Animals in Ritual and Economy in a Roman Frontier Community

Excavations in Tiel-Passewaaij

Maaike Groot

Maaike Groot

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

288 pages | 75 halftones | 6 1/4 x 8 1/4 | © 2008
Cloth $76.95 ISBN: 9789089640222 Published February 2009 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

This volume explores the role of animals in the rural communities of Civitas Batavorum in the first to third centuries AD. Large-scale excavations of two settlements and a cremation cemetery in Tiel-Passewaaij have yielded an animal bone assemblage of around 30,000 fragments, and a valuable reference catalog of the special animal deposits is included here. The author also investigates the use of animals in funerary and other rituals, as well as the role of livestock in the local economy and in the production of surplus products for the Roman market.   

Contents
Preface
 
I.     Introduction
1.1  The excavations in Tiel-Passewaaij: a brief history and results
        1.1.1   History of the excavations in Tiel-Passewaaij
        1.1.2   Results of the excavations in Tiel-Passewaaij
                   1.1.2.1  The settlement Oude Tielseweg
                   1.1.2.2  The cemetery
                   1.1.2.3  The settlement Passewaaijse Hogeweg
1.2   Historical and geographical context of Tiel-Passewaaij
        1.2.1   The Batavians
        1.2.2   The Eastern Dutch River Area: a dynamic landscape
        1.2.3   Research area
1.3   Previous zooarchaeological research of the Roman period in the Eastern Dutch River Area
        1.3.1   The consumption of horse meat
        1.3.2   Animals in rituals
        1.3.3   Urban-rural relationships
        1.3.4   Production of a surplus
        1.3.5   Withers height and the improvement of livestock
1.4   Production and consumption in the Eastern Dutch River Area
        1.4.1   Consumption: the Roman army
        1.4.2   Consumption: markets, towns and temples
        1.4.3   Production: rural settlements
        1.4.4   Market systems and taxation
1.5   The animal bone assemblage from Tiel-Passewaaij
        1.5.1   Possibilities
        1.5.2   Limitations
        1.5.3   Chronology
        1.5.4   The animal bones
1.6   Methods of zooarchaeological research in Tiel-Passewaaij: recording
        1.6.1   Identification of animal bones
        1.6.2   Quantification
        1.6.3   Taphonomy
        1.6.4   Age at death
1.7   Research questions
 
2.     Animals and the Economy of a Rural Community
2.1   Introduction
        2.1.1   The animal bones
        2.1.2   Research questions
2.2   Domestic mammals: cattle, sheep/goat, pig and horse
        2.2.1   Interpretation of mortality profiles
        2.2.2   Phase 1: Later Iron Age (450-175 BC)
        2.2.3   Phase 2: 60 BC-AD 50 (Passewaaijse Hogeweg) and AD 25-70 (Oude Tielseweg)
        2.2.4   Phase 3: AD 40-140 (Passewaaijse Hogeweg) and AD 70-120 (Oude Tielseweg)
        2.2.5   Phase 4: AD 140-220 (Passewaaijse Hogeweg) and AD 120-170 (Oude Tielseweg)
        2.2.6   Phase 5-6: AD 210-270
        2.2.7   Phase 7: AD 270-350
2.3   Dog, chicken and wild animals
        2.3.1   Dog and chicken
        2.3.2   The contribution of wild animals to the economy
2.4   Production of a surplus? Interaction with urban and military markets and the Roman administration
        2.4.1   Later Iron Age and early Roman period
        2.4.2   Wool production in the second half of the 1st century AD
        2.4.3   Cattle and arable agriculture, or the production of beef for a market?
        2.4.4   Horse breeding as a specialisation
        2.4.5   Stock improvement as an indicator for market-oriented production
        2.4.6   Pigs
        2.4.7   Livestock production for ceremonial needs
        2.4.8   Differential development of the rural economy in Oude Tielseweg and Passewaaijse Hogeweg
2.5   Conclusion
 
3      Animals and Ritual Within a Rural Settlement
3.1   The nature of ritual
        3.1.1   Division between ritual and non-ritual
        3.1.2   Definitions of ritual
        3.1.3   Characteristics of ritual
        3.1.4   Function of ritual
        3.1.5   The concept of sacrifice
        3.1.6   Feasting: types and functions
3.2   Ritual in archaeology
        3.2.1   Recognising ritual behaviour in archaeology
        3.2.2   Feasting
        3.2.3   Ritual and economy intertwined
        3.2.4   Previous and current research into ritual in archaeology
        3.2.5   Criteria for identifying ritual animal deposits
3.3   The special animal deposits from Passewaaijse Hogeweg
        3.3.1   Introduction and research questions
        3.3.2   Criteria suitable for Passewaaijse Hogeweg
        3.3.3   The special animal deposits
        3.3.4   Skull deposits
        3.3.5   Complete or nearly complete skeletons
        3.3.6   Articulated limbs
        3.3.7   Combination deposits
        3.3.8   Concentrations of disarticulated bones
        3.3.9   Butchery marks and the consumption of meat
        3.3.10 Summary of special animal deposits and the identification of ritual animal deposits
3.4   Distribution of ritual deposits in Passewaaijse Hogeweg through time and space
        3.4.1   Influence of excavation strategies on distribution of special deposits
        3.4.2   Special animal deposits per phase
        3.4.3   Distribution of special animal deposits in the settlement
        3.4.4   Seasonality of special animal deposits
3.5   Comparison with special deposits from other sites
        3.5.1   Special animal deposits from Roman-period settlements in the Netherlands
        3.5.2   Parallels in special animal deposits
3.6   Discussion
        3.6.1   Research questions
        3.6.2   Reconstruction of settlement rituals
        3.6.3   Feasting: ritual meals
        3.6.4   Further research
 
4      Animals in Funerary Ritual
4.1   Funerary ritual and the cremation cemetery of Tiel-Passewaaij
        4.1.1   The cremation cemetery in Tiel-Passewaaij
        4.1.2   The anthropology of funerary ritual
        4.1.3   Animals and food in funerary ritual
        4.1.4   Roman funerary ritual in western Europe
4.2   Animal remains from the cemetery in Tiel-Passewaaij
        4.2.1   Animal remains in cremation graves
        4.2.2   Animal remains in grave ditches
        4.2.3   Animal remains from the original ground surface
        4.2.4   Animal remains from other contexts
        4.2.5   Conclusion
4.3   Animals in funerary ritual in Tiel-Passewaaij
        4.3.1   The funeral pyre
        4.3.2   The burial pit
        4.3.3   Ceremonial pits: missing corpse or offering to the ancestors?
        4.3.4   Horse and cattle in funerary ritual
        4.3.5   Feasting
        4.3.6   Conclusion
4.4   Comparison with other sites
4.5   Conclusion
 
5      Conclusion and Suggestions for Further Research
5.1   The roles of animals in a rural community       
        5.1.1   Economy: changes in animal husbandry and the production of a surplus for a market
        5.1.2   Animals in rituals in the settlement Passewaaijse Hogeweg
        5.1.3   Animals in funerary ritual
5.2   Animals as a source of evidence for the study of integration into the Roman Empire
5.3   Recommendations for field archaeology
        5.3.1   The relaiton between rescue archaeology and academic research
        5.3.2   Excavation strategy
        5.3.3   Sample size
5.4   Further research
        5.4.1   Aspects relating to animals in the Eastern Dutch River Area in need of further research
        5.4.2   Integration of zooarchaeological data
        5.4.3   The National Resarch Agenda
 
References
 
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