Bone modification includes any form if alteration to individual bones, including cracking, surface marks, abrasion, polishing and breakage. Damage to bone may occur at various stages throughout the taphonomic history of a vertebrate bone. These stages can be divided into the following categories:
Damage sustained during life may show evidence of healing, including mew bone growth. Post-mortem damage will not show new bone growth and it may be difficult to distinguish from damage sustained during compaction.