NMO Fauna

NMO is interpreted as a hunting locality (terminology after Binford 1980) where a group of hunters butchered giant cows. The ability of Late MP Levantine groups to hunt large game is well established. Yet the enormous size of the wild cows hunted calls for appreciation of the skills of the NMO hunters. Their actual hunting gear is unknown. Yet the very high percentage of pointed elements, enables us to suggest a reconstruction of the hunters’ tool arsenal.

Recently, Speth (2010) raised questions regarding the efficiency and purpose of big-game hunting. We do not know how frequently the Mousterian hunters hunted large game and what was the praxis or size of their hunting party. The presence of many additional species of animals in the NMO layers, including deer, gazelle, wild boar and even carnivores, including the skull and femur of a lion, suggest that we are looking at complex hunting behavior beyond that necessary to employ at a kill site of a single species .