Intrasite Spatial Analysis of Bone: Subtracting the Effect of Secondary Carnivore Consumers

Curtis Marean, Leanne Bertino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animal bones discarded by people are commonly subject to disturbance by carnivores. These carnivores are present throughout the world and include wolves, coyotes, hyenas, and many others. This disturbance not only modifies and destroys bone, but also moves many of the bone fragments away from their original position of discard. Intrasite spatial analyses of bone that seek patterns meaningful to human behavior thus need to subtract the effect of carnivore disturbance. Experimental studies with spotted hyenas show that the position of a bone fragment on a limb bone, combined with bone surface modification, can be used to identify a class of bone fragments that are minimally affected by carnivores and are thus the best indicators of spatial patterning resulting from human behavior. Limb-bone ends are moved significant distances, as are shaft fragments as a general class. However, middle-shaft portions of limb bones that preserve percussion marks from hammerstone breakage retain nearly the precise spatial position as originally discarded by hominids. Thus, any spatial analysis of bone, when carnivores are implicated as contributors or consumers at an archaeological site, should focus on middle-shaft portions of limb bones with percussion marks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)748-768
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Volume59
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

animal
Carnivores
Spatial Analysis
Percussion Marks
Human Behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology

Cite this

Intrasite Spatial Analysis of Bone : Subtracting the Effect of Secondary Carnivore Consumers. / Marean, Curtis; Bertino, Leanne.

In: American Antiquity, Vol. 59, No. 4, 01.10.1994, p. 748-768.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a722e56ebdf14c37ba03e26876c0de14,
title = "Intrasite Spatial Analysis of Bone: Subtracting the Effect of Secondary Carnivore Consumers",
abstract = "Animal bones discarded by people are commonly subject to disturbance by carnivores. These carnivores are present throughout the world and include wolves, coyotes, hyenas, and many others. This disturbance not only modifies and destroys bone, but also moves many of the bone fragments away from their original position of discard. Intrasite spatial analyses of bone that seek patterns meaningful to human behavior thus need to subtract the effect of carnivore disturbance. Experimental studies with spotted hyenas show that the position of a bone fragment on a limb bone, combined with bone surface modification, can be used to identify a class of bone fragments that are minimally affected by carnivores and are thus the best indicators of spatial patterning resulting from human behavior. Limb-bone ends are moved significant distances, as are shaft fragments as a general class. However, middle-shaft portions of limb bones that preserve percussion marks from hammerstone breakage retain nearly the precise spatial position as originally discarded by hominids. Thus, any spatial analysis of bone, when carnivores are implicated as contributors or consumers at an archaeological site, should focus on middle-shaft portions of limb bones with percussion marks.",
author = "Curtis Marean and Leanne Bertino",
year = "1994",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.2307/282346",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "59",
pages = "748--768",
journal = "American Antiquity",
issn = "0002-7316",
publisher = "Society for American Archaeology",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Intrasite Spatial Analysis of Bone

T2 - Subtracting the Effect of Secondary Carnivore Consumers

AU - Marean, Curtis

AU - Bertino, Leanne

PY - 1994/10/1

Y1 - 1994/10/1

N2 - Animal bones discarded by people are commonly subject to disturbance by carnivores. These carnivores are present throughout the world and include wolves, coyotes, hyenas, and many others. This disturbance not only modifies and destroys bone, but also moves many of the bone fragments away from their original position of discard. Intrasite spatial analyses of bone that seek patterns meaningful to human behavior thus need to subtract the effect of carnivore disturbance. Experimental studies with spotted hyenas show that the position of a bone fragment on a limb bone, combined with bone surface modification, can be used to identify a class of bone fragments that are minimally affected by carnivores and are thus the best indicators of spatial patterning resulting from human behavior. Limb-bone ends are moved significant distances, as are shaft fragments as a general class. However, middle-shaft portions of limb bones that preserve percussion marks from hammerstone breakage retain nearly the precise spatial position as originally discarded by hominids. Thus, any spatial analysis of bone, when carnivores are implicated as contributors or consumers at an archaeological site, should focus on middle-shaft portions of limb bones with percussion marks.

AB - Animal bones discarded by people are commonly subject to disturbance by carnivores. These carnivores are present throughout the world and include wolves, coyotes, hyenas, and many others. This disturbance not only modifies and destroys bone, but also moves many of the bone fragments away from their original position of discard. Intrasite spatial analyses of bone that seek patterns meaningful to human behavior thus need to subtract the effect of carnivore disturbance. Experimental studies with spotted hyenas show that the position of a bone fragment on a limb bone, combined with bone surface modification, can be used to identify a class of bone fragments that are minimally affected by carnivores and are thus the best indicators of spatial patterning resulting from human behavior. Limb-bone ends are moved significant distances, as are shaft fragments as a general class. However, middle-shaft portions of limb bones that preserve percussion marks from hammerstone breakage retain nearly the precise spatial position as originally discarded by hominids. Thus, any spatial analysis of bone, when carnivores are implicated as contributors or consumers at an archaeological site, should focus on middle-shaft portions of limb bones with percussion marks.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0000194453&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0000194453&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2307/282346

DO - 10.2307/282346

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0000194453

VL - 59

SP - 748

EP - 768

JO - American Antiquity

JF - American Antiquity

SN - 0002-7316

IS - 4

ER -