ŠTÚDIA K ARCHEOZOOLÓGII VO VEĽKOM MEDERI
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Archaeozoology in Veľký Meder: a pilot study
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The article presents first information from the archaeozoological analyses of the animal bone remains from Quadi settlement at Veľký Meder in the south-west Slovakia. It brings preliminary quantitative data on the representation of species and their importance for subsistence. Among 2546 identified specimens, domestic animals highly prevailed. The representation of economically prominent taxa suggests that cattle and small ruminants, such as sheep and goat, played the most important role in the diet and husbandry of the local Quadi population. Beef, mutton/kid has been complemented by pork and, on a small scale, by chicken. Moreover, incidental consumption of horse meat has been hypothesized in the village on the basis of few, but clear examples of butchery. Identified remains of donkey may be considered as the oldest proof of its occurrence in the territory of Slovakia. Their relatively high incidence raised the question regarding the existence of a mule or hinny in the village, which is possible due to a large portion of yet unidentifiable horse bones of intermediate size in the assemblage. On the other hand, the presence of domestic cat has been proved here without doubt. Similar to donkey, specimens from Veľký Meder, together with ones from Rusovce, Štúrovo, Malá nad Hronom and Beluša, belong to the oldest records of domestic cat in Slovakia. Its occurrence in the studied settlement supports the idea that keeping or breeding of donkey and cat by our Quadi most probably resulted from the commercial and political contacts with the Roman provinces. In addition to the above findings, the article also brings first glimpse on the appearance of local cattle and sheep and compares it with similar data from contemporaneous and precedent sites in the west Slovakia. It seems that Germanic sheep in its dimensions markedly oversize that of the Celts.
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