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11 - Cementochronology Protocol for Selecting a Region of Interest in Zooarchaeology

from Part II - Protocols

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2022

Stephan Naji
New York University
William Rendu
University of Bordeaux (CNRS)
Lionel Gourichon
Université de Nice, Sophia Antipolis
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Seasonal variations directly impacted the social and economic activities of past human populations. Cementochronology is one of the methods available to address seasonality questions. It relies on the cyclic deposition rate of dental cementum observed microscopically on petrographic thin‐sections of animal teeth from archaeological contexts. However, no protocol exists to select a Region of Interest (ROI) or to identify the last cementum increment. This chapter proposes consensual biological and optical criteria for the selection of optimal ROIs and their analysis. Interobserver tests were performed to assess the criteria, as well as age and season of death, on thirty thin‐sections of modern documented reindeer teeth. Results demonstrate the accuracy, and replicability of this protocol, and emphasize the influence of training and experience for the proper implementation of cementochronology.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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