|About the Book|
The objective of this research is to illustrate how the prehistoric acquisition of cranial butchering units with tissues rich in omega-3 fatty acids influenced the skeletal part representations of deer observed in the archaeological record. AMoreThe objective of this research is to illustrate how the prehistoric acquisition of cranial butchering units with tissues rich in omega-3 fatty acids influenced the skeletal part representations of deer observed in the archaeological record. A surprisingly high amount of prehistoric faunal assemblages of deer suggest a disproportionate preference for head elements over femoral elements, engendering element distributions that do not seem to show the expected representation of skeletal parts as outlined in utility indexes. This thesis will apply several statistical comparisons to six New World element distributions of deer to show how tissues from the head butchering unit may have been more highly valued than butchering units ranked higher in the Food Utility Index. A basic quantitative comparison will demonstrate prominence of head elements, a fragmentation comparison will attempt to show possible use intensity of head elements over femoral elements, and a mean utility comparison will illustrate a higher prevalence of head elements than what utility indexes would suggest. Current nutritional studies on omega-3 fats are then condensed in an effort to support their pivotal role in human development, and their part in increasing the fitness benefits of a hunter who could provide butchering units rich in these fats. Statistical comparisons applied to all six New World sites suggest that the head butchering unit may have been a priority in prehistoric butchering economics. This distinct prevalence of head elements was most likely due to a nutritional need for specific fats that play a key role human reproduction.