Bioarchaeology of the Near East, 4:25-43 (2010)

Animal economy at Tell Arbid, north-east Syria, in the third millennium BC

Joanna Piatkowska-Malecka*, Anna Smogorzewska

Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw,
Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland,
email: (corresponding author)

Abstract: The main aim of this paper is to reconstruct animal economy at Tell Arbid in the 3rd millennium BC. The examined material consists of post-consumption bone remains retrieved from various contexts dated to the Ninevite 5, Early Dynastic III, Akkadian, and Post-Akkadian periods. Domesticated animals were the dominant species in all of the distinguished periods. Sheep and goat were the main species (~50%) followed by pig (~40%) and cattle (~10%). Starting in the Akkadian period there was a small increase in caprines and a concomitant decrease in pigs. The Arbidian animal economy was marginally supplemented by hunting wild animals (roe deer, gazelle, fallow deer, boar). Equids (onager, horse, donkey), canids (dog, jackal), and felids (domestic and wild cat, caracal) are represented in small numbers. The pattern of animal exploitation observed at Tell Arbid is comparable to the picture obtained for other Upper Khabur sites, although a significant share of pig (40-48%) is noticeable at the site during the 3rd millennium BC.

Key words: Upper Khabur drainage, animal economy, pigs, cattle, caprines

Received 31 January 2011; accepted 5 July 2011; published online 25 August 2011.

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