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Dead or alive? Investigating long-distance transport of live fallow deer and their body-parts in Antiquity

Miller, H., Carden, R., Lamb, A., Madgwick, Richard, Osborne, D., Symmons, R. and Sykes, N. 2016. Dead or alive? Investigating long-distance transport of live fallow deer and their body-parts in Antiquity. Environmental Archaeology 21 (3) , pp. 246-259. 10.1179/1749631414Y.0000000043

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Abstract

The extent to which breeding populations of fallow deer were established in Roman Europe has been obscured by the possibility that the skeletal remains of the species, in particular Dama foot bones and antlers, were traded over long distances as objects in their own right. This paper sets out to refine our understanding of the evidence for the transportation of living and dead fallow deer in Iron Age and Roman Europe. To achieve this, museum archives containing purportedly early examples of Dama antler were searched, with available specimens sampled for carbon, nitrogen and strontium isotope analyses, and compared with data for archaeological fallow deer from across Europe. Importantly, the resulting isotope values can be interpreted in light of new modern baseline data for fallow deer presented here. Together these multi-isotope results for modern and archaeological fallow deer provide a more critical perspective on the transportation of fallow deer and their body parts in antiquity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Publisher: Maney Publishing
ISSN: 1461-4103
Funders: AHRC
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 08:12
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/65965

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