Title: Species identification of archaeological dung remains: A critical review of potential methods
Authors: Linseele, Veerle ×
Riemer, Heiko
Baeten, Jan
De Vos, Dirk
Marinova, Elena
Ottoni, Claudio #
Issue Date: May-2013
Series Title: Environmental Archaeology vol:18 issue:1 pages:5-17
Abstract: Dung, macroscopically recognisable as such or not, can more commonly be found in archaeological contexts than is perhaps realised. Up to now, identification of dung to the species which produced it is usually either tenuous, or is not possible. However, species identification can be very informative and is necessary before any further studies can be conducted on the dung, for example on health and hygiene
in the past and palaeoecology. This study presents a review of potential methods by which species identifications of archaeological dung can be undertaken. Criteria for identification can be divided into three broad categories: morphometric features of the dung; the content of dung and contextual evidence.
Overall, the chances of a precise identification are high; however, a combination of different criteria and
techniques will often be necessary to establish a secure identification. Moreover, preservation issues may
exclude the application of some criteria while several criteria require more research and the expansion of reference collections of recent material. The overall aim is to move towards standardised methods for species identification of archaeological dung.
ISSN: 1461-4103
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity Conservation Section
Department of Biology - miscellaneous
Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis
Forensic Biomedical Sciences
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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