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Rodent Ecology and Burrowing Behavior: Predicted Effects on Archaeological Site Formation

Barbara Bocek
American Antiquity
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Jul., 1986), pp. 589-603
DOI: 10.2307/281754
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/281754
Page Count: 15
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Rodent Ecology and Burrowing Behavior: Predicted Effects on Archaeological Site Formation
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Abstract

Studies of burrowing rodent ecology are reviewed to identify the dynamics of rodent disturbance and to predict its impact on archaeological deposits. Data from a central California site are used to evaluate the proposed effects of rodent behavior. Burrowing activity appears to segregate soil contents by size, causing artificial concentrations of small materials near the surface, and larger materials at depths between 30 and 60 cm. Despite extensive stratigraphic disturbance, rodent burrowing seems to have minimal effects on horizontal material distributions.

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