Testing accuracy in 2D and 3D geometric morphometric methods for cut mark identification and classification

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The analysis of bone surface modifications (BSMs) is a prominent part of paleoanthropological studies, namely taphonomic research. Behavioral interpretations of the fossil record hinge strongly upon correct assessment of BSMs. With the significant impact of microscopic analysis to the study of BSMs, multiple authors have discussed the reliability of these technological improvements for gaining resolution in BSM discrimination. While a certain optimism is present, some important questions are ignored and others overemphasized without appropriate empirical support. This specifically affects the study of cut marks. A diversity of geometric morphometric approaches applied to the study of cut marks have resulted in the coexistence (and competition) of different 2D and 3D methods. The present work builds upon the foundation of experiments presented by Maté-González et al. (2015), Courtenay et al. (2017) and Otárola-Castillo et al. (2018) to contrast for the first time 2D and 3D methods in their resolution of cut mark interpretation and classification. The results presented here show that both approaches are equally valid and that the use of sophisticated 3D methods do not contribute to an improvement in accuracy.




Courtenay, L. A., Maté-González, M. ángel, Aramendi, J., Yravedra, J., González-Aguilera, D., & Domínguez-Rodrigo, M. (2018). Testing accuracy in 2D and 3D geometric morphometric methods for cut mark identification and classification. PeerJ, 2018(7). https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.5133

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