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Trarsh or Treasure? A Critical Analysis of Hell Gap Zooarchaeology

Author(s): Mary Lou Larson ; Marcel Kornfeld

Year: 2016

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Over the past century archaeologists have treated faunal remains differentially:either discarding all bones as unimportant, selectively collecting the informative ones, or treasuring all for eternity and future research. Studies at the stratified Paleoindian Hell Gap site in southeastern Wyoming included several of these treatment options. Our presentation investigates the different treatment of bones at Hell Gap over more than 60 years (1960-2015) of site studies. Such treatment is argued to have biased interpretations of zooarchaeological remains, making them problematic in reconstructions of procurement and processing strategies. Recent site investigations (after the mid 1990s) are systematic and explicit in recording and collecting field and lab protocols, enabling us to compare ‘complete’ collection (1990s and on) with collections that underwent unknown deletional biases (1960s). In this presentation we compare the overall 1960s and recent faunal assemblages and evaluate the spatial characteristics of faunal remains in several Paleoindian components of the Hell Gap site to begin modeling site structure.

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Trarsh or Treasure? A Critical Analysis of Hell Gap Zooarchaeology. Mary Lou Larson, Marcel Kornfeld. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403560)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America