Number Games: MNI and Element Representation in the Point San Jose Collection

Author(s): Maria Cox; Valerie Sgheiza

Year: 2018


The Point San Jose skeletal collection was excavated from a 19th century medical waste deposit. Remains within the deposit were completely commingled and highly fragmented. As re-association was highly unlikely, careful assessment of the commingled nature of the collection was required. To establish the Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI) represented in the collection, two approaches were used: Max (L,R) and an age-informed MNI. The maximum count per unique element resulted in an MNI of 22 (right talus), the age-informed MNI yielded an MNI of 25. When the Most Likely Number of Individuals (MLNI) was calculated, the results ranged from 19-38 individuals. As this collection originated from a medical waste deposit, the larger estimations cannot be disregarded. To further inform and explain the MNI and MLNI results, element representation was assessed. Frequency counts per element were obtained, as was information on side, distal/proximal, axial/appendicular, and upper/lower limb. As many of the long bones were fragmented, data was collected as to which portion of the bone exhibited damage. The results of this study will enable a better understanding of the use and origin of the deposit, as well as which portions of the body were most likely to be included.

Cite this Record

Number Games: MNI and Element Representation in the Point San Jose Collection. Maria Cox, Valerie Sgheiza. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444404)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21796