Documenting natural wear on antlers: A first step in identifying use-wear on purported antler tools

Jennie J.H. Jin, Patty Lee Shipman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural behavior of the deer can leave various modifications on the antlers. Deer often rub their antlers against tree bark and bushes and use them intensively during male-male competition. All of these behaviors can leave marks on the antlers. Distinguishing these naturally-made marks from human-made marks is crucial in accurately identifying antler tools from archaeological sites. This study examined 347 white-tailed deer antlers to document the types and frequencies of the natural modifications. Scratches, polish, deformation, and fractures on the tip are the most frequently found modifications. Unless the modifications on the antlers from archaeological sites can be distinguished from these natural modifications, the nature of the purported antler tools remains questionable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-102
Number of pages12
JournalQuaternary International
Volume211
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Documenting natural wear on antlers: A first step in identifying use-wear on purported antler tools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this