Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Winter 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Resource Management

Committee Chair

Patrick M. Lubinski

Second Committee Member

John Bowen

Third Committee Member

Lourdes Henebry-Deleon


Zooarchaeologists cannot identify mammal species by their stylohyoid bones. Current trends in zooarchaeological research stress the need for rigorous and accessible identification methodology. I examined the stylohyoids of 15 hooved mammals: cattle, bison, domestic sheep, bighorn sheep, Dall sheep, mountain goat, domestic goat, elk, caribou, white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose, pronghorn antelope, domestic pig, and horse. Objectives included documenting how to side the stylohyoid (left or right), and producing species identification criteria based on large samples. A total of 325 samples were measured from eight repositories. Written descriptions, photographs, and success ratios for metrics and distinct traits are included for each species. Results indicate that stylohyoids can be sided based on longitudinal curvature, and that broad categories such as large vs. small ungulates, medium categories such as family and genus, and several species can be identified with more than 90% probability using combinations of measurements and ratios.