The Early-Middle Pleistocene faunal assemblages of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov: Inter-site variability.
ABSTRACT This study investigates faunal remains from the site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, analyzing how hominins may have utilized vertebrates and exploring paleoenvironments during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. Based on analyses of a range of vertebrates, results show that the species distribution of terrestrial vertebrates (microvertebrates and mammals) at the site of Gesher Benot Ya'aqov shows relative stasis above the Matuyama-Brunhes Boundary (MBB) (0.78 Ma). However, consistency in faunal remains at the site reflecting stasis does not seem to reflect accurately the paleoenvironment. Marked changes are demonstrable in the lake-margin sedimentary background, archaeological remains, and agents of accumulation and damage, as well as in the density of medium-large mammals. This study emphasizes the significance of studying assemblages as a whole rather than the species representation on its own.