Quaternary International ( IF 2.003 ) Pub Date : 2020-10-16 , DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2020.10.017 Maria N. Zheltova; Natalia D. Burova; Nataliya E. Zaretskaya; Ganna I. Zaitseva; Anatoliy A. Sementsov
The paper is devoted to the role of hares in the composition of hunter's prey in the Upper Paleolithic of the Russian (East European) Plain. Mammoths and hoofed mammals are traditionally considered as main hunting species for these sites. However, sometimes completely different species come to the fore, while the bones of the “main hunting animals” are presented only in small amounts. We have analyzed the faunistic materials of the sites confined to the basins of the main rivers of the Russian Plain (Dnieper, Desna, Seym, Oka, Don), the chronostratigraphic position of which is justified by radiocarbon dates. As a result of quantitative analysis, the sites were divided into 4 groups, where group 1 comprises the sites with the content of hare bones in relation to all definable bone residues of more than 50%, and group 4 - which does not contain them at all. A set of skeletal elements was also studied and their percentage in the collection was determined. Correlation of the data with the Late Pleistocene event scale showed the absence of a direct relationship between the number of hare bones in sites with climate changes. Throughout the entire Upper Paleolithic, hares were part of the environment of the ancient population, spreading widely in forest landscapes and decreasing in the tundra-steppes. Hares served as universal game, especially when other types of hunting were limited (for example, during seasonal migrations of other species).