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1. The study of the events and processes, such as burial in sediment, transportation, and decomposition, that affect the remains of an organism after it dies.
2. These events and processes, especially those leading up to preservation or fossilization.

[Greek taphē, grave + -nomy.]

taph′o·nom′ic (tăf′ə-nŏm′ĭk) adj.
ta·phon′o·mist n.


(Palaeontology) the study of the processes affecting an organism after death that result in its fossilization
[C20: from Greek taphos grave + -nomy]
taphonomic, ˌtaphoˈnomical adj


(təˈfɒn ə mi)

1. the circumstances and processes of fossilization.
2. the study of the environmental conditions affecting fossilization.
[1965–70; < Greek táph(ē) grave + -o- + -nomy]
taph•o•nom•ic (ˌtæf əˈnɒm ɪk) adj.
ta•phon′o•mist, n.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Applying zooarchaeological methods to interpret mortuary behavior and taphonomy in commingled burials: The case study of the late neolithic site of Bolores, Portugal.
2013; Thomka and Brett 2017) and erection of descriptive morphotaxa (e.g., Moore and Jeffords 1968; Donovan 1986), fragmentary crinoid remains are largely under-utilized data sources, particularly in studies of taphonomy, paleoecology, and facies analysis (see Jeffords 1978; Holterhoff 1997; Thomka et al.
2006: The taphonomy of owl-deposited fish remains and the origin of the homestead cave ichthyofauna.
Overall, this study contributes to understanding taphonomy in two common biomes in the Midwest.
Neolithic burial taphonomy, ritual, and interpretation in Britain and Ireland: A review.
Smart et al., "U-series dating and taphonomy of quaternary vertebrates from brazilian caves," Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, vol.
Taphonomy in the kitchen: culinary practices and processing residues of native tuberous plants of the South-Central Andes.
Forensic Taphonomy and Ecology of North American Scavengers