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By Sarunas Milisauskas (auth.), Sarunas Milisauskas (eds.)

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Within each hut was a hearth, recognizable as a concentration of charcoal and heated stones. 3. One of the hut outlines at Terra Amata (After de Lumley 1969). have been constructed on small stone pavements, others in shallow pits. Small windbreaks of piled stones often were placed next to the hearths. Artifacts of stone and bone were concentrated within the huts. Almost 11,000 stone artifacts were recovered, of which the majority were waste flakes of limestone, silicified limestone, and flint. Among the retouched tools, flaked pebbles and pebble-fragments, choppers, and picks predominated, accompanied by a few bifaces and small tools made on retouched flakes.

LOWER AND MIDDLE PALAEOLITHIC 21 One additional feature of the finds at Gran Dolina, Atapuerca deserves mention: many of the hominid bone fragments show signs of cutting and purposeful breakage. The excavators suggest that these are signs of cannibalism, with meat removed from the bones using stone flakes and bones (especially the vertebrae) broken open for marrow. If true, then the hominid bones at the site represent prey, not occupants, and the question of who was doing the eating remains open.

Birds, fish, and shellfish do appear in some sites, but in very small amounts and seem to have played a limited role in the economy. Except for a few chance finds of preserved cherry pits and hazelnuts in some travertine sites, evidence for plant foods is non-existent. Most known sites of the Lower Palaeolithic appear to be residential camps or kill/butchery sites, many of which were reoccupied numerous times. There appear to have been particular spots on the landscape that drew repeated use due to their access to game and water.

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