Bones - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780121000363, 9781483213958


1st Edition

Ancient Men and Modern Myths

Authors: Lewis R. Binford
eBook ISBN: 9781483213958
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 16th July 1987
Page Count: 328
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Bones: Ancient Men and Modern Myths focuses on bone structures and characteristics, including bone modifications, breakage, processing, and destruction by animals.

The publication first elaborates on the transitions to relics to artifacts and monuments to assemblages and middle-range research and the role of actualistic studies, including artifact and assemblage phase and relic and monument phase. The text then takes a look at the patterns of bone modifications produced by nonhuman agents and human modes of bone modification. Discussions focus on breakage related to other forms of bone processing, morphology of bone breakage, chopping and bone breakage as butchering techniques, butchering marks, bone breakage and destruction by animals, tooth marks, and previous approaches to understanding the significance of broken and modified bone.

The manuscript ponders on patterns of association stemming from the behavior of man versus that of beast, as well as control collections of animal-structured assemblages; information on kill behavior and comparisons; observations of wolves and their behavior; and studies of assemblage composition caused by beasts.

The publication is a valuable source of information for researchers interested in bone structure and modifications.

Table of Contents




List of Figures and Tables


Part I Documenting a Long-Term Archaeological Problem: Concepts and Observations

Chapter 1 Relics to Artifacts and Monuments to Assemblages: Changing Conceptual Frameworks

The Relic and Monument Phase

The Artifact and Assemblage Phase

Chapter 2 Middle-Range Research and the Role of Actualistic Studies

The Paradigm—One's Guide to Describing the World

Theory—One's Guide to Explaining the World

Part II Middle-Range Research—In Search of Methodology

Chapter 3 Patterns of Bone Modifications Produced by Nonhuman Agents

Previous Approaches to Understanding the Significance of Broken and Modified Bone

Skeletal Disarticulation

Tooth Marks

Other Sources of Surficial Modifications on Bone

Bone Breakage and Destruction by Animals

Modifications by Anatomical Part

Breakage Unrelated to Consumption: Trampling and Bone Manipulation

Bone Modifications and Methodology

Chapter 4 Human Modes of Bone Modification

Previous Approaches to Understanding Broken and Modified Bone

The Control Data

Dismembering Strategy

Butchering Marks

Cut Marks: Their Form and Placement on Specific Bones

Chopping, Bone Breakage and Butchering Techniques

Gnawing by Humans

Marrow-Bone Breakage

Control Collections

Breakage Related in Other Forms of Bone Processing

Man-to-Man Comparisons, or Alternative Human Behaviors

Comparing Man and Beast

Morphology of Bone Breakage


Chapter 5 Assemblage Composition: Patterns of Association Stemming from the Behavior of Man Versus that of Beast

New World Beginnings—Man as the Agent

African Problems and Assemblage Composition

Other Types of Assemblage Variability

Studies of Assemblage Composition Caused by Beasts

Observations of Wolves and Their Behavior

Information on Lair Behavior

Information on Kill Behavior and Comparisons

Control Collections of Animal-Structured Assemblages


Part III Putting Our Knowledge to Work: Seeking to Know the Past

Chapter 6 Application: A New Look at Olduvai Gorge

Olduvai Gorge, a Challenge to Our Methods

Analysis of Olduvai Fauna

Evaluating the Degree of Destruction Suffered by the Olduvai Assemblages

Assemblage Composition—Olduvai Gorge


Chapter 7 General Conclusions




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© Academic Press 1981
Academic Press
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About the Author

Lewis R. Binford

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