Middle Pleistocene subsistence in the Azraq Oasis, Jordan: Protein residue and other proxies

Publication date: September 2016
Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 73
Author(s): A. Nowell, C. Walker, C.E. Cordova, C.J.H. Ames, J.T. Pokines, D. Stueber, R. DeWitt, A.S.A. al-Souliman
Excavations at Shishan Marsh, a former desert oasis in Azraq, northeast Jordan, reveal a unique ecosystem and provide direct family-specific protein residue evidence of hominin adaptations in an increasingly arid environment approximately 250,000 years ago. Based on lithic, faunal, paleoenvironmental and protein residue data, we conclude that Late Pleistocene hominins were able to subsist in extreme arid environments through a reliance on surprisingly human-like adaptations including a broadened subsistence base, modified tool kit and strategies for predator avoidance and carcass protection.