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The Hunters or the Hunted?

An Introduction to African Cave Taphonomy

"Amongst scientists involved [in taphonomy], C. K. Brain stands out as the pioneer; this impressive book is a statement of his investigations. . . . The Hunters or the Hunted? is a very important book for paleoanthropology. It presents the first thorough analysis of the Sterkfontein Valley assemblages, contributes significantly to the resolution of lingering controversies and, by placing the old information in a fresh perspective, enables new and more sophisticated questions to be asked not only of the South African material but of similar assemblages elsewhere. Another contribution is that it reinforces the recent change in feelings as to what constitutes data, for the value of looking at fossil and contemporary bones as closely as this is clear. Brain urges the necessity of recovering fossils with a high regard for subtle detail. I hope excavators of any vertebrate fossil site will be persuaded to follow his advice and pay more attention to these features of bone accumulations that have been previously neglected; for taphonomy can be a powerful tool in elucidating the problems of fossil assemblages, especially when handled with the care and caution that Brain brings to the subject."—Andrew Hill, Nature

376 pages | 266 halftones | 8-1/4 x 11-3/4 | © 1981

Anthropology: Physical Anthropology

Biological Sciences: Paleobiology, Geology, and Paleontology

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