Evaluating Socio-economic Status at Maasplein, Using Food Utility Indices

Author(s): Kate Trusler

Year: 2017


A number of researchers have inferred socioeconomic status using zooarchaeological data in contexts suggested by artifacts to reflect a particular status level. Cuts of meat that are of relatively high yield ("utility") should be more economically valuable than low yield parts. A model of carcass-part utility assumes that people of high socioeconomic status will preferentially acquire greater relative frequencies of high yield parts than people of low status. The model is applied to the Roman town site of Maasplein, the Netherlands, using a food utility index for cattle (Bos Taurus). Results indicate that there are relatively more low yield parts, reflecting low status. This test of the model demonstrates that food utility indices in conjunction with other contextual data can be used to identify socioeconomic status.

Cite this Record

Evaluating Socio-economic Status at Maasplein, Using Food Utility Indices. Kate Trusler. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430639)

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Faunal Roman

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 12155