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The Chora of Metaponto 2

Archaeozoology at Pantanello and Five Other Sites

Studies by Sándor Bökönyi and Erika Gál

Publication Year: 2010

From 1974 to the present, the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin has carried out archaeological excavations in the ancient territory (chora) of Metaponto, now located in the modern province of Basilicata on the southern coast of Italy. This wide-ranging investigation, which covers a number of sites and a time period ranging from prehistory to the Roman Empire, has unearthed a wealth of new information about the ancient rural economy in southern Italy. These discoveries will be published in a multi-volume series titled The Chora of Metaponto. This volume on archaeozoology—the study of animal remains from archaeological sites—is the second in the series, following The Chora of Metaponto: The Necropoleis (1998). Archaeozoology at Pantanello and Five Other Sites describes the animal remains found throughout Metaponto and discusses what they reveal about ancient practices of hunting and herding, domestication and importation of new breeds, people’s attitudes toward animals, and what animal remains indicate about past environments. A chapter devoted to bird bones, which are a relatively rare find because of their fragility, provides high quality information on the environment and methods of fowling, as well as on the beliefs and symbolism associated with birds. The final chapter covers tools—some simple, others sophisticated and richly decorated—made from animal bones.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Cover

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p. Cover-Cover

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. ii-v

Special Acknowledgment

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p. vi-vi

Contents

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p. vii-vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Archaeological excavations carried out annually from 1974 to 1991 by The Institute of Classical Archaeology (ICA) in the territory (chora) of Metaponto provided much of the material basis for this study of the ancient fauna. We are grateful to the generations of students who contributed their labor, thought, and enthusiasm to the enterprise, and to those private donors and foundations, especially the James R. Dougherty Jr. Foundation and the Brown Foundation, who made it financially possible. For much of this period—nearly two decades of sustained and uninterrupted effort—the National Endowment for the Humanities provided vital grants ...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xxii

This volume of archaeozoological studies marks the renewal of a major program to document more than thirty years of research in the chora of Metaponto (Fig. I). Bringing this book to print has been made possible by the generous ongoing support of the Packard Humanities Institute. This study and those to follow are the first serious attempts to deal with the ancient rural economy in the context of Classical Archaeology in South Italy. Despite the tradition of such research by prehistorians, faunal reports even from prehistoric sites have not been standard in this geographical area. With this publication, the Institute of Classical Archaeology (ICA) begins to fill a serious gap in our knowledge of ancient Italy, and hopes to set a precedent for similar ...

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1. Animal Husbandry from the Late Neolithic through the Roman Period

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pp. 1-34

This volume of archaeozoological studies marks the renewal of a major program to document more than thirty years of research in the chora of Metaponto (Fig. I). Bringing this book to print has been made possible by the generous ongoing support of the Packard Humanities Institute. This study and those to follow are the first serious attempts to deal with the ancient rural economy in the context of Classical Archaeology in South Italy. Despite the tradition of such research by prehistorians, faunal reports even from prehistoric sites have not been standard in this geographical area. With this publication, the Institute of Classical Archaeology (ICA) begins to fill a serious gap in our knowledge of ancient Italy, and hopes to set a precedent for similar ...

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2. Animal Husbandry in Roman Metaponto

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pp. 35-40

In 1975–1981, a very large midden, known as the Kiln Deposit, was excavated at Pantanello. Associated with a Roman period tile factory, the deposit produced a huge quantity of ceramic objects (Fig. 2.1–2), along with coins that date the entire assemblage in successive stages from the Roman Republic period (2nd century bc) to the Early Empire (1st century ad). Scattered ...

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3. Taphonomic Analysis of Bone Remains from the Chora of Metaponto

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pp. 41-60

When Sándor Bökönyi initially studied the Metaponto materials, he concentrated primarily on the historical and faunistical importance of the assemblages. At that time, computer-based analyses were not yet common in Hungary. After Dr. Bökönyi’s data had been entered into spreadsheets and were furthered examined, the idea of writing a complementary study on the taphonomic characteristics of the assemblages was formulated. The goal was to seek out the physical ...

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4. Bird Remains from the Chora of Metaponto

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pp. 61-70

The impressive archaeozoological assemblage from the Metaponto chora yielded approximately 12,000 remains. Of the 7,000 bones which could be identified, 61 were determined to be avian. The majority of bird remains (27 bones, equal to 4.7% of the total bone assemblage) came from San Biagio, a villa inhabited during the late 3rd–4th century ad. The other sites yielded only 1 to 15 remains each (Table 4.1). There may be several reasons for the under-representation of bird remains in these hand-collected assemblages. First, the economic ...

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5. Bone Artifacts from the Chora of Metaponto

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pp. 71-86

In addition to the large assemblage of food remains, the sites in the Metaponto chora yielded a number of artifacts and tools made from various animal skeletal parts. Study of these objects may reveal the exploitation of raw material resources, the typology, the manufacturing techniques, and the continuum in each period. Interpretation is equally important, because the ...

Appendix: Bone Measurements

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pp. 87-110

References

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pp. 111-118

Index

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pp. 119-122


E-ISBN-13: 9780292795204
E-ISBN-10: 0292795203
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292721340
Print-ISBN-10: 029272134X

Page Count: 144
Illustrations: illus.
Publication Year: 2010

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Italy -- Metaponto Region.
  • Historic sites -- Italy -- Metaponto Region.
  • Metapontum (Extinct city).
  • Pantanello Necropolis Site (Italy).
  • Animal culture -- Italy -- Metaponto Region -- History.
  • Animal remains (Archaeology) -- Italy -- Metaponto Region.
  • Metaponto Region (Italy) -- Antiquities.
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