Cattle_foot_bones_excavated_in_1982_from

Cattle_foot_bones_excavated_in_1982_from - Ancient...

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Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report 222/87 CATTLE FOOT BONES EXCAVATED IN 1982 FROM A SEVENTEENTH/ EIGHTEENTH CENTURY PIT IN CHURCH STREET, DORCHESTER, DORSET. Simon J M Davis AML reports are interim reports which make available the results of specialist investigations in advance of full publication They are not subject to external refereeing and their conclusions may sometimes have to be modified in the light of archaeological information that was not available at the time of the investigation. Readers are therefore asked to consult the author before citing the report in any publication and to consult the final excavation report when available. Opinions expressed in AML reports are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England.
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Ancient Monuments Laboratory Report 222/87 CATTLE FOOT BONES EXCAVATED IN 1982 FROM A SEVENTEENTH/ EIGHTEENTH CENTURY PIT IN CHURCH STREET, DORCHESTER, DORSET. Simon J M Davis Summary A late seventeenth / mid eighteenth century pit in Dorchester, Dorset, contained complete metapodials and phalanges from some 20 cattle - most were probably females or oxen. The assemblage is tentatively inter- preted as the waste from a cow - hide tannery, in which the hides were transported with feet still attached. Author's address : - Department of Zoology University College Gower Street London WCl ~ Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England
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CATTLE FOOT BONES FROM A LATE SEVENTEENTH/MID EIGHTEENTH CENTURY PIT IN CHURCH STREET, DORCHESTER, DORSET INTRODUCTION An unusual assemblage of bones, most belonging to adult cattle, has been entrusted to me for identification by Mr. N. Balaam. They were excavated by Mr. D. Batchelor from a seventeenth/eighteenth century pit in the rear yards of the tenement occupations of Church Street in the town of Dorchester. The bones are well preserved, and unlil{e most archaeofaunal remains, derive from a very restricted part of the anatomy: feet (figure 1), and had not been heavily butchered (i.e. cleaved or sawn). They do, however, exhibit cut marks probably made during skinning and separation of foot from leg. My aim was first to understand the human aspect of this collection of bones, and second, by taking a series of measurements compare them with those of other cattle (both ancient and modern), and attempt to determine the numbers of bulls, cows and oxen.
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MATERIAL and METHODS The contexts from which these bones are derived were not siev e d. Therefore, different bones may have been subjected to a recovery bias, and counts should be treated with caution. For example, some of the smaller bones such as phalanges were probably missed during excavation. Approximately one cubic metre of bones was recovered from contexts 363, 374, 70 and 796. Most of the bones are well preserved and identifiable. They were identified to species, left or right side of body, or side of limb (in the case of the phalanges). I examined each bone for knife marks, and noted their location. I was unable to separate fore from hind limb phalanges
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