En grav är mer än bara en grav... En metodutveckling av tafonomi som redskap att förstå olika anläggningar med djur
Sammanfattning: This paper deals with a taphonomic study of contexts with osteological material of dog (C. familiaris L.) from the Mesolithic and Neolithic of Sweden and Zealand, Denmark. The general aim is to develop and test a method to try to understand the activity behind and define specific archaeological structures. My questions also regards to wether a taphonomic analysis of the material could be used to identify treatments as wrapping and contraction of the dogs, but also dismembering and other preparations of the body. The study focuses on the relation between the space of decomposition, disarti-culation of the joints, evidence of wall effect, cutmarks, weathering and signs of postdepositional arrangements.
The analysis is based on contexts from the materials Hornborgasjön, Vedbæk, Skateholm I and II, Sjöholmen, Ertebølle, Bökeberg, Bredasten, Löddesborg, Bergsvägen and Röekillorna, dating from early Maglemose culture to Neolithic Battle axe culture.
The analysis shows that a closer study of taphonomic processes can be used to identify different structures as graves, offerings, religious and non religious contexts or parts of animals, probably put into the ground as waste. Several of the structures with dogs shows traces of wall effect. The same individuals often have their unstable articulations as the joints in the paw disturbed, which is a sign of decomposition within a shallow area. Such gaps can occur within the corpse during decomposition or it can evolve when an organic material creates a space between the bones and the filling of the structure. The body positions of the dogs show several arrangements as strong contraction of the limbs which sometimes can not be related to wrapping. In some of the structures with parts of dogs, the bones show traces of dismembering and skinning of the bodies. The methods used in this paper show that a taphonomic analysis can help to bring new information to interpret archaeological contexts with bones.
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