Human Evolution @ UCL


Guidelines developed in the analysis of Ostrich eggshell remains in the archaeological record

20 April 2017

Ostrich (Struthio spp.

Running Ostrich ) eggshells are present in archaeological assemblages in many regions of Africa and Asia. However, and unlike other artifacts and ecofacts, there are no standardized guidelines for observing and recording non-ornamental ostrich eggshell. Here, a review of prior research is conducted that focuses on facets of the taphonomic history of ostrich eggshell assemblages, and we document results from our actualistic studies of the changes in color that occur when ostrich eggshells are heated. Some guidelines are proposed for recording ostrich eggshell in archaeological contexts, which include burning categories and quantification methods. These guidelines are intended to facilitate the development of large, comparative, and standardized ostrich eggshell data sets that will contribute to our understanding of site taphonomy and past human behaviour.

An often overlooked resource: Ostrich (Struthio spp.) eggshell in the archaeological record

Benjamin Collins, Teresa E. Steele

DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.03.036