Teeth of Homotherium latidens recovered from late Pleistocene sediments, Kents Cavern, England have long been the source of controversy. H. latidens is conspicuously absent from other late Pleistocene cave deposits in Britain, and is widely thought to have been extirpated from the region during the isotope stage 10 glacial period. Here we present high spatial resolution analyses of fluorine and uranium uptake profiles in teeth of three species from the same cave. The H. latidens tooth is clearly distinguished from the unambiguously provenanced Late Pleistocene hyaena and Middle Pleistocene cave bear teeth. These results are consistent with the theory that the H. latidens teeth originated at an exogenous location, were probably transported to Kents Cavern as Palaeolithic trade goods, and were buried in Kents Cavern in Palaeolithic times.

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Keywords Cave, Fluorine, Palaeolithic, Palaeontology, Quaternary, Uranium
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.10.032
Journal Journal of Archaeological Science
McFarlane, D.A. (Donald A.), & Lundberg, J. (2013). On the occurrence of the scimitar-toothed cat, Homotherium latidens (Carnivora; Felidae), at Kents Cavern, England. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40(4), 1629–1635. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2012.10.032