Coard, R. (2007). Ascertaining an agent:. J Archaeol Sci 34 (10). Vol 34(10), pp. 1677-1684.

Title
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Title:
Ascertaining an agent:
Subtitle
Subtitle
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Subtitle:
using tooth pit data to determine the carnivore/s responsible for predation in cases of suspected big cat kills in an upland area of Britain
Issue
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Issue:
J Archaeol Sci 34 (10)
Series
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Series:
Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume
Volume
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Volume:
34 (10)
Page Start/End
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Page Start/End:
1677 - 1684
Biblio Note
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Journal
Abstract
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Abstract:
The identification of the involvement of a particular carnivore in the modification of bone assemblages concerns a number of fields of research including archaeological and palaeontological enquiry. Taphonomy provides a methodology by which bone assemblages can be analysed and interpreted and this is more often undertaken with archaeological or palaeontological assemblages. A taphonomic analysis was undertaken in order to determine the perpetrator of predation attacks on domestic stock from a modern-day setting. Recently reported techniques using tooth marks preserved on bone surfaces made by known carnivores are successful at determining some class sizes of predators and were used to determine the perpetrator(s). Although a class size of carnivore is readily identified by this methodology, a particular carnivore taxon is not. Tooth morphology and dental configuration are reported as better criteria for identifying a particular taphonomic agent. Tooth pit dimensions were used to identify the class size of carnivores involved, and tooth morphology and cusp spacing to suggested a medium sized felid and fox as taphonomic agents. The identification of the medium-sized felid may support observations and reports of alleged `big' cat kills in the area. The study has implications for the interpretation of fossil sites where felids may have been involved in the modification of animal carcasses but are archaeologically invisible in terms of their fossil remains.
Author
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Author:
Roslyn Coard
Year of Publication
Year of Publication
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Year of Publication:
2007
Locations
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Subjects / Periods:
Bone (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:
19 Sep 2007