Hervé Bocherens

Hervé Bocherens
University of Tuebingen | EKU Tübingen

Habilitation

About

574
Publications
176,021
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Introduction
Hervé Bocherens currently works at the Department of Geosciences, University of Tuebingen and at the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment. Hervé does research in Paleobiology, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology and Hominin evolution, principally using stable isotopes in bones and teeth as ecological tracers. Some of his current project is 'Feeding ecology of the Brazilian Intertropical Region mammal fauna from the late Pleistocene – Holocene.', "early dog domestication", "megaherbivores and humans".
Additional affiliations
May 2008 - present
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (574)
Article
Full-text available
Dogs are known to be the oldest animals domesticated by humans. Although many studies have examined wolf domestication, the geographic and temporal origin of this process is still being debated. To address this issue, our study sheds new light on the early stages of wolf domestication during the Magdalenian period (16–14 ka cal BP) in the Hegau Jur...
Article
During the past several decades, the paleoecology of the Mammuthus-Coelodonta Faunal Complex in the Palearctic has been thoroughly explored, especially using stable isotope analysis. Numerous studies have documented high ecological plasticity and regional heterogeneities for this fauna. However, very limited attention has focused on Northeast Asia,...
Article
Full-text available
Nowadays, opportunistic small predators, such as foxes (Vulpes vulpes and Vulpes lagopus), are well known to be very adaptable to human modified ecosystems. However, the timing of the start of this phenomenon in terms of human impact on ecosystems and of the implications for foxes has hardly been studied. We hypothesize that foxes can be used as an...
Article
Full-text available
Cat remains from Poland dated to 4,200 to 2,300 y BCE are currently the earliest evidence for the migration of the Near Eastern cat (NE cat), the ancestor of domestic cats, into Central Europe. This early immigration preceded the known establishment of housecat populations in the region by around 3,000 y. One hypothesis assumed that NE cats followe...
Article
Full-text available
Heavy reliance on plants is rare in Carnivora and mostly limited to relatively small species in subtropical settings. The feeding behaviors of extinct cave bears living during Pleistocene cold periods at middle latitudes have been intensely studied using various approaches including isotopic analyses of fossil collagen. In contrast to cave bears fr...
Article
This paper presents the results of a study of 17 brown bear skulls from two destroyed sanctuaries dated no later than the middle of the 20 th century, from the Chamgu River (eastern slope of the V. Sakhalin Mountains, Central Sakhalin), apparently from the last monuments of the bear cult on the Island and probably the only one from which materials...
Article
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Stable carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions of faunal remains unearthed from the rock shelter site of Tor Hamar in southern Jordan were analyzed for reconstructing paleoenvironments and hunting activities in the region. The site is located at the Jebel Qalkha area and has archaeological deposits dated to the Early Upper Paleolithic (ca. 38e37 ka...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Simbiro III, comprising the Monumental Section (MS) and the gully, is part of the Melka Kunture cluster of prehistoric sites, located in the Ethiopian highland at ~2000 m a.s.l. The MS, discovered in the Sixties and then not extensively investigated, looks like a ~5 meters high cliff and includes the impressive remnant of deposited multiple layers...
Article
Evidence for plants rarely survives on Paleolithic sites, while animal bones and biomolecular analyses suggest animal produce was important to hominin populations, leading to the perspective that Neanderthals had a very-high-protein diet. But although individual and short-term survival is possible on a relatively low-carbohydrate diet, populations...
Article
Full-text available
Brown bears are one of the few large carnivore species that survived the final Pleistocene wave of extinctions, perhaps in part owing to their wide ecological plasticity, variety of forms and polyphagia. Although the brown bear has become a well-studied system, many questions remain regarding the ecological, trophic and genetic diversity throughout...
