Backgrounder: Evidence of Middle Pleistocene subsistence

Social Sciences

The new paper, “Middle Pleistocene Subsistence in the Azraq Oasis, Jordan: Protein residues and other proxies,” will appear in the September issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, 73 (2016) 36-44, published by Elsevier.

The paper is co-authored by April Nowell and Daniel Stueber of the University of Victoria; Christopher Ames, also of UVic and of the University of California, Berkeley; Cameron Walker of Oregon Health and Science University; Carlos Cordova of Oklahoma State University; James Pokines of Boston University School of Medicine and with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston; Regina DeWitt of East Carolina University; and Amer Al-Souliman of Hashemite University, Jordan.

Hominins, a term only recently in common use by paleoanthropologists, includes our ancestors (Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, Denisovans) and other extinct human species, but also all of the Australopithecines and other ancient forms such as Ardipithecus and Paranthropus.

The Residue Analysis Lab of Archaeological Investigations Northwest, a company located in Portland, Oregon, conducted the biochemical testing on the 44 stone tools.

In Jordan, the Department of Antiquities and the Azraq Wetland Reserve of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature provided assistance and permissions to conduct the excavation work in the site located in the centre of the Azraq Basin of Jordan’s Eastern Desert. Having attracted hominin populations for at least 300,000 years, this particular region is a very rich area for archaeological discovery.

Nowell has been working in Jordan for more than 15 years and with this team at this excavation site since 2013. Two UVic graduate students were also involved in the excavation.

The Journal of Archaeological Science is a respected peer-reviewed monthly journal that publishes original research papers and major review articles of wide archaeological significance.

< Back to Release

In this story

Keywords: anthropology, archaeology, diet, Indigenous, evolution, research, history

People: April Nowell

Related stories