Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 635–646 | Cite as

Large carnivore attacks on hominins during the Pleistocene: a forensic approach with a Neanderthal example

  • Edgard Camarós
  • Marián Cueto
  • Carlos Lorenzo
  • Valentín Villaverde
  • Florent Rivals
Original Paper

Abstract

Interaction between hominins and carnivores has been common and constant through human evolution and generated mutual pressures similar to those present in worldwide modern human-carnivore conflicts. This current interaction is sometimes violent and can be reflected in permanent skeletal pathologies and other bone modifications. In the present paper, we carry out a survey of 124 forensic cases of dangerous human-carnivore encounters. The objective is to infer direct hominin-carnivore confrontation during the Pleistocene, which is important to understand behavioral changes during human evolution. In addition, the case of Neanderthals is analyzed in order to find evidence of past attacks using forensic observations. The results obtained pose that Neanderthals could potentially have been involved in dangerous encounters during the Pleistocene, validating our methodology to approach past attacks from a forensic perspective.

Keywords

Carnivores Interaction Confrontation Forensic medicine Neanderthals 

Supplementary material

12520_2015_248_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (73 kb)
Online resource material 1(XLSX 72 kb)
12520_2015_248_MOESM2_ESM.docx (121 kb)
Online resource material 2(DOCX 121 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edgard Camarós
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marián Cueto
    • 3
  • Carlos Lorenzo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Valentín Villaverde
    • 4
  • Florent Rivals
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució SocialTarragonaSpain
  2. 2.Àrea de PrehistòriaUniversitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)TarragonaSpain
  3. 3.Departament de PrehistòriaUniversitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)BarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Departament de Prehistòria i ArqueologiaUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain
  5. 5.ICREA (Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats)BarcelonaSpain

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