Article
Full-text available
Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the initial steps in the domestication process of the wolf. We discuss the human-initiated model in which wolf pups were brought to camp sites by male hunters and cared for by nursing women. A good relation between the more sociable and playful pups and the women and their children likely formed affi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Pleistocene deposit of Casal de’ Pazzi (CdP) is located along the lower Aniene Valley, in the suburbs to the northeast of Rome (Italy). The excavations (~1.200 m2) revealed part of a paleo-river channel, notably a small tributary of Aniene river. The deposit overlies a tuff-bed, dated around 360 ka, filled up by fluvial sediments, consisting of...
Chapter
The Paleolithic site of Mutzig, discovered by chance in 1992 (Sainty 1992), has been the focus of several excavations since 2009. Located in Alsace (Bas-Rhin, France), it is presently one of only a handful of sites reliably attributed to the Mid- dle Paleolithic in this area, thus providing rare evidence for a zone still relatively unknown for Earl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Stable isotope analysis in mammal teeth from Pleistocene archaeological sites has proven highly informative regarding paleodiet and paleoenvironment in eastern Africa (Lee-Thorp et al., 2010). Here, we present measurements of 13 C/ 12 C and 18 O/ 16 O isotopic ratios on fossil mammal teeth from Melka Kunture prehistoric site, located along the uppe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Stable isotopes and phytoliths analysis have been widely used in archaeological research, providing key information in the study of paleoclimate and paleoecology, and allowing to test hypotheses on adaptation and habitat changes in Africa during human evolution. Here, we report on both stable isotopes (13C, 18O) (14 fossil teeth samples) and phytol...
Poster
Full-text available
Stable isotopes and phytoliths analysis have been widely used in archaeological research, providing key information in the study of paleoclimate and paleoecology, and allowing to test hypotheses on adaptation and habitat changes in Africa during human evolution. Here, we report on both stable isotopes (13C, 18O) (14 fossil teeth samples) and phytol...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Garba IV level D (Garba IVD) and Gombore I level B (Gombore IB) are archaeological levels which are part of the Melka Kunture (MK) cluster of prehistoric sites, located on the western edge of the Main Ethiopian Rift at˜2000 m a.s.l. Both have been dated at˜1.6 Ma and record a high-density distribution of lithic artifacts, pebbles, and faunal remain...
Article
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The Guadix-Baza Basin (GBB) in Andalucía, Spain, comprises palaeontological and archaeological sites dating from the Early Pliocene to the Middle Pleistocene, including some of the earliest sites with evidence for the presence of early humans (Homo sp.) in Europe. Thus, the history of climate and environments in this basin contributes significantly...
Article
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The late Pleistocene settlement of highland settings in mainland Southeast Asia by Homo sapiens has challenged our species’s ability to occupy mountainous landscapes that acted as physical barriers to the expansion into lower-latitude Sunda islands during sea-level lowstands. Tham Lod Rockshelter in highland Pang Mapha (northwestern Thailand), date...
Chapter
Full-text available
Carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of bone collagen in woolly mammoths, coeval her-bivores and predators, as well as hominins, allow researchers to quantify the proportion of meat consumed by late Neanderthals and early modern humans in Europe. The proportions of consumed mammoth meat were found to be very high for late Neanderthals in sites...
Chapter
Full-text available
Middle and Upper Palaeolithic sites, where mammoths dominate the faunal assemblages, are mainly found in Central and Eastern Europe. At these sites concentrations of skulls, tusks and long bones, interpreted as deliberate constructions, often occur. Rare instances of weapon tip fragments embedded in mammoth bones provide direct archaeological evide...
Article
The woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) was a cold-adapted herbivore, widely distributed from western Europe to north-east Siberia during the Late Pleistocene. Previous studies have associated the extinction of the species ∼14,000 calendar years before present to climatic and vegetational changes, suggesting the later survival of population...
Article
Two canid morphotypes have been proposed for the middle Upper Palaeolithic site of Předmostí (Moravia, Czech Republic): Pleistocene wolf and Palaeolithic dog (Germonpré et al., 2012, 2015; Galeta et al., 2020). In Wilc-zyński et al. (2020), faunal assemblages from other Upper Palaeolithic Moravian sites were analyzed and those results used to proje...
