THE COWISHT PROJECT: ENHANCING THE IDENTIFICATION OF ARTEFACT RAW MATERIALS

Sonia O'Connor

Resumen


The detection of universal patterning in the way animals were utilised for artefact production is relianton the correct and confident identification of the raw materials. Associations between classes of artefactsand very specific materials can make a significant contribution to understanding the thinking behind thatparticular class of object. Unfortunately expectations based on assumptions of a likely suite of materials canbe wrong. This paper discusses the outcomes of a three year project; Cultural Objects Worked in SkeletalHard Tissues (COWISHT), aimed at developing, evaluating and validating identification criteria andtechniques for often very highly worked and decayed materials. This project included the identification ofbone, antler, ivory, horn, baleen, tortoiseshell and rhino horn. This paper also presents an introduction to theidentification web resource, Visualising Animal Hard Tissues, which has been designed to disseminate theresults of COWISHT. This resource uses cutting-edge scanning and imaging techniques, combining 2Dimages and 3D models, to aid the identification of these materials in their raw, worked and decayed states

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Cuadernos del Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano, Series Especiales. e-ISSN 2362-1958  Tres de Febrero 1378 (C1426BJN) C.A.B.A., Argentina. Tel/fax (54 11) 4782-7251 / 4783-6554 www.inapl.gov.ar