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Bone Sharp Faunal

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Vertebrate and Invertebrate Analysis

Vertebrate Analysis

The goal of vertebrate analysis is the determination of the speicies present, any idications of butchery, as well as age and sex determination. Preliminary quantification involves counting and weighing the bones, teeth and scales. Following this, the number of individual specimens present (NISP), minimum number of individuals (MNI), and meat weights can be assessed for each species.

The analysis of vertebrate remains helps to interpret:

ditary importance of wild versus domestic species

seasonality through the use of enamal thin section and species specific habit information

fishing and hunting techniques

socio-economic status through the use of meat cuts

age profiles of butchered species

Invertebrate Analysis

Invertebrate remains, in the form of bivalve and gastopod shells, can be used in much the same way as vertebrate remains. The goal of invertebrate analysis is the determination of the species present and their quantification through counting and weighing. Quantification data is used to determine the NISP, MNI and meat weights for each species in the assemblage.

Shellfish can be used to:

determine the seasonality through the use of incremental growth analysis

reconstruct past catchment areas

determine the contribution of shellfish to the overall diet

determine the amount of collection pressure on a shellfish bed