The impact of improved ageing methods on our understanding of prehistoric livestock management: a case study of sheep in Iron Age Southern Britain

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  • The impact of improved ageing methods on our understanding of prehistoric livestock management: a case study of sheep in Iron Age Southern Britain

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Title


The impact of improved ageing methods on our understanding of prehistoric livestock management: a case study of sheep in Iron Age Southern Britain

Subject

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

Description

Abstract:

Recently, two independent studies by Jones (2006) and Greenfield and Arnold (2008) have put forward tooth eruption and wear sequences for sheep/goat that promise far greater resolution of age of death among young sheep than previous, commonly used ageing methods. These new toothwear schemes, when applied to existing zooarchaeological toothwear records, promise to permit more precise estimations of age at death than previously possible. They consequently enable a more detailed understanding of the periodic/seasonal culling strategies employed by different farming communities. Recent work by Randall recognises that small differences in mortality profiles can represent real and significant differences in farming and herd management strategies that are the product of both practical considerations of stock management and social choice. Identification and interpretation of these differences in the zooarchaeological record, requires high-resolution age profiles

This paper reports the results of a recent study evaluating the usefulness of these refinements to sheep dental ageing schemes in identifying and interpreting differences in juvenile mortality profiles. It examines the potential benefits of applying these new schemes to existing published and archive zooarchaeological datasets, and explores whether revisiting the data from the British Iron Age in this way can provide improve our understanding of herd management in this period and region.

Authors:

HAMBLETON Ellen1 and RANDALL Clare2

Affiliations

1 Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, BH12 5BB, Poole, UK, ehambleton@bournemouth.ac.uk
2 Department of Archaeology, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Talbot Campus, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB, UK. crandall@bournemouth.ac.uk

Creator

Hambleton, Ellen
Randall, Clare

Date

August 2010

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Citation

Hambleton, Ellen and Randall, Clare. " The impact of improved ageing methods on our understanding of prehistoric livestock management: a case study of sheep in Iron Age Southern Britain ," in BoneCommons, Item #1205, http://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/1205 (accessed November 18, 2019).