ARCHAEOZOOLOGICAL MATERIALS FROM SHESTOVYTSIA NECROPOLIS IN THE COLLECTIONS OF THE INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY


  • N. V. Khamaiko Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
  • Ye. Yu. Yanish I. I. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology
Keywords: Old Rus’, Shestovytsia, necropolis, archaeozoological materials, bone objects, osteological remains, species composition, traces of artificial influence, age structure, anatomical spectrum.

Abstract

A long-term archaeological study at Shestovytsia necropolis accumulated a significant collection, an important part of which are archaeozoological materials. Most of the finds are stored at the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. V. I. Bibikova determined the bones from 35 Shestovytsia’s burial mounds, excavated in the 1940s—1950s and published by D. I. Blifeld. Currently in the collection, there are osteological remains from 28 complexes and 3 bones without the catalogue numbers, they were identified by Ye. Yu. Yanish. The sample from this site includes 454 fragments of animal origin from 61 individuals minimum.

All animal remains belong to the category of «ritually used», because they originate from inventory of burials. These are the animal for sacrific buried along with the human body, the remains of funeral feast and of food placed into the grave, and the personal belongings of the dead, i. e. things of everyday use (combs, pointed tools (fids or marlinspikes), needle- and awl-cases, etc.), amulets, and gaming pieces. They are ranged by degree of treatment from bones without any treatment to complicated bone products. Animals which bones were used for further treatment were adult species. The bones of young individuals, apparently, belonged to the animals used for funeral feast.

Total of 11 representative mammal species belong to 3 Oders — Artiodactyla: Bovidae family, Cervidae family, Suidae family; Perissodactyla: Equidae family; Carnivora: Canidae family and Ursidae family; and also Rodentia. In addition, in several graves, chicken bones (Gallus gallusdomesticus), bird’s (obviously chicken) eggs, as well as the shell of the Unio crassus were detected. There are no fish remains in the materials from the necropolis. Domestic species accounted for 68.3 % of the determined mammalian remains. The largest variety is registered in the materials from the burial mound 21 (the mound 22 (121), according to the report, excavations in 1956) and the burial 1 and 4 of the mound 61 (the mound 52 (51), according to the report, excavations in 1957).

87 bones contain traces of influence: the effects of fire, the traces of chopping, cutting, and gnawing by dogs. In the investigated material, there is a bone of small cattle with pathological enlargements, which are the result of the inflammatory process, in this case, most probably after trauma. In addition, the enamel of the horse’s tooth is damaged, which is likely a result of the certain types of feed usage.

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Published
2018-09-22
How to Cite
KhamaikoN. V., & YanishY. Y. (2018). ARCHAEOZOOLOGICAL MATERIALS FROM SHESTOVYTSIA NECROPOLIS IN THE COLLECTIONS OF THE INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY. Archaeology and Early History of Ukraine, 28(3), 192-204. https://doi.org/10.37445/adiu.2018.03.17