In order to answer questions about the setting of faunal assemblages with mammoth remains, pertinent taphonomic criteria are proposed in a methodological way. All factors that lead to an accumulation of mammoth bones must be taken into account from the beginning of the study. Biological or non-biological hypotheses should be tested. Among the predatory agents, anthropic factors should be distinguished from carnivorous ones. If man is responsible for the accumulation, d i fferences should be detectable between hunting and scavenging activities. The collecting strategy might have been quick (fast access to the carcass) or slow, depending on the people’s needs (food or other utilisation). In order to organize this methodology, references are taken through the zooarcheological study of two open air Elephantoidea sites, En Péjouan in France (a Miocene mastodont site) and Milovice in the Czech Republic (a Late Pleistocene mammoth site), leading to a discussion about the understanding of mammoth site genesis.