While looking at pictures will never be a substitute for a three-dimensional bone for comparison, it can nonetheless be better than nothing. It is therefore nice to see a really useful, if preliminary, set of web pages at the Royal B.C. Museum on Avian osteology.
The site is not actually from the archaeology section down there – rather it is the work of Michael McNall, collections manager of ornithology. Currently it “only” holds images and measurements from the Falconiformes and Strigiformes of B.C. – that is, the birds of preys: falcons, hawks, eagles and owls. These number 32 different species, and each has a variety of pictures and measurements of its bones presented in a useful and straightforward way. Naturally it would be nice to see examples of the more common archaeological species – those which form an important part of the First Nations subsistence base, such as a the alcids (murres, murrelets, guillemots, etc), which are ubiquitous in many outer-coastal sites.
However, I can’t really complain – this is a gift to archaeology and a very attractive and well-presented web site to boot.
This entry was posted in Archaeology, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized and tagged bones, faunal remains, museums, Northwest Coast, osteology, owls, RBCM, Royal BC Museum, University of Victoria, uvic, zooarchaeology. Bookmark the permalink.