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Extreme Processing at Mancos and Sacred Ridge: The Value of Comparative Studies

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter sets forth a comparison of the processing that occurred at Mancos [as studied by White (Prehistoric cannibalism at Mancos 5MTUMR-2346. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992)] and Sacred Ridge [overall analysis by Stodder and Osterholtz (Analysis of the processed human remains from the Sacred Ridge Site: Methods and data collection protocol. In Perry, Stodder & Bollong (Eds.), Animas-La Plata project: XV-Bioarchaeology (pp. 243–278). Phoenix: SWCA Environmental Consultants, 2010)]. Data are presented in an element-by-element comparison showing that any differences between the two assemblages can be examined and qualified as the result of different choices made during the processing of the assemblage. The degree of variability in the extent of processing and the methods by which that processing occurred are rarely the focus of study by bioarchaeologists, and so this chapter shows that careful analysis of a commingled and fragmentary assemblage can be compared to other comparable assemblages to uncover different processing techniques that will ultimately lead to an assemblage that is superficially similar. The patterns for these two sites show that while some elements are similar in their appearance, the location of tool marks indicates that different methods were used to achieve disarticulation. A detailed analysis of fragments is the only way that such a comparison could have occurred. While on first glance, the two assemblages seem to be similar, different patterns of processing can be identified through careful analysis and comparison.

White (Prehistoric cannibalism at Mancos 5MTUMR-2346. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992) provided innovation by publishing the analysis of the assemblage in an element-by-element manner and allowing for future scholars to perform direct comparisons. Stodder and Osterholtz (Analysis of the processed human remains from the Sacred Ridge Site: Methods and data collection protocol. In Perry, Stodder & Bollong (Eds.), Animas-La Plata project: XV-Bioarchaeology (pp. 243–278). Phoenix: SWCA Environmental Consultants, 2010) applied White’s original methodology while adapting some aspects (such as the recordation of taphonomic change to conjoined units as the primary analytical unit) to better fit the research questions at hand. The comparison of Sacred Ridge and Mancos presented here will hopefully foster future comparisons on an element-by-element basis.

Keywords

Shaft Fracture Proximal Humerus Data Collection Protocol Tool Mark Extreme Processing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was conducted while the author was employed by SWCA Environmental Consultants. Thanks are owed to everyone who supported that analysis. Additional thanks go to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and the Bureau of Reclamation and Dr. Tim White for his careful review of the manuscript, photo, and helpful comments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Nevada, Las VegasLas VegasUSA

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