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Title: Characterising the exploitation of avian resources: an experimental combination of lithic use-wear, residue and taphonomic analyses
Authors: Pedergnana, Antonella
Blasco, Ruth
Keywords: Residue analysis;Use-wear analysis;Taphonomy;Experimentation
Issue Date: Nov-2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Quaternary International, 2016, 421, 255-269
Abstract: Pilot experiments involving the butchering of bird carcasses and the use of non-retouched flint flakes were performed. The executed actions comprised skinning and defeathering various avifaunal species (Circaetus gallicus and Gyps fulvus). The main aim of this experimental programme was to document the use-wear on flint implements employed in the treatment of the avifaunal carcasses in order to help researchers identify this activity in the archaeological record. An additional focus of this study concerned the experimental organic residues (soft tissue and feathers) associated with the bird species used in the experiments. For each residue type, a detailed chemical elemental analysis and morphological characterisation were performed, with the aim of creating an experimental database for comparison with the micro-residues that will potentially be found on archaeological stone tools. For microscopic observations, we employed both Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Optical Light Microscopy (OLM). A detailed description of the use-wear features and residue types was achieved through a systematic comparison of micrographs taken with both techniques. In addition, EDS (energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy) was applied to determine the elemental composition of the residues. Taphonomic analysis of the bones of the carcasses used in the experimental programme was performed with the principal aim of comparing the distribution of cut marks on bones with the use-wear pattern on the lithic implements employed. Future developments of our research will improve the methodology by expanding the experimental programme and by applying it to archaeological collections (at sites where the processing of these kinds of animals has already been identified).
ISSN: 1040-6182
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.07.025
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arqueología

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