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  1. Jul 2022
    1. The Southern Levant, situated between modern day southern Syria via Israel to Sinai, has a spatiotemporally dense and continuous Paleolithic archaeological record offering a unique opportunity to detect faunal changes, including those predating the appearance of Homo sapiens (Bar-Yosef, 1980; Stutz, 2014). It is thus a suitable model to test long-term changes in the body mass of mammalian assemblages, in view of paleoclimates and changing human lineages, to decipher whether climate and/or humans are responsible for animal body size declines. The excellent archaeological record can further illuminate whether size declines are observed since hominins first colonized the region, or whether they start with the emergence of Homo sapiens (Louys et al., 2021), or are concentrated in the last glacial and its aftermath. We tested whether the size, and size changes, in hominin prey through the Pleistocene and early Holocene were related to time, the prevailing human lineages and cultures, paleoenvironment, and temperatures.

      Southern Levant is unique for providing records for this study.