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Hominin home ranges and habitat variability: exploring modern African analogues using remote sensing

O'Regan, Hannah J.; Wilkinson, David M.; Marston, Christopher G.

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Authors

HANNAH O'REGAN HANNAH.OREGAN@NOTTINGHAM.AC.UK
Professor of Archaeology and Palaeoecology

David M. Wilkinson

Christopher G. Marston



Abstract

The palaeoanthropological literature contains numerous examples of putative home range sizes associated with various hominin species. However, the resolution of the palaeoenvironmental record seldom allows the quantitative analysis of the effects of different range sizes on access to different habitat types and resources. Here we develop a novel approach of using remote sensing data of modern African vegetation as an analogue for past hominin habitats, and examine the effects of different range sizes on the access to habitat types. We show that when the location of the ranges are chosen randomly then the number of habitat types within a range is surprisingly scale invariant – that is increasing range size makes only a very modest difference to the number of habitat types within an estimated hominin home range. However, when transects are placed perpendicular to a water body (such as a lake or river bank) it is apparent that the greatest number of habitats are seen near water bodies, and decline with distance. This suggests additional advantages to living by freshwater other than the obvious one associated with access to drinking water, and may indicate that the finding of hominins in fluvial and lacustrine deposits is not simply a taphonomic issue.

Citation

O'Regan, H. J., Wilkinson, D. M., & Marston, C. G. (2016). Hominin home ranges and habitat variability: exploring modern African analogues using remote sensing. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 9, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.06.043

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 26, 2016
Online Publication Date Aug 4, 2016
Publication Date Oct 1, 2016
Deposit Date Aug 10, 2016
Publicly Available Date Aug 10, 2016
Journal Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Electronic ISSN 2352-409X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2016.06.043
Keywords Human evolution; Landscape; Savannah; Africa; Landsat; Pedogenic carbonate; Fraction of woody cover
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/974774
Publisher URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X16303248
Contract Date Aug 10, 2016

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