Book cover image of Breathing Life Into Fossils

Breathing Life into Fossils: Taphonomic Studies in Honor of C.K. (Bob) Brain, 2007
(307 pages)
Edited by Kathy Schick and Nicholas Toth

Taphonomy, the study of the processes leading to the fossilization of organic remains, is one of the most important avenues of inquiry in human origins research. Breathing Life into Fossils: Taphonomic Studies in Honor of C.K. (Bob) Brain is a major contribution to taphonomic studies in paleoanthropology and natural history. This book emanates from a Stone Age Institute conference celebrating the life and career of naturalist Bob Brain, a pioneer in bringing taphonomic perspectives to human evolutionary studies. Contributions by leading researchers provide a state-of-the-art look at the maturing field of taphonomy and the unique perspectives it provides to research into human origins. This important volume reveals approaches taken to the study of bone accumulations at prehistoric sites in Africa, Eurasia, and America, and provides fascinating insights into patterns produced by carnivores, by hunter-gatherers, and by our early human ancestors.

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Introductions and Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Fifty Years of Fun with Fossils: Some Cave Taphonomy - Related Ideas and Concepts that Emerged Between 1953 and 2003 (C.K. Brain)
Chapter 2: Rather Odd Detective Stories: A View of Some Actualistic and Taphonomic Trends in Paleoindian Studies (Gary Haynes)
Chapter 3: The Destruction of Skeletal Elements by Carnivores: The Growth of a General Model for Skeletal Element Destruction and Survival in Zooarchaeological Assemblages (Naomi Cleghorn & Curtis W. Marean)
Chapter 4: Hominids and Carnivores at Kromdraai and Other Quaternary Sites in Southern Africa (J. Francis Thackeray)
Chapter 5: Taphonomic Analysis of an Excavated Striped Hyena Den from the Eastern Desert of Jordan (Kathy Schick, Nicholas Toth, Thomas Gehling and Travis Rayne Pickering)
Chapter 6: Taphonomic and Site Formation of Two Early Miocene Sites on Rusinga Island, Kenya (Alan Walker)
Chapter 7: Are You In or Out (of Africa)? Site Formation at Dmanisi and Actualistic Studies in Africa (Martha Tappen, David Lordkipanidze, Maia Bukshianidze, Reid Ferring and Abesalom Vekua)
Chapter 8: Changes Through Time in Carcass Survival in the Amboseli Ecosystem, Southern Kenya (A.K. Behrensmeyer)
Chapter 9: Vertebrate Taphonomic Perspectives on Oldowan Hominin Land Use in the Plio-Pleistocene Olduvai Basin, Tanzania (Robert J. Blumenschine, Charles R. Peters, Salvatore D. Capaldo, Peter Andrews, Jackson K. Njau and Briana L. Pobiner)
Chapter 10: The Earliest Stone Age in South Africa: Site Context and the Influence of Cave Studies (Kathleen Kuman)
Chapter 11: Taphonomy of Sterkfontein Australopithecus Skeletons (Ron J. Clarke)
Chapter 12: Taphonomy of Immature Hominid Skulls and the Taung, Mojokerto, and Herto Specimens (Gail E. Krovitz & Pat Shipman)
Chapter 13: Carcass Foraging by Early Hominids at Swartkrans Cave (South Africa): A New Investigation of the Zooarchaeology and the Taphonomy of Member 3 (Travis Rayne Pickering, Manuel Dominquez-Rodrigo, Charles P. Egeland and C.K. Brain)
Chapter 14: Equinifinality in Carniore Tooth Marks and the Extended Concept of Archaeological Palimpsests: Implications for Models of Passive Scavening by Early Hominids (Manuel Dominguez-Rodrigo, Charles P. Egeland and Travis Rayne Pickering)
Chapter 15: Butchering Backstraps and Bearing Backbones: Insights from Hadza Foragers and Implications for Paleolithic Archaeology (Henry T. Bunn)
Chapter 16: Carnivora and Carnivory: Assessing Hominid Toothmarks in Zooarchaeology (Tim D. White & Nicholas Toth)