Date of this Version
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology (2016) 26: 1,089–1,098.
Reliable aging techniques for wild animals are notoriously challenging to develop because of the scarcity of sizeable collections of known-age specimens. Without such techniques it is difficult to reconstruct hunting patterns, which is a significant problem for the examination of assemblages from pre-farming cultures. This paper presents a new method, based on mandibular tooth eruption and wear, for assessing the age of fallow deer. The method was developed from a large collection (n = 156) of known-age Dama dama specimens, has been blind tested by members of the zooarchaeological community and represents a user-friendly system with the potential to generate large compatible datasets through which the dynamics of human–Dama relationships can be examined.