The Archaeologist’s Laboratory

Part of the series Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology pp 187-211

Analysing Osteological and Other Faunal Remains


The physical traces of animals present a rich source of evidence for archaeologists. Taphonomic processes that affect the distribution of this evidence require careful attention, and the identification and analysis of bones and other remains requires specialized training and access to a large comparative collection. The faunal remains can tell us a great deal about environment, diet, hunting, food production, seasonality, tool use, and the use of animals for traction, transportation, or non-food resources. Human remains, meanwhile, can also provide indirect evidence for their diet.