Changes in the size and shape of fallow deer—evidence for the movement and management of a species



The European fallow deer (Dama dama dama) is native to the eastern Mediterranean and whilst it is clear that its dispersion from this region was the result of human transportation, the timing and circumstances of its post-glacial diffusion are still uncertain. Archaeological fallow deer remains offer perhaps the best opportunity to understand the deep history of the species, with measurements of ancient bones providing important information about an individual's sex and size. Unfortunately, the fragmentary nature of archaeological remains means that metrical samples are usually too small to draw any meaningful conclusions. Biometrical scaling techniques can increase the size of the sample available for comparison and in this paper log ratios are used in combination with traditional metrical analysis to provide new information about archaeological fallow deer populations, in particular highlighting the size variations across time and space and shifts in hunting and management practices. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.