The culmination of more than a decade of fieldwork and related study, this unique book uses analyses of perimortem taphonomy in Ice Age Siberia to propose a new hypothesis for the peopling of the New World. The authors present evidence based on examinations of more than 9000 pieces of human and carnivore bone from 30 late Pleistocene archaeological and palaeontological sites, including cave and open locations, which span more than 2000 miles from the Ob River in the West to the Sea of Japan in the East. The observed bone damage signatures suggest that the conventional prehistory of Siberia needs revision and, in particular, that cave hyenas had a significant influence on the lives of Ice Age Siberians. The findings are supported by more than 250 photographs, which illustrate the bone damage described and provide a valuable insight into the context and landscape of the fieldwork for those unfamiliar with Siberia.
Christy G. Turner, II is Regents' Professor Emeritus of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University. He is internationally recognised for his work on human dentition and, more recently, for his taphonomic studies of cannibalism in the American Southwest. Nicolai D. Ovodov is Chief Research Collaborator at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Novosibirsk, Russia. He is well-known in Russia for his important contributions to Siberian palaeontology and palaeoanthropology. Olga V. Pavlova was a translator with the Russian Academy of Sciences for over 30 years in both the Institute of Geology and Geophysics and the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography.
Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction. What is perimortem taphonomy, and why study it in Siberia?; 2. Bone damage and its meaning; 3. The 30 Siberian archaeological and palaeontological sites, distributed from the Ob River to the Sea of Japan; 4. Discussion: analyses, comparisons, inferences, and hypotheses; 5. Conclusions for seven questions; Appendices; References; Index.