A study of Pleistocene and Holocene hyaena coprolites

Liora Kolska Horwitz, Paul Goldberg

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103 Scopus citations


Hyaena coprolites from a diachronic series of archaeological sites in Israel were examined and compared with recent faecal material from striped hyaena dens and zoos. Three methods were applied in the analysis of all samples: gross morphometrical attributes, X-ray diffraction and petrological thin sections. This last method is an innovation in the field of coprolite studies and facilitates the long-term preservation of the original textural characteristics and fabric of sections of the coprolite. The combination of these three approaches facilitated, among other things, the assessment of hyaena diet in the past as well as in the present, and determination of local environmental factors affecting the composition of the coprolite; we also obtained some indication of changes related to ageing of the material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-94
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • X-ray diffraction
  • carnivores
  • coprolites
  • holocene
  • hyaenas
  • micromorphology
  • pleistocene
  • southern Levant


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