Bioarchaeology of the Near East, 13:15-21 (2019)

Technical Note: Taxonomic identification of petrosal bone morphology

Guy Bar-Oz* (1), Nimrod Marom (2), Ron Pinhasi (3)

(1) Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa,
Haifa 3498838, Israel
email: (corresponding author)
(2) Institute for Maritime Studies, University of Haifa,
Haifa 3498838, Israel
(3) Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna,
Vienna 1090, Austria

Abstract: Identification of petrosal bones to taxon is important due to the exceptionally well preserved quantity of endogenous DNA found in them. Here we present practical descriptive criteria to allow reliable differentiation of the petrosal bones of some of the most common domestic and wild mammalian taxa of the Old World. This should simplify the identification and documentation of the bone during initial sorting for analysis and help separately curate specimens for taxon-specific ancient DNA studies.

Key words: cranium; petrous; animal anatomy; zooarchaeology

Received 14 July 2019; accepted 23 July 2019; published online 26 July 2019.

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