The contribution of Neandertals to the biological and cultural emergence of early modern humans remains highly debated in anthropology. Particularly controversial is the long-held view that Neandertals in Western Europe were replaced 30,000 to 40,000 years ago by early modern humans expanding out of Africa. This book contributes to this debate by exploring the diets and foraging patterns of both Neandertals and early modern humans. Eugène Morin examines the faunal remains from Saint-Cesaire in France, which contains an exceptionally long and detailed chronological sequence, as well as genetic, anatomical and other archaeological evidence to shed new light on the problem of modern human origins.
1. The research problem
2. Human origins and the problem of Neandertals
3. Foraging theory and the archaeological record
4. Saint Cesaire
5. The fauna
8. Transport decisions and currency analysis
9. Testing the hypotheses
10. Diet breadth at the regional level
11. An alternative look at the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition
12. Concluding thoughts
Eugène Morin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Trent University in Canada. He has published articles in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Geoarchaeology and PNAS and serves on the editorial board of Ethnobiology Letters.
"The overwhelming strength of Morin's book is that it takes a rather niche topic, subsistence practices in a limited area of Western Europe, and effectively addresses a significant archaeological question within a much larger regional framework, using methods that are applicable to other time periods and locations [...] an extremely important contribution and excellent model for future analysts studying the region."
– Britt M. Starkovich, Current Anthropology