Shell Technology, Rock Art, and the Role of Marine Resources during the Upper Paleolithic.

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    • Abstract:
      During the Upper Paleolithic, marine resources have traditionally been considered to be low-efficiency resources. However, in recent years, new data have emerged to demonstrate that their importance for human utilization was probably greater than previously thought. The assessment of their value has generally been from the perspective of their nutritional or ornamental value, not from the technological potential that these resources might have. A use-wear analysis of shells from the Gravettian levels of Fuente del Salín, a cave in northern Spain, has documented their use for a diverse range of production activities, most notably the processing of the red pigments used in artistic representations on the cave walls, as well as for tanning hide. This technological use of shells demonstrates that marine resources were of greater importance to the hunters and gatherers of the Upper Paleolithic and that their utility was more diverse than previously understood. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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