INTER-SECTION Volume II - Page 28

| Sander E . I . Aerts |
clude edible crustaceans , whilst the unintentionally imported taxa could be any species that lived or are living in or on imported natural resources ( Kenward 1978 , 11-12 ). This could be inhabitants of imported wood , but also older sub-fossils present in peat .
The quaternary sub-assemblage represents contamination in the form of remains from neighbouring deposits or sediments , or modern arthropods . This assemblage may not hold information on the past environment or human actions , but may originate from other contexts , for example due to the collapse of a wall or mixing due to flooding , or a more recent taphonomical process , such as ploughing , and became part of the current archaeological context .
Visibility of C-transforms through synanthropes : commensals and pests Biological and ecological data is needed to trace the meaning of the sub-assemblages . Synanthropic species and communities have proven useful to reconstruct human activities ( King 2014 , Forbes and Milek 2014 ). However , in separating the natural from the cultural formation processes in a pit that forms an accumulation of deposits , understanding synanthropic ecologies and species associations is a helpful aid . The applicability and potential of synanthropic ecological data to determine specific anthropogenic actions is presented in a case study on Icelandic turf buildings ( Forbes and Milek 2014 , 197-198 ). Nowadays , insect ecological data can be easily accessed through the BugsCEP database , which is still being improved ( Buckland 2014 ).
On a somewhat larger ecological scale than species communities , a differentiation is made between commensals and pests . The commensals are those synanthropes that benefit from man-made environments without causing any harm or nuisance . If humans deposit their cess in the back of the garden , any dung beetles that may be attracted to that will not have any negative influence on the people ’ s daily lives . Pests on the other hand do inflict damage on humans directly , to their food resources or possessions ( Robinson 1996 , 56 ). The more stenotopic , or confined to a small range or environmental conditions , the present species are , the more detailed the information is that we can retrieve from the remains . The aforementioned Sitophilus granarius can only thrive on stored grains , while the blind and wingless beetle Aglenus brunneus has been found in different anthropogenic habitats with organic components ( Kenward 1975 , Buckland et al . 2009 ). Many Staphylinidae beetles are likely to occur in human environments to hunt other arthropods , but are eurytopic and unsuitable for the reconstruction and differentiation of deposits ( Kenward 1978 , 5-6 ). Also peridomestic pests can be encountered ( Robinson 1996 ), feeding on crops or occurring on livestock as parasites . Parasites do not directly affect the produce , but can be a nuisance to their hosts . Some are seemingly peridomestic , such as Damalina ovis or the sheep louse , forming an indicator for the presence of sheep , whilst D . bovis points archaeologists in the direction of cattle presence ( Smith 2012 , 55- 56 ). Correct interpretation is not too easy , as these species are more likely to have occurred on the hides than on the animals themselves ( Smith 2012 , 55-56 ). Although these are then not an indication for the presence of live animals , they can form an indication for the processing of hides and carcasses , possibly in the domestic area .
The commensals and pests are all part of larger communities , which may or may not be observed in the archaeological record , depending on the selective process of deposition and over- or underrepresentation as well as post-depositional taphonomic processes . Figure 3 gives examples of such faunal groups , as can be observed in waste / cesspits and where they would fit in the grand scheme of deposit origins .