Anatomical refitting using metric comparison on white tailed deer (odocoileus virginianus) and mule deer (odocoileus hemionus)
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Anatomical refitting of zooarchaeological animal skeletons has been used by archaeologists to monitor the spatial distribution of skeletal elements of individual animal carcasses in sites and to infer meat sharing. What has not been tested is whether the assumptions of bilateral symmetry, and intermembral similarity, which underlie refitting techniques, are valid. These assumptions are evaluated using a modern collection of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) bones from known individuals. Linear measurements, which underpin at least some anatomical refitting studies, do not provide valid and reliable identifications of bilateral pairs and intermembral refits among known pairs and refits, casting doubt on the validity of those derived from the archaeological record. Among the latter there are uncontrollable levels of Type 1 (unidentified refits) and Type 2 (incorrect refits) error generated when inferring anatomical refits through metric analysis.
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