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5.1 Diagnostic residue types

The diagnostic category here is defined as those residues containing enough specific visual traits to be unambiguously identified in situ on stone with reflected VLM. These residues are not easily mistaken for other materials and thus can be identified with a high degree confidence. The use of VLM is sufficient to identify residues listed in the diagnostic category. The only residue types in this experiment that were found to have diagnostic microscopic characteristics are: fish scales, downy feather barbules, and mammal hair.

Fish scales

Biological description

Identification

Reference residue

Figure 22
Figure 22: Cycloid scale from a tench (Tinca tinca) present on flint used to descale the fish, reference collection. Note radii grooves radiating out from central focus, and concentric circuli

Downy feather barbules

Biological description

Identification

Identification cautionary notes

Reference residue

Figure 23
Figure 23: Feather barbules with visible nodes and internodes. Bird residues on flint, reference collection
Figure 24
Figure 24: Feather barbules with prongs. Bird residues on flint, reference collection
Figure 25
Figure 25: Feather barbules with prongs. Bird residues on flint, reference collection (SEM-BSE image)

Hair

Biological description

Identification

Reference residue

Figure 26
Figure 26: Squirrel residues on flint, reference collection. Hairs with central medulla (light) containing air spaces (dark) visible. The medulla pattern is a uniserial ladder, which identifies it as rodent hair (Ludwig and Bryce 1996, 158).
Figure 27
Figure 27: Hairs with scale patterns visible. Squirrel residues on flint, reference collection
Figure 28
Figure 28: Hairs with scale patterns. Squirrel residues on flint, reference collection (SEM-BSE image)

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