INTER-SECTION Volume II - Page 27

| Detecting cultural formation processes through arthropod assemblages |
Sub-assemblage
Synanthropicity
Depositional implication
Primary sub-assemblage
Synanthropic
Independently deposited due to attractive circumstances in and around the archaeological context .
Natural
Independently deposited , but incidentally .
Secondary sub-assemblage
Synanthropic
Deposited through an anthropogenic activity .
Natural
Deposited through a natural activity .
Tertiary sub-assemblage
Synanthropic
Deposited through anthropogenic activity with a minimum of one previous systemic context .
Natural
Deposited through anthropogenic activity with a minimum of one previous systemic context .
Quaternary sub-assemblage
Contamination from neighbouring sediments / deposits and modern faunas .
Table 1 . An overview of the four sub-assemblages with the depositional implications of the synanthropic and natural groups .
The primary sub-assemblage encompasses all taxa that have independently deposited themselves . This is the fauna that was effectively alive at the time of deposition . The synanthropic group includes the fauna that was attracted to specific circumstances in and around the pit at the time . This forms an indication of the presence of certain materials in a specific state , such as water , carrion , or excrements . The natural group deposited itself by accident , meaning that there are no beneficial factors for them , with the pit becoming their death trap . This group can be considered background fauna ( sensu Kenward 1978 ) from the local natural area , like carabid beetles that wandered into a cesspit .
The secondary sub-assemblage indicates that there is either a natural or anthropogenic intermediary depositional actor between the systemic and archaeological context on a local level . The taxa in this sub-assemblage are not necessarily alive during deposition or able to survive inside the archaeological context . The synanthropic group includes the taxa that are either moved from their systemic context in the domestic or peridomestic area by anthropogenic action , for example the disposal of straw flooring . All other deposits which have occurred without involvement of people are included in the natural group , such as arthropods deposited through illuviation or bird pellets ( Kenward 1978 , 7 ).
The tertiary sub-assemblage encompasses the taxa that were imported from a non-local natural or peridomestic source . These deposits have had at least one intermediary systemic context . Both the synanthropic group and the natural group would have been imported by humans , before being brought into the ( peri- ) domestic area , as migrating faunas from a non-local natural source would become part of a local area first . These natural faunas could only be differentiated from one another if the ecological circumstances differ greatly , for example through niche modelling . The synanthropic group is likely to include agricultural pests , being imported along with fresh produce from a non-local peridomestic source . The natural group could contain either intentionally or unintentionally imported arthropods from a natural source through anthropogenic activity . Intentionally imported taxa could in-
2016 | INTER-SECTION | VOL II | p . 25