Raw material availability and technological choice: modified sheep and goat metapodia from an Early Bronze Age site in central Israel

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  • Raw material availability and technological choice: modified sheep and goat metapodia from an Early Bronze Age site in central Israel

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Title


Raw material availability and technological choice: modified sheep and goat metapodia from an Early Bronze Age site in central Israel

Subject

S6-1, Raw and Worked Osseous Materials, oral

Description

Abstract:

This paper explores the incongruous relationship between bone raw material availability and technological choice at the Early Bronze Age site of Horvat ‘Illin Tahtit (HIT) in central Israel. At HIT, the worked bone assemblage is mostly comprised of modified sheep and goat metapodia, whose function(s) are enigmatic. All specimens have longitudinally-oriented abrasions on at least one face, and of these, some have bilaterally symmetrical drilled perforations on the distal-posterior face and traces of bitumen. Furthermore, the distal epiphyseal plates of all worked metapodia are unfused, while unfused epiphyses are nearly absent from the general faunal assemblage. Worked goat metacarpals are significantly more common than sheep metacarpals or metatarsals of either species, despite the greater abundance of sheep over goat in the general faunal assemblage. This paper proposes that the desire for standardization was the key motivation in choosing this raw material over similar, more abundant choices. This is explored through the analysis of material properties such as bone mineral density, osteometry and natural morphology, and by considering that such technological choices were the product of entangled, though less tangible, social considerations such as tradition and cohesion.

Authors:

ALLENTUCK Adam

Affiliations

Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, 19 Russell Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S1 Canada. a.allentuck@utoronto.ca

Creator

Allentuck, Adam

Date

August 2010

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Document Item Type Metadata

Citation

Allentuck, Adam. " Raw material availability and technological choice: modified sheep and goat metapodia from an Early Bronze Age site in central Israel ," in BoneCommons, Item #926, http://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/926 (accessed August 9, 2020).