Animal husbandry and subsistence in the late Bronze and the early Iron Age in Aigeira

The archaeozoological Bronze Age finds from Aigeira suggest the preferred keeping of goats, sheep, cattle, and to a lesser extent of pigs. The meat but also the wool and milk of the small domestic ruminants was used. Special finds here include a lion as well as a horse and donkey. 

The recent excavations beneath the ancient acropolis of Aigeira provided a large amount of archaeozoological finds that permit the reconstruction of the animal husbandry and farming practices within a larger time frame.

Domestic animals

Goats and sheep, followed by cattle represent the most important domestic animals. These farm animals seem to have been primarily butchered when they were middle aged. This type of butchering profile suggests the use of secondary products such as milk, hair, or wool but also the intention of optimal meat yield. The cattle appear to have been fairly small and had a rather slender build. Among the considerably less frequent pig bones which were also butchered at a younger age there were also extremely large bones – they all appear to come from wild boar. 

Special features of the animals

In Aigeira the remains of horses and donkeys are remarkable and were identified in addition to the pelvic bones of a lion. Red deer and hare bones as well as sea shells and snails complete the wild animal fauna.