Port Clarence Project Update

A long time with no posts!  Despite the internet silence, there’s been a lot going on the lab.  For the past 4 months, students have been working to clean and do an initial sort of animal (faunal) bones we collected at Port Clarence sites last summer.  Their efforts were in preparation for the project faunal analyst, Stephanie Jolivette, to begin her work.  Stephanie is identifying bones to animal species when possible, and collecting information about animal age at death.  She is also noting cut marks, tooth marks, and other modifications to the bone material as she works.  All of this information is important to understanding what people were eating at the site, what time of year they were there, and how animals were being butchered and processed.  It is also apparent that there was quite a bit of dog gnawing of bones at the site based on canine tooth marks!

Students cleaning and sorting faunal materials.

Students cleaning and sorting faunal materials.

Analysis is on-going, but so far Stephanie reports that about 75% of the assemblage is marine mammal.  The majority of the marine mammal is ring seal, with other small seals, bearded seal, and walrus also present in smaller amounts.  Bird and fish are present in small quantities – even less than I expected.  I am working on selecting samples for radiocarbon dating from the ~25% terrestrial mammal bone.  Looking forward to having the results of dating in a few months.

Stephanie Jolivette analyzing faunal material.

Stephanie Jolivette analyzing faunal material.

 

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