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Bone Sharp Faunal

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UM 455

Late Archaic
Taunton, MA

A total of 124 fragments of faunal remains were recovered from testing at the Northwoods site (UM 469). One hundred and twelve (90%) could not be identified beyond the general identification class of mammal, small mammal, medium mammal, or turtle. The presence of turtle may indicate that the site was occupied during the warm weather, after April and before October, and possibly in the fall and winter, when deer could continue to be hunted. Comparison with the Riverside and Nemasket Hill sites showed similar occurrences in species.The types of elements recovered is typical of other assemblages that the author has analyzed. Figure 2 shows a generic deer skeleton with the elements labelled. The identification of the elements is probably biased due to the fact that certain elements such as metapodials and phalanges bear a greater number of distinguishing characteristics that make them easier to identify even from small fragments. This should be kept in mind when evaluating the occurrence of elements at any site, especially one where the bulk of the assemblage is composed of calcined bone. Due to the small number of fragments identifiable as deer, it is not possible to say anything conclusive about body part representation as it may reflect habitation type (semi-permanent versus hunting camp) or hunting practices (age of capture, element transport).

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