Archaeozoology – What you can expect to find!

Posted on September 20, 2012


As an archaeozoologist’s apprentice I find lots of strange things. Some were either accidentally sent with the bones, forgotten that they were in certain bags, sorted by students that weren’t sure where to put certain items or sometimes I think they were just stuck into the bags for our amusement.

So this is what you can expect to find as an archaeozoologist’s apprentice – Everything except bones.

Firstly you get boxes with lots of bags (ranging from big to small) and other packaging material, such as little bottles that hold 1 vertebrae, foil, bubblewrap, sponge or even tissues:

Source, Source and Source

Then you can expect find some Pottery:

I have found rim shards, decorated pieces etc.

Grass, thorns and Brush hair:

Source and Source

Seeds, Bugs pretending to be beads and then actual Beads:



Rocks in all shapes and sizes. It can get pretty confusing if you have one rock in between a lot of bones, and for a few minutes you stare at it not sure what you are seeing, as it just doesn’t fit with any bone you have ever seen. Then realization hits!

Bone needles:


Miss spelled bags and Bags labeled wrongly:

Love finding stuff like this! Always puts a smile on my face.

Human remains:


Not this dramatic obviously, just for illustration.

Cigarette Butts:


And then sometimes a spongy piece of bone that looks like a sailboat (well to me anyway):

So as you can see you can find just about anything! My favorite is when you find a bead or some pottery as it makes for a nice change.

All Images not sourced copywrite: Digging For Bones

Posted in: Archaeozoology