Poster
Full-text available
Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies (https://sites.google.com/view/isoecol-video/home/poster-presentations/terrestrial)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Melka Kunture (MK) is a cluster of prehistoric sites located in Ethiopia at high altitudes, ~2000 m a.s.l. The chronological sequence spans from ~1.8 Ma to the early Holocene. The archaeological record yielded several fossil hominins (H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and H. sapiens), lithic industry, faunal remains and fossil footprints. Palynologic...
Poster
Full-text available
Fox remains are known from almost every European Late Pleistocene site (about 100 to 13,000 years ago). Of particular interest in archaeological studies are the perforated fox canines, found in the Swabian Jura sites (SW-Germany), originating from about 42 to 30,000 years ago. Cut marks on fox bones show that fur and meat were important as well....
Poster
Full-text available
The question, whether a dog is a dog or rather a wolf, is highly debated in the field of zooarchaeology, paleogenetic, and stable isotopes. Recent evidence points towards an onset of wolf domestication in south-western Germany and northern Switzerland at around 16 to 15,000 years ago. Regarding diet of wolves and potential dogs, both groups fed on...
Poster
Full-text available
The question, whether a dog is a dog or rather a wolf, became recently highly debated. Recent evidence points towards an onset of domestication at around 16 to 15,000 years ago including an intriguing example of the Kesslerloch cave (CH), where beside wolf remains, one large canid has been morphologically and genetically confirmed as dog. Regarding...
Article
The study of a set of marine arthropod shells from an archaeological excavation carried out in 1991–1992 in the tholos of La Pastora (Cooper Age Mega-site of Valencina-Castilleja, S Spain), has highlighted the environmental implications and ornamental use as beads not cited so far for this purpose. It is the barnacle species Chthamalus montagui Sou...
Preprint
Full-text available
The woolly rhinoceros ( Coelodonta antiquitatis ) was a cold-adapted herbivore, widely distributed from western Europe to north-east Siberia during the Late Pleistocene. Previous studies associate the extinction of the species ~14,000 years before present to climatic and vegetational changes, and suggest that later survival of populations in north-...
Article
Full-text available
Excavated in 1991 and 1992 by the Cedarc, the terrace of the Ambre cave, in Matagne-la-Grande, delivered a small series of human bones mixed with heterogeneous archaeological material, of Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Protohistoric and Roman appearance. Traces of glue seem to have more or less rejuvenated a first C14 dating of human bones. During the ye...
Chapter
Full-text available
The dog is the only domesticated species that dates from before the origin of agriculture when human populations were living as hunter-gatherers (e.g. Germonpré et al. 2009, 2015, 2018; Thalmann et al. 2013; Freedman and Wayne 2017). Morphological and genetic analyses have shown that dogs descent from an extinct Eurasian Pleistocene wolf population...
Article
The Pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) is an endangered ungulate from South American. The following paper presents the first investigation on the isotopic ecology (δ13Ccollagen; δ15Ncollagen) of modern populations of Pampas deer. The information obtained is compared with new δ13C and δ15N data of Pampas deer bones recovered from archaeological si...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid evolution of traits and of plasticity may enable adaptation to climate change, yet solid experimental evidence under natural conditions is scarce. Here, we imposed rainfall manipulations (+30%, control, -30%) for 10 years on entire natural plant communities in two Eastern Mediter-ranean sites. Additional sites along a natural rainfall gradien...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Ancient DNA has significantly improved our understanding of the evolution and population history of extinct megafauna. However, few studies have used complete ancient genomes to examine species responses to climate change prior to extinction. The woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) was a cold-adapted megaherbivore widely distributed across...
Article
Mehrere Fachdisziplinen arbeiten gemeinsam daran, die Umweltverhältnisse in der späten Kreidezeit vor 66 bis 70 Millionen Jahren zu rekonstruieren. Wirft man heute einen Blick auf die karge Landschaft in den Great Plains, kann man sich kaum vorstellen, wie es hier zu den Lebzeiten von Edmontosaurus ausgesehen hat. Die Wälder und ausgedehnten Fluss...
