Vestnik arheologii, antropologii i etnofrafii   1 (52)  2021

rchaeology

 

Seasonal pattern of domestic cattle slaughtering in the Late Bronze Age Tanalyk settlement (Southern Ural)

Bachura O.P., Kosintsev P.A.  (Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation)

 

             page 8392

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The settlement of Tanalyk (Bashkortostan) is the most fully studied household object of the Late Bronze Age in the territory of Southern Ural. The pottery assemblage allows attributing it to the Srubnaya Alakul type. The majority of bone remains in this site belong to domestic animals, and the number of wild species remains is extremely small. There is no evidence of farming in the Late Bronze Age. Thus, the subsistence of the Tanalyk population was based on livestock production. As such, the time of livestock slaughtering can be indicative of peoples presence in the site. The purpose of the present research was to determine the type of the Late Bronze Age Tanalyk settlement as permanent or seasonal. The slaughtering season and the age of cattle (46 individuals), sheep/goats (33 individuals) and horses (24 individuals) have been determined. Both determinations were based on the analysis of growth layers in animal teeth (cement and dentine). In archaeozoology, there is a traditional method of estimation of animal age-at-death based on the state of their dental system. Data obtained by these two methods have been inter-compared. It has been established that domestic animals were slaughtered entire year round, with no seasonal preference for various species. Only for sheep/goats, slaughtering season was related to their age. In warm seasons, young animals were slaughtered three times more often than in cold time of the year. Cattle, sheep/goat and horses were slaughtered mainly in cold seasons, in smaller numbers in summer, and only in minimal quantities in spring. The practice of year-round slaughtering of animals shows, that at least part of the community lived in the settlement permanently and did not make seasonal movements. Comparison of the age structures obtained from the study of tooth growth layers and the condition of the dental system showed their strong structures similarity, which is very important methodologically. This allows a reliable use of the age structure based on the condition of dental system to interpret the patterns of economic exploitation of domestic ungulates.

Key words: Southern Urals, Bronze Age, domestic animals, season- age of-death, growth layers.

 

https://doi.org/10.20874/2071-0437-2021-52-1-8

 

Funding. The article was prepared with the financial support of the RPF, project No 16-18-10332-P Lifestyle of the population of the southern Trans-Urals in a diachronic perspective: from sedentary forms to mobility (based on the materials of the Karagaily-Ayat river basin) (head of L.N. Koryakova).

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 07.12.2020

Article is published: 26.02.2021

 

Bachura O.P.

Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch of RAS, 8 Marta st., 202, Yekaterinburg, 620144, Russian Federation

Institute of History and Archeology, Ural Branch of RAS, S. Kovalevskoy st., 16, Yekaterinburg, 620108, Russian Federation

E-mail: olga@ipae.uran.ru (Bachura O.R.)

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4865-5167

 

Kosintsev P.A.

Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch of RAS, 8 Marta st., 202, Yekaterinburg, 620144, Russian Federation

Institute of History and Archeology, Ural Branch of RAS, S. Kovalevskoy st., 16, Yekaterinburg, 620108, Russian Federation

E-mail: kpa@ipae.uran.ru (Kosintsev P.A.)

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0973-7426