Valentin Dergachev. A metod of adjustment of “minimum number of individuals”

The paper considers various contradiction issues concerning the main archaeozoological parameters: “number of bones” and “number of individuals”. A method of “minimum number of individuals” based on model of archaeologization process of faunal remains is proposed. The new method permits the calculation of deviation coefficient that represents a difference between the “minimum number of individuals” based on archaeozoological material and the predicted “real” number of individuals. The correction of number of individuals, from one hand, permits to make this parameter more precise in accordance to the number of osteological remains. From another hand, the new method converts the specific archaeozoological notions into the social-econoical “language”, i.e. into the term of “real number of individuals”. This method opens broad prospects for vari­ous culturological and social-economical reconstructions. The most significant of them are: an objective and adequate assessment of the importance of animal breeding and hunting in accordance with all of their components; a household or collective consumption of animal breeding products and hunting prey; a household and/or individual specialization in the domain of animal husbandry and hunting activities; planigraphyc reconstruction of a settlement space from the point of view of the recycling process localization of animal species according to different functional complexes; the revealing of the number of “lost” archaeozoological remains due to both natural and anthropic factors. However, all above enlisted features directly depend on two conditions: the selection of faunal remains during excavations should be carried out separately for each complex, while their description should include both in the number of bones, and the estimated minimum number of individuals.

Keywords: archaeology, faunal remains, archaeozoology, “minimum number of individuals”, modelling, method of adjustment, interpretation possibilities.

Revista Arheologică, serie nouă, vol. XI, nr. 1-2, 2015, p. 220-272