, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 381-396
Date: 16 Oct 2012

Data Quality in Zooarchaeological Faunal Identification

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Abstract

There is no standard for reporting faunal identifications in zooarchaeology. Zooarchaeologists are open to accusations that reported conclusions are invalid. Other sciences counter such problems through use of quality assurance, consisting of quality control (QC), and assessment (QA). QC is a standard for procedures adopted during laboratory practice. A rarely cited standard was published by Driver in 1992. QA focuses on criteria for faunal identification and is becoming more common in zooarchaeology. QC and QA must be integral parts of zooarchaeology if identifications are to be accepted. The stakes are high because paleobiological datasets are now used to study problems in conservation science.