer. Independent variables describe raw material characteristics or the surrounding terrain. In the older layers of the site, terrain variables contribute more towards source area use. In the younger layers, raw material characteristics drive source use, but less so in models that quantify lithics by their weight. k-fold cross-validation analyses suggest the best method of quantifying lithic artefacts for use in RSFs may vary depending on the hominin behaviour that led to the assemblage.