101 ways to skin a fur-bearing animal: the implications for zooarchaeological interpretation

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Fairnell, Eva H. (2008)
  • Publisher: Oxbow

Cut marks can play a vital part in the interpretation of zooarchaeological data. For example, patt erns in the style and position of cut marks are taken as indicators of types of butchery practice. While butchery processes such as defleshing and evisceration may be fairly apparent and have been well researched, cut marks pertaining to skinning alone are much more ephemeral and have not been researched in as much depth. This paper explores issues regarding the relationship between cut marks and skinning, and highlights the variability that must arise as a result of the different species that can be skinned for their fur, the diff erent methods and tools that can be used, the different end uses of the fur and confounding effects of other uses of the species’ carcasses and pelts. Some experimental skinning has been carried out on a small number of animals, informed by previous experience of taxidermy.
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