Burger, O., Hamilton, M. and Walker, R. (2005). The prey as patch model:. J Archaeol Sci 32 (8). Vol 32(8), pp. 1147-1158.

Title
Title
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Title:
The prey as patch model:
Subtitle
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Subtitle:
optimal handling of resources with diminishing returns
Issue
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Issue:
J Archaeol Sci 32 (8)
Series
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Series:
Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume
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Volume:
32 (8)
Page Start/End
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Page Start/End:
1147 - 1158
Biblio Note
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Abstract
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Abstract:
The authors argue that foraging theory provides archaeology with a set of tools for investigating the constraints that influenced procurement decisions of the past, and that the prey-choice model, which has been used extensively by archaeologists, has limitations given the nature of archaeological data. The paper suggests that the seldom-used Marginal Value Theorem (MVT) is a valuable tool for examining the ecological constraints on foraging decisions and merits further archaeological application. Ethnoarchaeological and experimental cases are presented demonstrating how patch--gains curves can be generated from quantitative data on butchering return rates and handling times. Results indicate that such curves are diminishing return functions. This provides a basis for examining the linkage between processing intensity and resource fluctuation. This model allows archaeologists to address the relationship between attribute-states of faunal remains and predicted optimal post-acquisition decisions. The MVT can be applied to archaeological studies of foraging behaviour and processing intensity as it can be used to estimate the set of environmental constraints in which a given kill was made. This approach may also identify the degree to which certain currencies, such as fat, are optimized at the expense of others, such as total caloric intake.
Author
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Author:
Oskar Burger
Marcus J Hamilton
Robert Walker
Year of Publication
Year of Publication
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Year of Publication:
2005
Locations
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Subjects / Periods:
Faunal Remains (Auto Detected Subject))
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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:
29 Jun 2005