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Keywords:

  • body part representation;
  • bone density;
  • deer;
  • Ertebølle;
  • fragmentation;
  • Mesolithic;
  • resource movement

ABSTRACT

The faunal assemblages from Asnæs Havnemark, Fårevejle and Trustrup, located in northwest Zealand, Denmark, yielded extensive yet substantially fragmented bone material dating predominantly to the late Mesolithic Ertebølle culture, ca. 5400–3950 cal BC. This paper presents a combined assessment of skeletal part representation of red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) from these three sites in conjunction with quantification of overall fragmentation data for the assemblages. These data indicate that the observed pattern of skeletal part abundance is most consistent with a pattern of density-mediated skeletal attrition, and therefore the whole carcasses were initially deposited. Deer were not part of a logistic exploitation strategy at these sites. This indicates variability during the Ertebølle period not only in which resources were exploited, but in how these resources were processed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.