Post-DepositionalProcesses Within Cave  Sites Affecting theTaphonomy of Human       Remains
Why Caves?• Because caves are cool• Contain some of the earliest human remains• Earliest depictions created by man
Cave Morphology• Limestone caves
Cave Morphology• Sea Caves/Littoral Caves
Cosquer Cave
Sandstone Caves
Unnatural “Caves”
Use of caves• Shelter• Occupation• Funerary• Storage• Quarries
Preservation And Degredation• Caves can create a microclimate perfect for  preserving, mummifying and fossilizing  archaeo...
Taphonomy?• “Taphonomy is a multidisciplinary  field that aims to understand how  paleontological or archaeological  remai...
Cova des Pas Menorca
Taphonomy in Cava Des Pas• Macroscopic Changes to human remains  when any human bone is buried and can be  taphonomically ...
Post depositional process on taphony  caused by other natural processesRock falls + importance on archaeological recordBio...
Fluvial Processes
“When a fresh bone becomes buried inthe earth, it undergoes chemicalchanges differing in nature and degreewith the chemist...
fossilisation• Petrification• Replacement• Perimineralisation• Coprolites
Difficulties in sorting
Tooth or Poop?
Archaeology- Destructivescience which takes it tollon the material which isexcavated.
Cave archaeology and post depositional processes affecting taphonomy  session 4 Danielle Beilby
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Cave archaeology and post depositional processes affecting taphonomy session 4 Danielle Beilby

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  • Cave paintings in france and the earlist human remain of human teeth found in a cave in israel dating to 400 000 years old
  • Cave archaeology and post depositional processes affecting taphonomy session 4 Danielle Beilby

    1. 1. Post-DepositionalProcesses Within Cave Sites Affecting theTaphonomy of Human Remains
    2. 2. Why Caves?• Because caves are cool• Contain some of the earliest human remains• Earliest depictions created by man
    3. 3. Cave Morphology• Limestone caves
    4. 4. Cave Morphology• Sea Caves/Littoral Caves
    5. 5. Cosquer Cave
    6. 6. Sandstone Caves
    7. 7. Unnatural “Caves”
    8. 8. Use of caves• Shelter• Occupation• Funerary• Storage• Quarries
    9. 9. Preservation And Degredation• Caves can create a microclimate perfect for preserving, mummifying and fossilizing archaeological material.• Caves however can also act as natural water courses and if deep enough can be affected by the water table• Throughout history caves have often been used and reused by people and animals, each leaving their own impact, and destroying others.
    10. 10. Taphonomy?• “Taphonomy is a multidisciplinary field that aims to understand how paleontological or archaeological remains are formed, distributed and modified”
    11. 11. Cova des Pas Menorca
    12. 12. Taphonomy in Cava Des Pas• Macroscopic Changes to human remains when any human bone is buried and can be taphonomically altered in three ways.1. Cortical Surface- Changes in chemical and physical weathering producing cracks, scaling decomp…2. Fractures- absent or apparent, shape, type and pattern3. Disturbce- momement from decomposition
    13. 13. Post depositional process on taphony caused by other natural processesRock falls + importance on archaeological recordBioturbationSoilMineral content of cave positive and negativeWater tableFluvial processesAll of these aspects can change the way in whichwe interpret the archaeological record
    14. 14. Fluvial Processes
    15. 15. “When a fresh bone becomes buried inthe earth, it undergoes chemicalchanges differing in nature and degreewith the chemistry of the surroundingmatrix “ I. W Cornwall 1956
    16. 16. fossilisation• Petrification• Replacement• Perimineralisation• Coprolites
    17. 17. Difficulties in sorting
    18. 18. Tooth or Poop?
    19. 19. Archaeology- Destructivescience which takes it tollon the material which isexcavated.

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