An assessment of the reliability of dental morphological criteria for discriminating domestic sheep and goat on an archaeological assemblage from Kerma, Sudan

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  • An assessment of the reliability of dental morphological criteria for discriminating domestic sheep and goat on an archaeological assemblage from Kerma, Sudan

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Title

An assessment of the reliability of dental morphological criteria for discriminating domestic sheep and goat on an archaeological assemblage from Kerma, Sudan

Subject

S5-2, S6-3, General session, oral

Description

Abstract:

Sheep and goat although very similar morphology and size, they have different environmental tolerances, feeding habits and productive capacities. The differentiation of sheep and goat is important step towards the improved understanding of caprine management in prehistory and historic periods. This paper will present an assessment of reliability of all known morphological criteria for the mandible bone, deciduous and permanent teeth for sheep (Ovis aries) and goats (Capra hircus) for the first time on a large archaeological assemblage of complete caprine skeletons, from Kerma, Sudan (3rd and 2nd millennia BC). This unique assemblage of complete caprine skeletons, allowed for the first time the verification of species determination of archaeological material by numerous other morphological means. The reliability of all individual criteria are reviewed and assessed. We will demonstrate while on average most criteria were reliable. The combination of all criteria on isolated teeth was found also very reliable, except for M1. The species determination of isolated teeth increased when the less reliable individual criteria were excluded. We reviewed asymmetric criteria in depth and found there were no true asymmetric criteria except the presence of caprine pillars on the first molar and the fourth deciduous premolar, in this population. Finally we will discuss the question of biological variability between modern and ancient caprine populations.

Authors:

GILLIS Rosalind1, CHAIX Louis2 and VIGNE Jean-Denis3

Affiliations

1 UMR 7209/USM 303, CNRS/MNHN, INEE/Dpt EGB, Archéozoologie, archéobotanique : sociétés, pratiques, environnement, 55 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France. gillis@mnhn.fr
2 Muséum d’histoire naturelle, 1 route de Malagnou, CH-1208 Genève, Suisse, louis.chaix@bluewin.ch
3 UMR 7209/USM 303, CNRS/MNHN, INEE/Dpt EGB, Archéozoologie, archéobotanique : sociétés, pratiques, environnement, 55 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France. vigne@mnhn.fr

Creator

Gillis, Rosalind
Chaix, Louis
Vigne, Jean-Denis

Date

August 2010

Contribution Form

Online Submission

No

Document Item Type Metadata

Citation

Gillis, Rosalind, Chaix, Louis and Vigne, Jean-Denis. "An assessment of the reliability of dental morphological criteria for discriminating domestic sheep and goat on an archaeological assemblage from Kerma, Sudan ," in BoneCommons, Item #1167, http://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/1167 (accessed August 7, 2020).

License

Creative Commons License

File: S6-3_27-08_GILLIS.ppt