Taphonomy Today: a Taphonomic Analysis of Faunal Remains from Black Cat Cave (40RD299)

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Wadford, Tabatha
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
This comparative taphonomic analysis of faunal remains is an interdisciplinary and multipronged study of faunal remains and soil inside and outside of Black Cat Cave 40RD299. This study utilizes the methods of anthropology, geosciences, and biology though the analysis of taphonomy, soil testing, and PXRF respectively. Macroscopic analysis of the faunal remains reveals differential taphonomic color changes to the remains specific to the location of retrieval. Testing shows Black Cat Cave’s soil pH was consistent, nearly neutral, and found to not be a factor in bone color differences though instrumental in the remarkable preservation of the faunal assemblage. The PXRF results indicate significantly high levels of iron found on the osseous material and soil material collection from outside the cave may play a part in the taphonomic color changes of those samples.
Liberal Arts, taphonomy, black cat cave, 40RD299, skeletal remains, anthropology, archaeology, PXRF, soil, faunal remains, domestic dog, cave, archair period, Middle Tennessee, eastern woodlands, Black Cat Tavern, prehistoric grave site, dog domestication