Archaeologists have not generally utilized faunal remins resulting from subsistence activities to their best advantage in interpreting past cultural systems. This is mainly due to the absence of an objective system of analysis whereby the relevant information can be elicited. The present study examines the major factors acting upon the faunal remains in archaeological sites and postulates the configurations these remains would take when subjected to alteration by these factors in their various states. A methodology is proposed that serves to isolate each variable for separate analysis so that its impact upon the faunal material can be individually assessed. The validity of these techniques of analysis is tested by use of a control .archaeological sample where the states of the variables are largely known due to the presence of documentary records. The archaeological sites are three Metis settlements from the Canadian Plains. The applicability of the techniques is generally corroborated. The study indicates that states of variables pertaining to the logistics of procurement, to the procedures employed for processing the subsistence resource, and to many of the aspects of the social structure of the community under consideration, can be deduced from patterning in faunal remains.
Bibliography: p. 221-230.