Animal Remains from the Early Medieval Settlement of Pellendorf/Gaweinstal

The numerous archaeozoological finds from Pellendorf/Gaweinstal in Lower Austria are the basis for the exploration of early medieval animal husbandry and hunting in a rural settlement landscape. Furthermore, the animal bones shed light on the shape and size of the still poorly explored early medieval domesticated animals. 

The excavations in the early medieval settlement of Pellendorf/Gaweinstal have led to the discovery of countless contexts from the 7th to 9th/10th century. It was possible to document an exceptionally large number of objects, such as pit houses and storage pits, of which a large number of contexts were sampled for archaeozoological and archaeobotanical remains.

Based on the animal waste it is possible to reconstruct the diet. The results will illuminate the intensity of the early medieval animal husbandry and the importance of hunting for the diet in the rural area.

In addition to the food waste, entire skeletons were discovered in several pits which revealed that not only dogs but also ruminants were buried in the pits. The composition of the animal species may provide clues for the causes of the deposition. At the same time skeleton finds furnish a lot of information, for example about the state of health of the animals, and they are excellent for the exploration of the habitus of these very poorly studied early medieval animals.