Institute of Archaeology [Slovenian]

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Archaeozoological research

Artefact of basal beam part of antler red deer from Stare gmajne (photo M. Zaplatil) and horse (Equus caballus) incisive from Zalog (photo R. Erjavec).

The programme is aimed at studying the natural and cultural environment in the time period between the Middle Palaeolithic and the Middle Ages. The natural environment will be inferred by studying small mammal remains, with special attention being paid to the cause-consequence relation between the natural habitat and the economy (e.g. alimentary customs, type of animal keeping/husbandry, importance of hunting etc.). The research on cultural environment will address the question of the economic base of complex societies and past human activities. Taphonomically oriented studies will concentrate on the associations and spatial patterning of animal bones and other organic refuse, architecture and artifacts/artifactual rubbish. Special emphasis will be given to the analysis of diachronic changes in size and shape of domesticate skeletal elements by the means of detailed morphometric studies. As part of this study a special database will be built to store all the collected metric data. The above data will allow obtaining deeper insights into the ways in which meat and other animal products are exchanged between producers and consumers, social status of settlements and its inhabitants, »ethnicity« etc.

Andrej Pleterski

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