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The Excavations of San Giovanni di Ruoti

The Excavations of San Giovanni di Ruoti: Volume III: The Faunal and Plant Remains

A. Eastham
S.G. Monckton
D.S. Reese
D.G. Steele
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  • Book Info
    The Excavations of San Giovanni di Ruoti
    Book Description:

    This third volume of The Excavations of San Giovanni di Ruoti series deals with the social, economic, and environmental information derived from the analysis of zooarchaeological and palaeobotanical remains found at the fourth-century A.D. Italian villa of San Giovanni di Ruoti. The four contributors use the large collection of organic evidence obtained from the site, including mammal and bird bones, shells, land snails, and plant remains, to provide information on diet, food preparation, economics, trade routes, taxation, local environment and climate, agricultural economy, and animal husbandry. With both technical analysis and an interpretive component, the contributors offer various reconstructions of Roman life, often in combination with quotations from ancient literary sources, allowing this work to appeal to both the specialist and layperson alike. Written with a thoroughness and attention to detail not often seen in zooarchaeological work, this analysis represents an important advance in the study of faunal and botanical data in Roman archaeology in Italy, and will be an invaluable resource for all environmental and classical archaeologists.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8123-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-ix)
    (pp. x-x)
    (pp. xi-xiii)
    (pp. xiv-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-xxviii)
    A.M. Small and R.J. Buck
    (pp. xxix-2)
  8. 1 The Animal Bones
    (pp. 3-123)
    M.R. MacKinnon

    The analysis of animal bones from ancient sites is an essential part of any multidisciplinary archaeological venture. Through this study the faunal analyst, or zooarchaeologist, is able to provide information pertinent to the interpretation of the ways of life and the activities in the past of humanity. This information can range from establishing the abundance of species present at the site to determining the specific roles animals played in the ancient economy, geographic area, or culture. It is information that may not be available from the analysis of other ecofacts or artefacts. For this reason any complete archaeological study attempting...

  9. APPENDIX 1 Measurements of mammalian bones and teeth, arranged by taxon, part of skeleton, and period/phase
    (pp. 124-164)
  10. APPENDIX 2 M₃ measurements from domestic and wild pigs from various archaeological sites
    (pp. 165-165)
  11. APPENDIX 3 Scientific nomenclature of mammalian taxa listed in this report
    (pp. 166-166)
  12. APPENDIX 4 A human foetus from a midden of Period 3B
    (pp. 167-170)
    D.G. Steele and M.R. MacKinnon
  13. 2 The Avian Remains
    (pp. 171-188)
    A. Eastham

    The remains of domesticated birds from San Giovanni di Ruoti give some insight into both the pattern of domestic poultry production; and the variety of wild bird species that found their way to the site provides important evidence for the natural ecology of the area.

    Bones of domestic fowl (Gallus gallus) were found throughout the building and in deposits ascribed to a number of occupation periods. They were recovered in appreciably larger concentrations from the middens and in particular from middens associated with the later period of occupation, Period 3B. The wild bird species showed a more restricted distribution in...

  14. 3 Marine and Freshwater Shells
    (pp. 189-194)
    D.S. Reese

    The excavations at the late Roman and early mediaeval site of San Giovanni di Ruoti (Potenza), over seventy kilometres from the Mediterranean, produced 924 Mediterranean shells and one freshwater shell. The species present in the collection are noted in Table 3.1. Over 97% of the collection areOstrea(oysters).

    The chronological distribution of the shells is shown in Table 3.2. Of the stratified oysters there are 0.3% from Period 1, 2.1% from Period 2, 11.6% from Period 3A, and 86.0% from Period 3B. The distribution of the remains from the site is shown in Table 3.3. The oysters, and many...

  15. 4 Land Snails
    (pp. 195-200)
    M.R. MacKinnon

    The analysis of land snails from archaeological sites, while not as commonly applied as the analysis of animal bones, has the potential to produce useful data that can assist our understanding of the ancient environment. Since many species of land snails inhabit relatively specific types of climatic and physical conditions, their study can aid in refining details about ancient environments that may have been missed in analysing other data.

    In addition, some species of snails are edible and so may have contributed to the diet and economy of the ancient sites. It has been conclusively demonstrated at various archaeological sites...

  16. 5 Plant Remains
    (pp. 201-216)
    S.G. Monckton

    The palaeobotanical remains form an essential element in the reconstruction of the environment of the villa at San Giovanni. They comprise fragments both of wood charcoal collected manually from the trenches during the course of the excavation and of carbonized seeds and other small pieces of carbon found in the flotation samples. Because of the different methods used in the recovery, the two classes of evidence are considered separately in what follows. As Fig. 5.2 and Tables 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4 demonstrate, a very small amount of the material comes from Period 1, some 20 fragments of wood charcoal and...

    (pp. 217-226)
    (pp. 227-250)
    (pp. 251-256)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 257-258)