Findings from the preliminary analysis of faunal remains at ancient Eleon

Date

2018-09-05

Authors

Bullock, Matthew

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Abstract

A relatively small, but well-preserved, assemblage of faunal remains centered around an apparent refuse heap in the southwest quadrant of Eleon has been analyzed to determine the relative representation of domesticated and wild taxa, as well as mortality profiles for sheep and goats. Although the total number of identified specimens is low, at 1059 fragments, several patterns have emerged in the data that warrant further analysis. The representation of deer among these remains is higher than at other sites on the Greek mainland. Lower utility elements such as metapodials and tibiae are better represented than meatier portions of the skeleton, suggesting that entire carcasses were being processed onsite. Mortality profiles developed from sheep and goat mandibles indicate distinct management strategies for each species, with a high number of very young and juvenile goats, compared with many more mature sheep. Overall, the faunal remains from this deposit suggest a varied economy in the post-palatial period, exploiting a wide range of species for both primary and secondary animal products. Further faunal analysis at Eleon is warranted to allow for comparisons across time periods and between locations at the site.

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Keywords

Archaeology, zooarchaeology, Classics, Secondary Products, Domestication, Mycenaean, Bronze Age

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