Assessing differential fragmentation of mammal bone: a new proxy

Author(s): Richard Redding; Andrea Poli

Year: 2017


Relative bone density has been utilized as a proxy for differences in survivability among mammal bones during pre- and post-depositional fragmentation/destruction processes. Since bone remodels during an animal’s lifetime to resist directional forces and cancellous bone forms patterns of trabeculae oriented in directions to compensate for forces exerted on the bone, I think that estimates of density of a bone are an inadequate proxy for survivability. In an attempt to develop a new proxy for survivability I have subjected bones from sheep to force using a drop tower. The height of the drop was varied to generate between 7.5 and 15 Joules. A piezoelectric sensor measured the amount of force, in Newtons, required to fracture an element. A graph of force, overtime, describes the fracture of each element. The force required to fracture each element is compared to the bone density estimates for sheep. Also, patterns of fracture were recorded. Secondary and tertiary drops were conducted to further fragment the elements. In a future study the fracture patterns obtained will be compared to the fractures observed in archaeological faunas from Egypt.

Cite this Record

Assessing differential fragmentation of mammal bone: a new proxy. Richard Redding, Andrea Poli. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430382)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14711