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|Title:||Taphonomy: What About the Small Bones, Long Bones, and Cranial Bones? A Study of the Representation and Weathering of Human Remains from the Battle of Stoney Creek during the War of 1812|
|Other Titles:||The Representation and Weathering of Human Remains|
|Abstract:||Disarticulated, commingled, and fragmented assemblages occur over a range of geographic and temporal contexts, yet the relationship between the representation and weathering of bone in these collections is unclear. Previous studies have produced inconsistent results and there is little elaboration discussing why the representation of large bones differ from small bones in archaeological collections containing commingled remains. The purpose of this research was to determine which bones were better represented, and if the representation correlated to the weathering of bone in the collection of human remains from the Battle of Stoney Creek, a War of 1812 site. The soldiers from the battle were likely buried in a mass grave; however, almost 200 years of extensive taphonomic disturbances created an assemblage that was disarticulated, commingled, and fragmented. A database of the collection was used to gather information on bone fragment completeness recorded using the zonation method (Knüsel and Outram 2004), and weathering scores recorded using the scale by McKinley (2004). Results from the Z-statistic and Wilcoxon Rank-Sum statistic indicated that small bones (metacarpals, metatarsals, tali and calcanei) were better represented and less weathered than long upper and lower limb bones (femora, tibiae, fibulae, humeri, ulnae and radii) (p=0.05). The binomial distribution also determined that the crania were underrepresented in comparison to two cemetery sites; the West Tenter Street and Cross Bones burial ground (p=0.1). There are a number of possible reasons for this expression of representation and weathering including the size, morphology, and density of bones, taphonomic disturbances, the burial environment (e.g., soil characteristics, the feather edge effect), and clothing. This study highlights the importance of preservation analyses in commingled, disarticulated, and fragmented collections. The findings from this research suggest that small bones may be better represented than the larger limb bones at sites with extensive taphonomic disturbances.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|Casaca_2014_MAThesis_13.pdf||LiaCasacaMAThesis2014||12.32 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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