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Keywords:

  • pronghorn antelope;
  • fetus;
  • mortality event;
  • Trappers Point;
  • Oyster Ridge

Abstract

Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) fetal remains are sometimes recovered from archaeological contexts. Pronghorn have consistent reproductive schedules so their remains may provide information on seasonality of site occupation and number of mortality events. To investigate the reliability of fetal remains for seasonality and mortality event assessment, bone size and tooth eruption were measured in a sample of modern fetal pronghorn remains with known mortality dates. Results indicate a strong correlation between bone size and mortality date, but no significant correlation between tooth eruption level and mortality date. Fetal bone size was used to estimate a late April or early May mortality date at both the Oyster Ridge (48UT35) and Trappers Point (48SU1006) archaeological sites. The number of mortality events at Trappers Point was also investigated. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.