Trampling, also sometimes called scuffage or treadage, refers to the alteration and modification of artifacts and deposits caused by humans or animals walking on a surface. Archaeologists have noted and studied the influence of trampling on artifacts since the 1950s (Bordes and Bourgon, 1951). From that time, researchers have conducted numerous actualistic, laboratory, and ethnoarchaeological studies to investigate the effects of trampling on surface modification of bones, breakage and edge damage of lithics, and vertical and horizontal displacement of artifacts within a deposit. Geoarchaeologists have also conducted studies to investigate the micromorphological effects of trampling on deposits and anthropogenic features.
Zooarchaeologists have looked at the effects of human and animal trampling of bone over a variety of substrates with the goals of distinguishing between cut marks and trampling marks and determining the role that trampling plays in the taphonomy of faunal assemblages....
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