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Investigating the exploitation pattern of a newly established species, the case of the Late-Glacial roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) at La Fru (Savoie, France)

Abstract : The Late-Glacial period offers a key window into the expansion of temperate species from southern refugia towards northern areas and the impact of faunal change on hunting strategies. In the Jura and in the Alps, the arrival of red deer and the withdrawal of reindeer are coeval with the warming of the GI-1e. Very little is known about roe deer, however. A high-resolution study of the rich archaeofauna from the Early Azilian occupation at the Northern Alpine site of La Fru provides data on the habitat and exploitation of roe deer. Roe deer populations were already established in the region in the early Bölling (~GI-1e), as is shown by the earliest radiocarbon date of roe deer bones (14.7–14.3 ky cal BP, 1σ). This is the earliest post-Last Glacial Maximum evidence of this species in northern France. The specimens from the site show the highest δ15 N values among the deer species present in the areas. This is probably linked to the roe deer’s selective foraging of highly nutritious vegetation already available in the open habitat at that time. Our zooarchaeological study shows that roe deer was a key resource at La Fru and was intensively hunted between May and September. The mortality profile indicates a “deliberate” targeting of inexperienced subadults and weaker older animals. These new data provide further evidence that there was both a reorganization of the animal environment and a reorientation of hunting on red deer and roe deer associated with the Early Azilian culture during the Bölling chronozone.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02928527
Contributor : Anne Bridault <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 5:18:42 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 10:19:32 AM

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Anne Bridault, Annelise Binois-Roman, Dorothée Drucker, Gilbert Pion. Investigating the exploitation pattern of a newly established species, the case of the Late-Glacial roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) at La Fru (Savoie, France). Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Springer, 2020, 12 (9), ⟨10.1007/s12520-020-01168-1⟩. ⟨halshs-02928527⟩

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