Consulting the past

            The
analysis of faunal remains from archaeological sites is a specialty of Dr.
Otter; his master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation were both related to
faunal studies.  Edward Otter, Inc.
maintains an extensive comparative collection of faunal material.  Services are provided as needed to
archaeological firms

            Analyses
generally go beyond the identification of the animals represented in the
collection.  The project goals and nature
of the collection drive the level of analysis.
Larger samples provide more information and collections with fine mesh
recovery provide a more complete picture of the diet of past peoples.

            Portions of
animals representing specific cuts of meat can be identified.  This type of analysis may have implications
in examining the ethnic or social status of the site occupants.  Changes in marketing brought on by
technological advances of refrigeration and rapid transit (trains and trucks)
might also be expressed in the portions of animals present.

            Examining
the various animals present can provide clues to past environments and hunting
or fishing territories.  Feasting and
other social indications might also be examined through the diversity of the
assemblage.

Otter, Edward

1989    Archaeological Faunal Analysis from Two
Cabin Run Sites (44WR3 & 44WR300) Warren County, Virginia
.  Masters Thesis, Catholic University of
America, Washington D.C.

Otter,
Edward

2002    The
Interpretation of Late Nineteenth Century Faunal Remains Through the Analysis
of Written Texts
. Ph. D. Dissertation, Catholic University of America,
Washington, D.C.