The place of domestic pig in the Romanian Gumelniţa (5th millennium BC): insights from the zooarchaeological analysis of Borduşani-Popină, Hârşova-tell and Vităneşti Măgurice
Balasse, Marie Tornero, Carlos Evin, Allowen Tresset, Anne Frémondeau, Delphine Cucchi, Thomas Ughetto-Monfrin, Joël Balasescu, Adrian
Social Dimensions of Food in the Prehistory of the Eastern Balkans and Neighbouring Areas location:Heidelberg (Germany) date:30 April - 2 May 2015
In the course of the Neolithic in South-Eastern Romania, a growing importance was given to pig, starting with slight representation in early Neolithic assemblages to finally reaching a significant place in the Gumelniţa culture. Here we evaluate the place of domestic pig in the animal economy of this Chalcolithic culture through a closer examination of the assemblages from the Gumelniţa A2 (5th millennium BC) occupation layers at settlements of Borduşani-Popină, Hârşova-tell and Vităneşti Măgurice. At all sites, the suid mortality profile reveal a very similar demographic management with a marked emphasis on the 8-10 month age class and the great majority of pigs culled before reaching 18 months. Suids are renowned for a great plasticity in feeding behaviour, which may also depend on the scale of husbandry, from extensive herding to very close proximity to the human settlement. Stable isotope analysis (15N and 13C) of bone collagen from representatives of the main wild and domestic species in the assemblages helped define the place of pigs in the ecosystem, revealing a high trophic level for most of them. At Borduşani and Vităneşti, where sampling for stable isotope analysis was conducted on mandibular bone, the results were combined to those obtained from geometric morphometric analysis in molars to refine attribution of suids remains to the domestic/wild status.