Broken bones and hammerstones at the Cerutti Mastodon site: A reply to Haynes

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Haynes [2017 “The Cerutti Mastodon.” PaleoAmerica 3 (3): 196–199] criticizes numerous aspects of our analysis of the Cerutti Mastodon (CM) site, but central among his points is the claim that heavy equipment broke the bones and stones that we interpret as evidence of ancient human activity. This notion can be discounted primarily because most of the relevant CM fragments were found coated in thick crusts of pedogenic carbonate clearly showing that breakage occurred thousands of years ago. Haynes also raises questions about site stratigraphy, radiometric dating, and absence of other artifactual evidence. The stratigraphic context of CM bones and rocks is well-defined, and the Pleistocene site stratigraphy remained intact before excavation. Knapped stone tools are not a requirement in bone processing archaeological sites. In the absence of other plausible explanations for the multiple lines of evidence, we maintain that hominins broke the CM bones using stone hammers and anvils.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Broken bones and hammerstones at the Cerutti Mastodon site: A reply to Haynes
Series title PaleoAmerica
DOI 10.1080/20555563.2017.1396835
Volume 4
Issue 1
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
Description 4 p.
First page 8
Last page 11
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial Cerutti Mastodon site
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