THE HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SCHREGER PATTERN IN PROBOSCIDEAN IVORY CHARACTERIZATION
EDGARD O'NIEL ESPINOZA, & MARY-JACQUE MANN
ABSTRACT—Proboscidean ivories display a uniquely identifiable pattern of crossing lines in transverse section. Until recently this pattern, properly called the Schreger Pattern, was effectively indistinguishable in the three main commercial sources of proboscidean ivory: the woolly mammoth and two modern elephant genera. The Schreger Pattern contains apparent angles that are acute (<90°) in mammoth ivory and obtuse (>115°) in modern elephant ivories. The ability to differentiate extinct mammoth from modern elephant ivories in carved objects by Schreger angle measurement facilitates international enforcement of laws concerned with protection of elephants through ivory trade restrictions. It also helps the efforts of the art conservation and archaeological communities through improved curatorial identification potential.
5. OBSERVATIONS AND DISCUSSION
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