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La gestion des troupeaux transhumants dans la Crau d'Arles (Bouches-du-Rhone, France) à l'èpoque romaine données archéologiques et archéozoologiques

By G. Congès and M. Leguilloux


In the plain of La Crau, between Arles and Marseille, sheep rearing and transhumance during antiquity were known through texts of Strabo and Pliny. But recent surveys and excavations proved their existence: more than one hundred sheepfolds have been discovered over a 10 000 hectares area. Most of them were used between the 1st and the 3rd c. AD. The maximum density is reached during the 2nd c. Then, after the middle of the 3rd c., the majority of these buildings are abandoned; some of them are occupied until the first half of the 5th c.\ud Almost all these sheepfolds are built on the same shape. They are long rectangular buildings 40 to 65 m long and 8 to 10 m wide, with a point oriented towards the North.\ud The management of the livestock is demonstrated by the archaeozoological study. Sheep bones represent 79% of the total. The mortality diagram is specific: 33% are foetal and very young sheep bones from lambs died during the winter; 47% of the bones are from old animals aged more than 7 years that were slaughtered before the departure towards the summer pastures. These practices are characteristic of transhumance: shepherds did not want to carry old animals along the trails. Another indication of these moves are the 10% donkey and horse bones. These animals were used to carry goods and men during the transhumance journey and during the daily moves

Topics: L-ANT/07 Archeologia classica
Publisher: Padova University Press
Year: 2012
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Padua@research

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