Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part I: Insights from a Blind Test

Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part I: Insights... In archaeozoology, counts are generally considered as replicable data that accurately represent the initial abundances of elements, individuals, or taxa, although perhaps only at the ordinal scale. However, few studies have tested these assumptions with control data. To improve our knowledge of these issues, we conducted a blind test that involved the analysis of two large experimental samples composed of modern ungulate specimens of known element and taxon. Because the samples differed in level of fragmentation, the blind test provides substantial information on the impact of bone processing on faunal identification and quantification. Our results suggest that Number of Identified SPecimens (NISP) and Minimum Number of Elements (MNE) provide measures of abundance for whole assemblages and for samples limited to non-long bones that are both replicable and accurate at the ratio scale. However, the same metrics generally failed, even at the ordinal level, to predict abundances in analyses restricted to long bones and long bone portions. Given these mixed results, it seems judicious, in agreement with the current majority view among archaeozoologists, to treat faunal tallies as ordinal-level information. Despite issues of reproducibility and the difficulty of aggregating counts with MNE, the blind test also indicates that this measure is more robust at predicting skeletal abundances than NISP. Substantial variations in rates of long bone fragmentation and identification probably explain the poorer performance of NISP in the blind test. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory Springer Journals

Problems of Identification and Quantification in Archaeozoological Analysis, Part I: Insights from a Blind Test

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/problems-of-identification-and-quantification-in-archaeozoological-58l503V7Jl
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Social Sciences; Archaeology; Anthropology
ISSN
1072-5369
eISSN
1573-7764
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10816-016-9300-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches

$49/month

Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.

$588

$360/year

billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial