A.Y. Rassadnikov. Archaeozoological Studies at Konoplyanka, the Southern Trans-Urals
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Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology
of Eurasia

47 (2) 2019


DOI: 10.17746/1563-0110.2019.47.2.033-039


Archaeozoological Studies at Konoplyanka,
the Southern Trans-Urals

A.Y. Rassadnikov

Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Kovalevskoi 16, Yekaterinburg, 620990, Russia

Konoplyanka is a fortified settlement associated with the Sintashta culture and dating to 1920-1745 cal BC. The faunal sample was studied with regard to standard traits and pathology analysis, rather recently adopted in Russian archaeozoological studies. The results are relevant not only to ancient herd composition and age at slaughter but also to the animals’ states of health. The analysis of pathologies provides information about the herders’ skills and the housing of domestic ungulates. Ethnographic data relating to the modern grazing management system in the same area and information received from herdsmen are widely used. This makes it possible to assess the carrying capacity of the land, and to arrive at a more accurate reconstruction of the pastoral economy. Osteophagy among the domestic ungulates is analyzed, and the phenomenon is discussed in the context of settlement archaeology. The study has shown that animal husbandry was the predominant subsistence strategy. Results of pathology analysis indicate a high level of herding skills. The cattle were used as draft animals. Osteophagy attests to places where animals were kept. The predominant system was homestead herding, all or most animals being likely kept within the settlement throughout the year.

Keywords: Bronze Age, Sintashta culture, archaeozoology, animal pathology, ungulate osteophagy, draft cattle