Carcass processing intensity and cutmark creation: An experimental approach

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Charles P. Egeland, Visiting Lecturer (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Cutmarks observed in archaeofaunal assemblages are an important source of evidence in the reconstruction of prehistoric butchery strategies. Inherent in these reconstructions is the assumed covariance of the intensity of butchery activities and the resulting cutmarks. This study proposes a simple measure of processing (butchery) intensity-the number of tool strokes amassed during defleshing activities-in an attempt to test this assumption. Data on this measure of processing intensity were collected during the experimental butchery of 16 appendicular carcass segments from large ungulates. Based on the measure of processing intensity utilized here, there seems to be no clear-cut relationship between the number of tool strokes and the resulting frequency of cutmarks or the frequency with which specific bone specimen classes are cutmarked. The results presented here have substantial implications for the interpretation of cutmarks and concomitant assessments of prehistoric human diet and subsistence behavior.

Additional Information

Publication
Plains Anthropologist; Feb 2003; 48, 184; Research Library
Language: English
Date: 2003
Keywords
Cutmarks, Butchery, Experimental archaeology, Processing intensity, Zooarchaeology