Early Zooarchaeological Evidence for Mus musculus in Australia
Article first published online: 24 FEB 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Volume 23, Issue 1, pages 106–111, January/February 2013
How to Cite
Davies, P. and Garvey, J. (2013), Early Zooarchaeological Evidence for Mus musculus in Australia. Int. J. Osteoarchaeol., 23: 106–111. doi: 10.1002/oa.1244
- Issue published online: 24 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 24 FEB 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 JAN 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 25 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Received: 21 OCT 2010
- 19th century;
- Hyde Park Barracks;
- Mus musculus;
A recent discovery at the 19th-century Hyde Park Barracks Destitute Asylum in Sydney provides the earliest securely recorded zooarchaeological evidence for the house mouse (Mus musculus) in Australia. While M. musculus probably arrived with the first European settlers in the late 18th century, securely dated examples from the colonial period are rare. Our find consisted of a wooden matchbox containing the well preserved skeletal remains of three mice, in a context dating to the period 1848–1886. The material is noteworthy for the excellent preservation of the bones, which include skulls, articulated vertebrae, ribs, innominates (pelvis) and distal hindlimb. This paper briefly describes the evidence for the arrival of M. musculus in Australia; the archaeological and historical context of the find; the nature and condition of the mouse skeletons; and possible interpretations. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.