Laboratory taphonomy—material loss and skeletal part profiles: the example of Saint–Germain–la–Rivière (Gironde, France)



Taphonomic studies can allow us to reconstruct the history of faunal assemblages. However, few studies concern themselves with measuring the effect of sampling problems and specific analytical procedures. Zooarchaeological study of the site of Saint–Germain–la–Rivière is instructive in this regard. Taphonomic studies suggest a loss of material during curation and storage. The study showed when unplotted specimens are not taken into account, the skeletal part profiles are modified in a significant way. In level 1, only square M21 can be used for analysis. By contrast, the quantity of specimens from level 3 in squares L21 and L22 rich in shaft fragments is so large compared to the other squares that this level can be studied in its totality.