A new approach to profiling taphonomic history through bone fracture analysis, with an example application to the Linearbandkeramik site of Ludwinowo 7.
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Reason for embargo
This paper presents a new method of assessing and displaying taphonomic history through detailed bone fracture analysis. Bone is a particularly useful indicator of taphonomic processes as it is sensitive to when it is broken based on degradation over time. Our proposed ‘fracture history profiles’ show the sequences of fracture and fragmentation that have affected assemblages of bone specimens from the death of the animal to recovery by archaeologists. The method provides an assessment of the carcass processing traditions of past people, relating specifically to bone marrow and bone grease extraction. In addition, by analysing post-deposition fracture and bone modifications caused by burning, gnawing and other taphonomic agents, it is possible to reconstruct a comprehensive taphonomic history for each archaeological context. This has implications for understanding effects on other artefacts that have no equivalent diagnostic features for determining timing of breakage, and also for establishing the nature of events such as secondary disturbance of deposits. This method will be demonstrated using a case study from the Neolithic Linearbandkeramik culture.
This work was supported by the European Research Council (ERC Advanced Grant ERC324202)
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Volume 9, October 2016, Pages 623–629