These two skulls are not archaeological specimens. Instead, they are comparative specimens: examples of known (recent) animals that archaeologists can compare to the more fragmentary archaeological faunal remains typically recovered in excavations. The skulls here come from male animals of two Eurasian deer species: the European roe deer (left) and the fallow deer (right). The UMMAA Zooarchaeological Laboratory contains comparative specimens of a broad range of domesticated and wild species. Archaeologists use them in research and to help train students in faunal identification.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.