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One man's trash is another man's treasure. Interdisciplinary examination of taphonomic aspects of ceramic sherds, animal bones and sediments from the La Tène period settlement at Basel-Gasfabrik

Brönnimann, David and Wimmer, Johannes and Müller-Kissing, Milena and Stopp, Barbara and Rissanen, Hannele and Spichtig, Norbert. (2020) One man's trash is another man's treasure. Interdisciplinary examination of taphonomic aspects of ceramic sherds, animal bones and sediments from the La Tène period settlement at Basel-Gasfabrik. PLoS ONE, 15 (7). e0236272.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/80577/

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Abstract

As part of an interdisciplinary research project on the Late La Tène period settlement at Basel-Gasfabrik, ceramic sherds, animal bones and archaeological sediments from different archaeological structures (one large pit, two ditches and four archaeological layers) were examined in respect of 21 taphonomic features (proxies). These proxies, in turn, were linked to different processes that can leave traces on objects or sediments: primary use, mechanical stress, heat impact, water, redeposition, exposure, covering and postdepositional processes. The different proxies were compared using a statistical procedure. Our results show significant differences between the different features with regard to taphonomic alteration. For example, ceramic sherds and animal bones from archaeological layers show severe alteration due to exposure, whilst a good and uniform preservation within the pit points to its rapid filling. Furthermore, there is evidence of middens which probably served as material depots. Our results suggest that waste was not simply seen as rubbish, but was stored as a resource. Therefore, materials could take different “paths”, each of which resulted in specific taphonomic processes (alterations). The interdisciplinary approach taken in this project has provided new insight into the complex but probably clearly defined handling of various materials at Basel-Gasfabrik, thus allowing us to visualise part of the cultural biography of things.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Integrative Prähistorische und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie (IPNA)
UniBasel Contributors:Stopp, Barbara and Brönnimann, David
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Public Library of Science
e-ISSN:1932-6203
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:20 Apr 2021 10:44
Deposited On:20 Apr 2021 10:44

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