Fragmentation: the zonation method applied to fragmented human remains from archaeological and forensic contexts
Knüsel, Christopher J.
Outram, Alan K
University of Exeter (Outram)
Oxbow Books for the Association for Environmental Archaeology
Scattered and commingled human and animal remains are commonly encountered on archaeological sites, and this contextual relationship begs the question of whether human and animals were treated in a similar manner before burial. The recording system presented here provides a means by which to confront problems of equifinality - that is, when taphonomic alterations create apparently similar patterns and, therefore, confuse behavioural inferences drawn from them. This method hinges on a standardised representation of the zones on human skeletal elements that allow comparison with those described by Dobney and Rielly (1988) for animal remains. It is anticipated that the anatomical descriptions in combination with the zone drawings presented will aid others to apply the method generally across skeletal assemblages of any date. This system could also be used to aid the curation of museum collections and as a complement to forensic recovery.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. Copyright © Oxbow Books and the Association for Environmental Archaeology 2004.
Environmental Archaeology, (2004), 9 (1), pp. 85-98