The role of armadillos in the movement of archaeological materials: An experimental approach
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 18, Issue 4, pages 433–460, April 2003
How to Cite
Araujo, A. G. M. and Marcelino, J. C. (2003), The role of armadillos in the movement of archaeological materials: An experimental approach. Geoarchaeology, 18: 433–460. doi: 10.1002/gea.10070
- Issue published online: 14 MAR 2003
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 FEB 2002
- Manuscript Received: 15 SEP 2001
Armadillos are medium-sized animals whose burrowing behavior can be significant in archaeological settings ranging from South America to the central United States. Although archaeologists are well aware that these animals can move archaeological materials across stratigraphic layers, few data are available about the magnitude of mixing, number of burrows per individual, dimension of burrows, and their impact on archaeological sites. This paper addresses the problem from an experimental perspective. Specifically, we monitored the action of the yellow armadillo (Euphractus sexcintus) in translocating cultural materials. Our results suggest that: (1) the vertical movement of artifacts has no preferential direction; (2) cultural horizons at least 20 cm apart can be mixed; (3) the animal's activity leaves some distinct traces that can be recognized during an excavation; and (4) there is no significant correlation between size, shape, or weight of artifacts and amount of displacement. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.