Do patterns of bone breakage differ between cooked and uncooked bones? An experimental approach

Francesca ALHAIQUE

en Anthropozoologica 25-26 - Pages 49-56

Published on 01 June 1998

This article is a part of the thematic issue Proceedings of the 7th ICAZ International Meeting, Constance, September 1994

This paper presents results from controlled experiments on breakage of cooked and uncooked (fresh) bones. The data do not uphold the distinctions between cooked and uncooked bones noted in some ethnoarchaeological studies. Spiral and longitudinal fractures are equally frequent in cooked and uncooked (fresh) bones. The fracture patterns of bones may be influenced by many factors, including the unique structure of each skeletal element, species of animal, and specific treatment of the bone. The experiments demonstrate that the pattern of fractures should not be used as the sole means to determine whether an archaeological specimen of a bone was fractured before or after cooking.


Bone fracture pattern, uncooked (raw bones), cooked bones.

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