Pickering, T. Rayne. and Egeland, C. (2006). Experimental patterns of hammerstone percussion damage on bones:. J Archaeol Sci 33 (4). Vol 33(4), pp. 459-469.

Title
Title
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Title:
Experimental patterns of hammerstone percussion damage on bones:
Subtitle
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Subtitle:
implications for inferences of carcass processing by humans
Issue
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Issue:
J Archaeol Sci 33 (4)
Series
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Series:
Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume
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Volume:
33 (4)
Page Start/End
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Page Start/End:
459 - 469
Biblio Note
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Journal
Abstract
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Abstract:
The common occurrence of hammerstone percussion damage on the fossil limb bones of ungulates indicates that marrow extraction has been an important component of hominid butchery for over two million years. The authors argue that it would be behaviourally informative if three deeper aspects of marrow harvesting were understood more clearly: whether inter-element patterns of bone fragmentation vary when processing intensity is held constant; whether butcher investment in marrow extraction correlates positively with the number of percussion marks generated; and whether taphonomic effectors can be identified based on percussion mark morphology, frequency and placement. Some experimental work has been conducted previously exploring these questions, but the authors set out here to address them explicitly through the analysis of a large sample of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) limb elements fractured by hammerstone percussion. The results indicate that measures of bone fragmentation, which supposedly reflect processing intensity, are highly contingent on the research question being posed. This stresses the fact that researchers must be explicit in their definition of processing intensity. In addition, hypothesized covariance between number of hammerstone blows and percussion mark frequencies are not met in the sample, corroborating previous conclusions of a lack of covariance between cutting strokes and cutmark frequencies. These results highlight the contingent nature of butchery mark production, and emphasize the need to investigate carcass resource exploitation by posing questions that do not rely on mark frequencies, but instead utilize other zooarchaeological measures. Finally, the results -- showing high incidences of impact notches and flakes created by direct anvil contact and ``anvil scratches'' created by direct hammerstone contact -- suggest caution in using specific categories of percussion damage to infer their taphonomic effectors.
Author
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Author:
Travis Rayne Pickering
Charles P Egeland
Year of Publication
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Year of Publication:
2006
Locations
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Subjects / Periods:
Hammerstone Blows (Auto Detected Subject))
Butchery Mark (Auto Detected Subject))
Bone (Auto Detected Subject))
Hammerstone (Auto Detected Subject))
Source
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Source:
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BIAB (The British & Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB))
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URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03054403
Created Date
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Created Date:
15 May 2006