The last interglacial (Eemian) lakeland of Neumark-Nord (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany). Sequencing Neanderthal occupations, assessing subsistence opportunities and prey selection based on estimations of ungulate carrying capacities, biomass production and energ
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AuthorKindler, Lutz; Smith, Geoff M.; García Moreno, Alejandro; Gaudzinski-Windeheuser, Sabine; Pop, Eduard; Roebroeks, Wil
The high-resolution palaeoenvironmental record from the last interglacial (Eemian) lakeland at Neumark-Nord (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) holds the rare potential to study Neanderthal subsistence ca. 125,000 years ago in remarkable detail. Using the palynological record from the large lake Neumark-Nord 1 (NN1) and the adjacent small “pool” Neumark-Nord 2 (NN2) a sequence of lithic and faunal assemblages has been established, indicating Neanderthal presence in the lakeland throughout the Eemian. Calculations of the herbivore carrying capacity for the Neumark area during the Eemian reveal high biomass estimates. Using these estimates it was possible to calculate the structure of the source population, based on the faunal record rich in species and individuals, from littoral deposits assigned to the first mesocratic phase of the Eemian. The results can be used as a frame of reference for making inferences on subsistence opportunities and prey selection based on taphonomical and zooarchaeological studies of the Neumark-Nord faunal assemblages. In a broader perspective our study demonstrates the benefits from inferring energy values (kcal) and body mass (kg) as ancillary parameters to zooarchaeological analyses to understand the relationships between death assemblage and their habitats from which they originate.