Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 381-396

First online:

Data Quality in Zooarchaeological Faunal Identification

  • Steve WolvertonAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Institute of Applied Science, University of North Texas Email author 

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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.


Zooarchaeology Faunal identification Quality assurance Quality control Quality assessment