Cone fractures may be produced on the edge of a bone fragment by the impact of a hammerstone or by carnivore teeth biting through the bone surface. High incidences of these fractures are recorded for the Strata 8 and 10 assemblages, and cone fractures are also present in the assemblages from Strata 7. 12-16. and 18-19.
Clear instances of carnivore gnawing damage are very rare. A few specimens, mostly phalanges and metapodials. from Strata 3, 5, 14, 16. and 19 possess tooth scours, scratches, or pits. Carnivores may also have modified some shaft fragments with small notches on their edges. I f jackal and a small felid represent the only carnivores that were active around Obi-Rakhmat. it is not surprising that the extent of carnivore damage is very limited. There is no evidence for wolves, hyenas or other large carnivores capable of heavy bone damage and consumption.
In sum. the bone damage data suggest that hominids were primarily, if not exclusively, responsible for the accumulation of the bone assemblage at Obi-Rakhmat. Combining the occurrences of burning, cut marks, and percussion marks, it is possible to identify clusters of hominid-caused damage in Strata 7-9. 13-15, and 18-19. Carnivore activity seems to have been limited, and may only have invok ed gnawing on ungulate bones already processed by hominid hunters. However, carnivores may have been responsible for transporting the smaller taxa to the site(i. e., vole, marmot, hare).
The faunal assemblage from the 1998-2001 field seasons at Obi-Rakhmat Grotto is dominated by specimens of Siberian mountain goat and red deer, a result consistent with those obtained during previous excavations at the site (Suleimanov 1972). Other taxa occur intermittently at very low frequencies, giving the fauna a homogenous appearance overall and implying that hominid hunters intentionally targeted deer and goat during visits to the site. However, the presence of roe deer in Strata 16-20 is a surprise and worthy of further attention. In comparison to the lithic artifacts (Derev ianko et al. 2001). the animal remains are not abundant in any stratum except Stratum 19. This may indicate that Obi-Rakhmat was a kill-site, with many carcass parts transported elsewhere for further processing, and/or that it was used only for brief intervals. Burned specimens and bone fragments bearing cut marks and percussion marks occur regularly, indicating that hominids were actively involved in the accumulation of bone at the site. Evidence for carniv ore activ ity is minimal
A ck now ledgem ents
I thank Academician A. P. Derev ianko. director, and A. I. Knvoshapkin. senior scientist, of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, for their invitation to participate in the Obi-Rakhmat project and for their permission to study the faunal material from the 1998-2001 field seasons 1 also thank them for their warm hospitality during my stay in Novosibirsk in May-June of 2002. Dr. S. k. Vasil ev provided a workspace and assistance w ith species identifications. This research was funded in part through a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Bar-Yosef O.. Kuhn S. 1999 The big deal about blades: Laminar technologies and human evolution. American Anthropologist 101(2): 1-17.