Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2019

Keywords

Taphonomy, Bone fragmentation, Grease rendering, Marrow extraction, Boiling, Burning, Bone fuel, Bone tools, Bone tool production, Bone debitage, Bone chip, Pinnipeds, Artiodactyls, Human ecodynamics, Zooarchaeology, Shell midden, Pacific Northwest Coast

Abstract

Coastal shell middens are known for their generally excellent preservation and abundant identifiable faunal remains, including delicate fish and bird bones that are often rare or poorly preserved at non-shell midden sites. Thus, when we began our human ecodynamics research project focused on the fauna from Čḯxwicən (45CA523, pronounced ch-WHEET-son), a large ancestral village of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, located on the shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Port Angeles, Washington (USA), we anticipated generally high levels of bone identifiability. We quickly realized that the mammal bones were more fragmented and less identifiable than we had expected, though this was not the case with the bird and fish bone or invertebrate remains. To better understand why this fragmentation occurred at Čḯxwicən, we evaluate numerous hypotheses, including both post-depositional and behavioral explanations. We conclude that multiple factors intersected (to varying degrees) to produce the extreme bone fragmentation and low identifiability of mammal bones at the site, including bone fuel use, marrow extraction, grease rendering, tool production, and post-depositional breakdown. Using a human ecodynamics framework, we further consider how both social factors and external environmental forces may mediate human choices, such as the economic decision to use bone for fuel or render bone grease. We place our findings from Čḯxwicən in a regional context and discuss the potential of the approach for other coastal archaeological sites worldwide.

Publication Title

Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports

Volume

23

First Page

1168

Last Page

1186

DOI

10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.08.049

Required Publisher's Statement

Copyright by authors, published by Elsevier

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X18304401#ks0005

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Animal remains (Archaeology)--Tse-whit-zen Village Site (Wash.); Fish remains (Archaeology)--Tse-whit-zen Village Site (Wash.); Clallam Indians--Hunting; Clallam Indians--Fishing; Clallam Indians--Implements; Human ecology--Tse-whit-zen Village Site (Wash.); Kitchen-middens--Tse-whit-zen Village Site (Wash.); Taphonomy--Tse-whit-zen Village Site (Wash.)

Geographic Coverage

Tse-whit-zen Village Site (Wash.)

Genre/Form

articles

Type

Text

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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