via Nature Scientific Reports, 06 July 2020: For those interested in taphonomy, a closer look at the context from the 700ka rhinocerous skeleton (with signs of butchering) which was discovered last year. Paper is Open Access.
The recently described site of Kalinga in the Philippines adds to our understanding of Early-Middle Pleistocene hominin behaviour. Yet, disentangling the natural from the anthropogenic modifications that have taken place in such an old archaeological site is challenging. In this paper we use a set of taphonomic tools at hand to rectify the distortion made by natural processes during the formation of the Kalinga site. From the description of the ribs completeness, surface damages and scattering in the excavation, one can reconstruct the butchery, transport and deposition sequence of the rhino carcass and its post-depositional disturbances and diagenetic evolution of the site. We conclude that the rhino and the stone artefacts potentially used to deflesh the carcass were transported by a mudflow from its butchery place over a few meters only and got stuck and mixed with an older faunal assemblage that was transported by a small stream.