NEW ANALYTICAL METHODS FOR COMPARING BONE FRACTURE ANGLES : A CONTROLLED STUDY OF HAMMERSTONE AND HYENA (Crocuta crocuta ) LONG BONE BREAKAGE

Reed Allen Coil, Martha Tappen, Katrina Yezzi-Woodley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Accurate interpretation of the cause and timing of bone breakage is essential for understanding
the archaeological record. However, many variables potentially influencing break
morphology have yet to be systematically explored. Focusing primarily on hammerstone
breakage, we introduce new analytical methods for comparing fracture angles using the
absolute values of the angle from 90°. We systematically control for intrinsic variables such
as taxon, skeletal element, limb portion and skeletal age. We also compare experimental
assemblages of femora broken by hammerstone and spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). We show
that fracture angles are influenced by breakage plane, skeletal element and limb portion.
While the latter two have been suggested before, this is the first time the differences have been
quantified. We suggest that researchers stratify their assemblages by these variables if they are
using fracture angles in analyses. At the assemblage level, hyenas created more oblique
fracture angles on oblique breaks than did hammerstones.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArchaeometry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017

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interpretation
cause
Values
Controlled
Hyena
Assemblages
Bone Breakage
Archaeological Record
Causes
Intrinsic
Spotted Hyena
Taxon
Femur

Cite this

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title = "NEW ANALYTICAL METHODS FOR COMPARING BONE FRACTURE ANGLES : A CONTROLLED STUDY OF HAMMERSTONE AND HYENA (Crocuta crocuta ) LONG BONE BREAKAGE",
abstract = "Accurate interpretation of the cause and timing of bone breakage is essential for understandingthe archaeological record. However, many variables potentially influencing breakmorphology have yet to be systematically explored. Focusing primarily on hammerstonebreakage, we introduce new analytical methods for comparing fracture angles using theabsolute values of the angle from 90°. We systematically control for intrinsic variables suchas taxon, skeletal element, limb portion and skeletal age. We also compare experimentalassemblages of femora broken by hammerstone and spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). We showthat fracture angles are influenced by breakage plane, skeletal element and limb portion.While the latter two have been suggested before, this is the first time the differences have beenquantified. We suggest that researchers stratify their assemblages by these variables if they areusing fracture angles in analyses. At the assemblage level, hyenas created more obliquefracture angles on oblique breaks than did hammerstones.",
author = "Coil, {Reed Allen} and Martha Tappen and Katrina Yezzi-Woodley",
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AU - Tappen, Martha

AU - Yezzi-Woodley, Katrina

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AB - Accurate interpretation of the cause and timing of bone breakage is essential for understandingthe archaeological record. However, many variables potentially influencing breakmorphology have yet to be systematically explored. Focusing primarily on hammerstonebreakage, we introduce new analytical methods for comparing fracture angles using theabsolute values of the angle from 90°. We systematically control for intrinsic variables suchas taxon, skeletal element, limb portion and skeletal age. We also compare experimentalassemblages of femora broken by hammerstone and spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). We showthat fracture angles are influenced by breakage plane, skeletal element and limb portion.While the latter two have been suggested before, this is the first time the differences have beenquantified. We suggest that researchers stratify their assemblages by these variables if they areusing fracture angles in analyses. At the assemblage level, hyenas created more obliquefracture angles on oblique breaks than did hammerstones.

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JF - Archaeometry

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