Comparative Archaeology Database, University of Pittsburgh

Zingeyka River Valley Settlement Dataset
Denis V. Sharapov

Faunal Inventory from Shovel Probes

The data files FAUNALSP.TXT and FAUNALSP.XLS provide detailed information (including species, sex, level of completeness, etc.) on each bone specimen from shovel probes excavated within single-period collection units (those that produced ceramics of one period only, regardless of recovery method). FAUNALSP.TXT is a comma delimited ASCII text file; FAUNALSP.XLS contains the same data in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. Each line in the ASCII file corresponds to one bone specimen. There are 594 lines, each with 20 variables separated by commas. The variables are listed in the following order:

1 Shovel probe ID. A unique ID identfing each separate shovel probe which corresponds to a GPS waypoint.
2 Number of the collection unit where the shovel probe was carried out. These corresponds to the ID numbers provided in the COLL_NUMBERS layer of the Map of Collection Units page of this dataset.
3 The total number of bone fragments contained in a given shovel probe.
4 Total bone weight (g) within probe.
5 Bone ID (sequential within probe).
6 Species. When species could not be determined, an attempt was made to categorize the bones according to animal size:
  • L (large) mammal category would include cattle, horse, camel, moose, or wild onager. Most likely being cattle and horse.
  • M (mid-sized) mammal category would include sheep, goat, saiga antelope, Siberian (or eastern) roe deer, or wild hog. Most likely being sheep and goat.
  • S (small) mammal category would include hare, fox, corsac fox, or steppe marmot.
7 Bone element
8 Completeness (W-whole; F-fragment). If 75% or more of the bone was present, it is considered whole.
9 Side (L - left; R-right; LL - Left-lateral/Right-medial; RL - Right-lateral/Left-medial)
10 Anatomical position of the fragment
11 Age:
K = kid
Y = young
M = mature
O = old

When two age categories are provided, e.g., Kid/Young, the bone may belong to either category.

The following age categories were used for:
  • Cattle and horse: Kid = up to 1 years old; Young = 1-2 years old; Mature = 3-14 years old; Old = 14 years and older.
  • Sheep/goat: Kid = up to 6 months old; Young = 6 months to 1.5 years old; Mature = 1.5-7.5 years old; Old = 7.5 years and older.
  • Hog: Young = younger than 1 year; Mature = older than 1 year.
12 Aging criteria:
D = bone density/porosity
EF = epiphyseal fusion schedule
ER = tooth eruption schedule
R = timing of tooth root closure
S = size of tooth or bone
W = degree of tooth wear.
13 Burnt degree:
14 Presence of modern break [B] or cut [C].
15 Presence of taphonomic markers:
R = Root etching
G = Gnawing by a dog/carnivoire
F = Extreme fracturing due to repeated freezing and thawing
E = Severe erosion
16 Presence of human impact/alteration:
C = cut mark
CH = chop marks by an axe
A = artifact
17 Sex:
M = male
F = female
18 Sexing criteria:
S = size
P = proportions
19 Time period of accompanying ceramics
20 Additional notes.

The first line of the ASCII text file, for example, looks like this:

305,19,2,9.8,1,Ovis aries/Capra hircus,M,F,0,Mandibular,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,MBA,

This means that this bone specimen came out of shovel probe 305. This shovel probe was excavated in collection unit 19. The shovel probe contained 2 bones that weighed a total of 9.8 grams. This is the first bone out of the two that were recovered from this probe. The bone belonged to either a sheep or a goat. It is a fragment of a mandibular molar. The single-period collection unit from which the bone was recovered contained only Middle Bronze Age (MBA) ceramics.

The last, or 594th line of the ASCII text file is:

1134w3,19,1,0.5,1,M mammal,long bone ,F,0,0,0,0,b,0,0,0,0,0,MBA,

This means that this bone specimen came out of shovel probe 1134w3. This shovel probe was excavated in collection unit 19. The shovel probe contained 1 bone that weighed 0.5 grams. The sequential number of the only bone recovered from this probe is 1. The bone belonged to a mid-sized mammal. It is a fragment of a long bone that has been burnt. This single-period collection unit from which this bone was recovered contained only Middle Bronze Age (MBA) ceramics.

Download the file FAUNALSP.TXT (45 KB) or the file FAUNALSP.XLS (163 KB).

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