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Ivolginsk Xiongnu Fortress in Transbaikalia: archaeozoological research (based on excavations 2017)

Journal: Povolzhskaya Arkheologiya (The Volga River Region Archaeology) (Vol.1, No. 31)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ; ;

Page : 167-183

Keywords : archaeology; Transbaikalia; Xiongnu; Ivolginsk fortress; archaeozoology; bone-cutting сraft; cattle; food spectrum;

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The paper contains data on the archaeozoological collection from the Ivolginsk fortress located on the bank of the Selenga River in Ivolginsk depression (Transbaikalia). Research was performed on the materials of the 2017 excavations. Various categories of bone remains are present in archaeozoological collection. The taxonomic composition is diversified. There are domestic (dog, horse, cow, sheep, goat, pig) and trade (tarbagan marmot, mountain hare, fox, brown bear, roe deer, red deer, musk deer, moose) mammals. Cattle are the most numerous among domestic animals. Bone remains of sheep and goats are the second numerous. Horse is the third most abundant group of domestic species. The body sizes of cattle are not large and fit into the range of variability of aboriginal breeds. The pig was an auxiliary species. The large number of dog remains and cut marks on them may indicate that the dogs were eaten in the site. Roe deer is the most abundant group of trade species, while mountain hare and red deer noticeably concede to it. The other species in the collection are sporadic. So the food spectrum was quite balanced – beef, horsemeat and sheep and goats meat were consumed in the fortress. A small proportion of pork and dog meat may indicate the differentiation of the population of the fortress. The predominance of adult domestic animals indicates that they were used for their milk (cattle), hides (cattle, sheep and goats) and wool (sheep and goats) by sedentary population. Bone carving craft had the great importance in the fortress. The authors have described bone processing techniques for scapulae, metacarpal and metatarsal bones of ungulates.

Last modified: 2020-03-26 21:39:32