By Alan H. Simmons

The multidisciplinary learn software at Akrotiri Aetokremnos is critical, in my op- ion, for 3 purposes: empirical and one conceptual. fairly except the archaeology, paintings on the web site is an enormous contribution to island biogeography, in that the Phanourios sample—certainly the easiest from Cyprus and doubtless the simplest wherever within the world—has already supplied, and may proceed to supply, very important ecological and behavioral info on those exciting creatures. Dwarfed island faunas are very important to our knowing of the complicated elements that form usual choice in ecologically closed environments over the evolutionary long-term. At Aetokremnos, we appear to have the “end” of a protracted series of hippo evolution at the island. With comparative experiences of alternative Cypriot hippo faunas, we should always be capable to pin down the period of preliminary colonization by way of what have been, pres- ably, normal-sized hippos, and—if the opposite websites will be dated—document the dwarfing approach in huge aspect. Aetokremnos may nonetheless be an important paleontological - cality, even within the absence of proof of a human presence there. whereas examining the textual content of the monograph, a few questions strictly concerning the paleontology happened to me. One used to be the right way to version the colonization approach. There seems no doubt that the big mammals colonized the island by means of swimming to it (because, I assemble, Cyprus has no longer been hooked up to the mainland for about 5–6 m- lion years).

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Extra info for Faunal Extinction in an Island Society: Pygmy Hippopotamus Hunters of Cyprus

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The domesticated plants and animals were almost certainly imported from the Levant (Carter 1989; Croft 1989b; Davis 1994:305; Hansen 1989, 1991; Held 1982:9 Miller 1984; Stanley-Price and Christou 1973; Waines and Stanley-Price 1977). Of particular significance to the Aetokremnos project is that no traces of pygmy hippopotamus or pygmy elephant have been uncovered in association with archaeological sites. The only exceptions to this are single bones recovered from two Aceramic Neolithic and one Chalcolithic sites.

One of the better documented claims for a pre-Neolithic settlement is that made for Corbeddu Cave in Sardinia (Hofmeijer and Sondaar 1992; Hofmeijer et al. 1987, 1989; Sondaar et al. 1986; Spoor and Sondaar 1986, 1987). Corbeddu Cave initially was investigated for its paleontological interest. Professional archaeologists only became associated with the project at a relatively late stage in its investigation. Cultural material is present, including clear Neolithic remains in upper strata. Below the Neolithic level, the remains of the ochotonid hare (Prolagus sardus) and extinct deer (Megaceros caziori) were reported with apparent traces of human activity (but no artifacts) and human bone.

1995) may extend the Aceramic Neolithic back by approximately a thousand years, but precise details have not yet been published. 18 CHAPTER 1 chasm” (Watkins 1981b:10) or “occupational hiccup” (Held 1990:22) of about 1000 years. The existence of this gap is a subject of some controversy, and although it is outside of scope of discussion here, it clearly has important implications for the origin of the Ceramic Neolithic and later cultures (Cherry 1990:157). In summary, our knowledge of the Cypriot Neolithic is coming into clearer focus, and much current research is taking a problem-oriented approach.

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