Article
During the Last Glacial cycle (from MIS-4 to MIS-2), the isthmic Pyrenees mountain range acted as a biogeographical barrier, effectively restricting faunal exchanges to its western and eastern terminations. The study of the composition of megaherbivore communities has revealed the transitional character of the Cantabrian region (northwest Iberian P...
Article
Although camels are not indigenous to Europe, they have been found at several sites from several Roman provinces dating from the beginning of the 1st century AD onwards. It must have been beneficial to bring them there. Based on finds of remains from juvenile individuals (e.g. from Tanais), it has been suggested that the Romans might have systemati...
Article
Full-text available
Levänluhta is a unique archaeological site with the remains of nearly a hundred Iron Age individuals found from a water burial in Ostrobothnia, Finland. The strongest climatic downturn of the Common Era, resembling the great Fimbulvinter in Norse mythology, hit these people during the 6th century AD. This study establishes chronological, dietary, a...
Article
Full-text available
Three taxa within the subfamily Caprinae (Himalayan goral Naemorhedus goral, Chinese goral Naemorhedus griseus, and Sumatran serow Capricornis sumatraensis) live in the mountainous upland forests of Southeast Asia, where they are considered as vulnerable or near threatened species. Co-occurrences between these two recognized genera have been docume...
Article
Full-text available
A negative correlation between body size and the latitudinal temperature gradient is well established for extant terrestrial endotherms but less so in the fossil record. Here we analyze the middle Eocene site of Geiseltal (Germany), whose record is considered to span ca. 5 Myrs of gradual global cooling, and generate one of the most extensive mamma...
Chapter
Full-text available
Datation 14C d’ossements à la grotte Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc
Article
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Analysis of ancient human DNA from western Central Africa offers insights into African population history, including the origin of speakers of the Bantu languages. The findings are reported in this week’s Nature. Shum Laka in western Cameroon, Africa, is an important archaeological site for the study of Late Pleistocene and Holocene prehistory in...
Article
Full-text available
Grey wolves (Canis lupus) are one of the few large terrestrial carnivores that have maintained a wide geographical distribution across the Northern Hemisphere throughout the Pleistocene and Holocene. Recent genetic studies have suggested that, despite this continuous presence, major demographic changes occurred in wolf populations between the Late...
Article
Fox (Vulpes vulpes and Vulpes lagopus), wolf (Canis lupus) and dog (Canis lupus familiaris) remains are commonly found in the faunal assemblages of Magdalenian sites in Central Europe. However, little is known about their ecology in terms of food preference and niche partitioning. We hypothesize that domestication leads to a new trophic niche for d...
Article
Full-text available
Grey wolves (Canis lupus) are one of the few large terrestrial carnivores that have maintained a wide geographic distribution across the Northern Hemisphere throughout the Pleistocene and Holocene. Recent genetic studies have suggested that, despite this continuous presence, major demographic changes occurred in wolf populations between the late Pl...
Preprint
Teeth are the most informative remains in the fossil record due to their abundance and enamel structure, which is the hardest and most mineralised tissue, preserving well biochemical and mechanical features. Teeth occlusal wear signal (mesowear) and stable carbon isotope composition are reliable proxies for diet abrasiveness and habitat openness in...
Preprint
Abstract The dog is the oldest domesticated species and the only animal that was domesticated during the Pleistocene - before the emergence of agriculture - when human populations were living as hunter-gatherers. Today, owned dogs can assist their owners in various ways. They can function as watchdog, facilitate transport as beasts of burden, aid i...
Conference Paper
The exploitation of woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) by early Upper Palaeolithic humans in Europe has been abundantly documented. While the use of mammoth bone and ivory as raw material is attested by tools, ornaments and art objects, especially during the Upper Palaeolithic, the detection and quantification of mammoth meat consumption is mor...