Distinguishing bone fat exploitation from other taphonomic processes: what caused the high level of bone fragmentation at the Middle Neolithic site of Ajvide, Gotland?
Outram, Alan K
University of Exeter
Meetings and Proceedings
The importance of bone fats as a resource is briefly discussed. The Middle Neolithic site of Ajvide, Gotland is described. The character of the bone assemblages from this site is discussed and the changes in subsistence economy on the island are outlined. Details of the methods used to study fracture and fragmentation patterns are given and an example of the use of such methods to identify bone marrow and grease extraction is presented. This example relates to the Paleo-Eskimo, Saqqaq Culture site of ltivnera, Western Greenland. The results of two similar analyses of samples from different parts of the Ajvide site are presented and discussed. It is concluded that bone marrow was exploited to some degree, but grease rendering was not carried out to any significant degree. The reasons why grease rendering may not have been carried out at Ajvide are explained in terms of the seasonal round at the site.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. Copyright © Oxbow Books and the individual authors, 2005
Outram, A.K. (2005). Distinguishing bone fat exploitation from other taphonomic processes: what caused the high level of bone fragmentation at the Middle Neolithic site of Ajvide, Gotland? In Mulville, J and Outram, A.K. (eds) 'The zooarchaeology of fats, oils, milk and dairying': pp32-43. Oxford: Oxbow Books