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Title: A methodological approach to the identification of duck and goose remains from archaeological sites with an application to Roman Britain
Author: Poland, James Gerard
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 1215
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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The use of ducks and geese in Roman Britain is poorly understood and rarely discussed despite the frequent recovery of their osteological remains from archaeological sites. This is because it can be difficult to distinguish between the different genera, let alone different species, using a comparative reference collection. The main aim of this project was to develop a reliable method of taxonomic identification using morphometry in order to analyse archaeological assemblages and develop our understanding of the use of ducks and geese in the past. Linear measurements were taken from modern reference material to create a database of the different European anatids. Taxon distinguishing criteria was then identified using statistical analysis and the simplest reliable identification criteria are presented here for nine bones of the avian skeleton. The reliable taxon distinguishing criteria were applied to various archaeological assemblages from a range of Roman sites in Britain to discuss which taxa were used and in what way. Key questions that are discussed include the use of wild birds compared to domestic ones, the use of ducks compared to geese and whether there is variation in the use of anatids between types of sites. Further applications of this research will be that the identification method could readily be used by other researchers interested in the role of ducks and geese in the past, and that we will have a much better context for discussing the changes in the way ducks and geese were used during the Saxon and medieval periods in Britain.
Supervisor: Albarella, Umberto Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available