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Humans, megafauna and landscape structure – Rock engravings from Namibia encourage a comparative approach to central Europe and southern Africa

This paper deals with reflections that arose after observing prehistoric rock engravings at different locations in Namibia. These observations stimulated comparative considerations with focus on southern Africa and central Europe. Similar to the Aurignacian rock art of European origin, the most common motifs in the Namibian rock engravings are large animals. While in Europe, the species that served as a blueprint for the illustration of Aurignacian rock art have mostly disappeared, the megafauna illustrated on the rock engravings in Namibia

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The importance of large prey animals during the Pleistocene and the implications of their extinction on the use of dietary ethnographic analogies

Estimates of the human trophic level and dietary quality during the Paleolithic are the basis for many hypotheses and interpretations regarding human evolution and behavior. We describe an additional factor that could have significantly influenced human evolution and behavior, the availability of large prey animals. Given the importance of large prey and the mounting evidence of the decline in its abundance throughout the Pleistocene, we question the reliability of past reconstructions of the human trophic level that were heavily based

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