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Animal Agency and Coastal Archaeology

  • Madonna L. Moss (a1) and Jon M. Erlandson (a1)


Until more archaeologists, not just faunal analysts and taphonomists, recognize the range and variety of animals that can deposit marine or estuarine animal remains into archaeological localities, insufficient research attention will be paid to distinguishing taphonomic agents. As demonstrated elsewhere (Erlandson and Moss 2001), an understanding of the antiquity of coastal adaptations and the nature of marine resource use in certain contexts requires careful assessment of noncultural sources of faunal remains in coastal settings. To address such problems, understanding the ecology of those nonhuman animals whose taphonomic signatures can mimic some of the characteristics of hominid middens is crucial.


Se ha visto que a los arqueólogos lesfalta por reconocer el rango y la variedad de animates que pueden depositor restos de otros animates marinos o de tipo estuario, en los sitios arqueológicos. Hasta ahora esto ha sido tarea de los especialistas en fauna y de los tafonomistas, haciendo evidente la insuficiente atención prestadapor los arqueólogos en distinguir estos elementos tafonómicos. Como se ha demostrado previamente (Erlandson y Moss 2001), la comprensión sobre las adaptaciones, y la naturaleza de los usos de recursos marinos en algunos contextos de la antigüedad costera, requiere una valoración cuidadosa de los orígenes no-culturales de fauna que permanece en estos ambientes costeros. Para abordar este problema, es crucial un entendimiento de la ecología de los animates, cuyos indicadores tafonómicos pueden imitar algunas de las caracteristícas de los depósitos hechos por los seres humanos.



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