ARCHAEOZOOLOGY OF THE LATE ROMAN PERIOD SETTLEMENT AT VEĽKÉ ZÁLUŽIE IN THE CONTEXT OF REGIONAL DATA
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The research on Roman period archaeozoology is rarely discussed in Slovakia. So far, data suggest the great importance of cattle and pigs in the meaty diet and the focus on exploitation of caprines for the secondary products such as wool and milk. During the 3rd and 4th c. AD, an increasing role of pigs in the subsistence has been noted at Germanic sites in the vicinity of Bratislava. The analysis of a small bone assemblage recovered during the rescue excavation of the Late Roman period settlement at Veľké Zálužie (Nitra district), offered a similar results. The taxa representation as well as the sex and age assessment attested the leading role of cattle (33.6 % by NISP) among the main meat suppliers. Balanced proportions of pig (15.3 %), caprines (13.4 %) and cervids (10 %) pointed out their minor, but not negligible importance of pork, lamb/mutton and venison in subsistence of the local Germanic peoples. Scarcely presented dog and horse bones provided no indices of butchery registered elsewhere in barbaric milieu (e.g. Veľký Meder). Bones of birds or fish were not found in the material either due to hand-recovery of analysed samples or restricted role within the diet. The calculated withers height of cattle (113.7 cm) and morphology of the horn-core showed that the local animals were small to medium sized with short horns. The simple tools made of worked animal bones/antlers offered the evidence on processing the pottery and/or leather or gaming. The partially preserved skeleton of a fawn red deer aged 3 – 4 months was found in one of the settlement pits.
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