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You are here: Home / Associated publications / Belgian Journal of Zoology / Bibliographic References / Possibilities and limitations of the use of archaeozoological data in biogeographical analysis: A review with examples from the Benelux region

A Ervynck (1999)

Possibilities and limitations of the use of archaeozoological data in biogeographical analysis: A review with examples from the Benelux region

BELGIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 129(1):125-138.

Archaeozoology is the study of interactions between man and other animals through time, by the analysis of animal remains and traces found during archaeological excavations. Gradually, it has also been recognised by the ``mainstream'' zoological world that archaeozoological data can provide insight into the evolution or regional variation of the Late Pleistocene and Holocene faunas of the Low Countries, just as palaeontological research does for older periods. The wide scope of recent archaeozoological research is, however, often not fully recognised, not only in terms of taxonomic diversity, but also with regard to the detail of information gathered. This review highlights these interpretative possibilities, but also outlines the possible limitations of archaeozoological datasets. These limitations are linked with the characteristics of the sites investigated, i.e. the conditions affecting preservation, the formation processes, the cultural framework, or the origin of the deposits. The dataset is also biased by archaeological methodology particularly in relation to the sampling and recovery of organic remains. Furthermore, the information gathered will differ strongly between taxa, according to their taphonomic status, their place within different human cultures, the chances of fossilisation of their remains, and eventual identification problems. When the limiting factors described are not known or not well understood, the use of archaeozoological data in faunal reconstructions may lead to false conclusions.

archaeozoology; biogeography; biodiversity; introduction; extinction
5th Benelux Congress of Zoology, GHENT, BELGIUM, NOV 06-07, 1998
BJZ

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Editor-in-Chief:
Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

 



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Belgian Journal of Zoology