Animal Economy in Hellenistic Greece: A Zooarchaeological Study from Pherae (Thessaly)

Dimitris Filioglou*, Canan Çakırlar

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The scale of animal husbandry in ancient Greece has been debated for decades. To contribute to this debate, we examined faunal assemblages from Pherae in central Greece using non-destructive zooarchaeological methods. The results show that Pherae was involved in a caprine-oriented husbandry. The limited mobility of domesticated animals, indicated by mortality profiles, suggests that small-scale animal husbandry was the norm. Meat was redistributed across the town, and the quality of meat a household consumed depended on that household’s financial status. These results lead us to propose an economic model whereby both small-scale and semi-specialized animal husbandry were practiced, corroborating arguments for multiple co-existing animal husbandry practices in ancient Greece. Unlike in other parts of the Roman Empire, the predominance of caprines, indications of their use in meat and dairy production, and their relatively small “Hellenistic” size suggests that the Roman presence in Pherae did not influence animal economy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10-Jan-2023

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