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Subject:

Internet Archaeology Peter Popkin Article on Caprine Butchery and Bone Modification Templates

From:

"Jon Kenny (Internet Archaeology)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jon Kenny (Internet Archaeology)

Date:

Fri, 18 Mar 2005 14:28:57 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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++ Please forward to all appropriate forums ++

Internet Archaeology is pleased to announce a new article in edition 17
of the journal:- 

        Peter Popkin "Caprine Butchery and Bone Modification Templates:
A step towards standardisation"
        http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue17/popkin_index.html

Article Summary
===============
Widely accepted zooarchaeological procedure for recording butchery marks
and other types of bone modification involves two processes: Drawing the
bone showing the exact location and orientation of the modification and
recording all of the information about the bone and its modification
into an electronic database. No recording templates have ever been
published, however, resulting in individual zooarchaeologists repeating
the effort of developing their own templates or drawings for each bone
in an assemblage showing a modification. Both of these tasks are time
consuming and lead to inconsistencies in recording and quantification
methods. 

To help alleviate this problem a series of caprine (sheep and goat) bone
templates have been created. These templates show every bone in a goat
skeleton, apart from the skull, from six views at life-size when printed
on A4 paper. They have intentionally been produced with a minimum of
detail (without shading or stippling etc.) so that the recorded butchery
marks and bone modifications will be clearly visible. Because the
skeletal morphology of sheep and goats is so similar these templates may
be used interchangeably for either species. They may also be used for
many other artiodactyl species such as cattle and deer as no scale has
been indicated.

The study of butchery marks and bone modification has the potential to
provide zooarchaeologists with information about taphonomy, site
formation processes, burial/ritual practices, human behaviour, ancient
technologies and possibly ethnicity amongst other things, but only if
the recording of these bone modifications is undertaken in a
standardised fashion across the field. While much effort has been
directed towards standardising the recognition and classification of
various bone modifications, the recording of these modifications
regularly occurs in various ways. Using standardised recording templates
will save valuable time and help to alleviate problems of data
comparability between researchers.

The templates provided may be printed, or downloaded for later printing,
and drawn upon manually, or they may be manipulated digitally or
incorporated into an existing zooarchaeological recording database (for
example the York System, Harland et al. 2002). While the author realises
that it is unrealistic to expect established zooarchaeologists to give
up familiar recording practices, these templates at least provide a
workable alternative as well as eliminate the necessity for new
zooarchaeologists to create their own.

This article will particularly interest researchers and students of
zooarchaeology.

Subscriptions
=============
If you belong to one of the many institutions who already subscribe to
Internet Archaeology, then you will be able to access the full text of
this article immediately by following this link.
        http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue17/index.html

As an individual subscriber to the journal, then you can subscribe to
this article now for 12.50 by simply selecting this link
        http://intarch.ac.uk/cfm/subs/index.cfm?art=112

If you have never subscribed to a volume or article of the journal
before, then you can do so by using our secure order form. See
http://intarch.ac.uk/subscriptions.html for more details.

regards,
Jon

---
Dr Jon Kenny
Acting Editor, Internet Archaeology
http://intarch.ac.uk

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