image/svg+xml71 VII/1/2016 INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY homepage: http://www.iansa.eu Dog Burial and Animal Bone Remains from the Human Graves in Prague-Zličín Hana Nohálová a,b* , Jiří Vávra a , Milan Kuchařík a a Labrys, o.p.s. Hloubětínská 16/11, Prague 9, 19800, Czech Republic b Department of Geological Sciences, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, Brno, 61137, Czech Republic 1. Introduction The study has two main aims: frstly, to present an individual dog burial contemporary with the Migration Period human burials in Prague-Zličín; and secondly to discuss the origin and possible interpretation of the assemblage of animal bones and other remains recovered from the infll of the graves in this cemetery. The cemetery was excavated between 2005–2008 and is dated to the Migration Period – the 2 nd and 3 rd thirds of the 5 th century AD – and ascribed to the so-called Vinařická group and represents 173 documented inhumation graves: the largest graveyard of this epoch in Bohemia and one of the largest in central Europe. Its dating to the 5 th century AD is grounded on brooches, buckles, glass vessels, ceramics, diferent fttings and other metal objects. A belt buckle, a brooch and some other objects indicate an end of the burying around 500 AD. The character of the fnds suggests a supra-regional importance for the cemetery and cultural relationships to Gaul, the Rhineland and regions along the Danube, as well as to the North Sea (Vávra et al. 2009; 2012; Jiřík et al . 2015). 2. Material and methods The studied and presented zooarchaeological material comes from the infllings of 36 skeletal graves (Table 1) out of a total of 173 identifed graves, and the separate feature of no. 1524. The animal bones were obtained by hand-retrieval and fotation of the grave fllings. The zooarchaeological analysis was based on commonly-used methods and procedures. Relevant atlases and guides were used for the generic and anatomical determination of the osteological material (Schmid 1972; Červený et al. 1999; France 2009). Taxonomically-indeterminable material was sorted into size categories (VSS – very small size/rodents, SS – small size/brown hare; SS-MS – small size to medium size/European beaver, dog; MS – medium size/sheep/goat, pig; MS-LS – medium size to large size/pig/wild boar; LS – large size/cattle, European red deer). Age was determined by the coalescence of epiphyseal bones (Reitz, Wing 2008) and Volume VII ● Issue 1/2016 ● Pages 71–86 *Corresponding author. E-mail: hanka.uhl@gmail.com ARTICLE INFO Article history: Received: 3 rd Juny 2016Accepted: 21 st November 2016 Key words: Prague-Zličín dog burialanimal bonesbone toolsMigration Period Vinařice group ABSTRACT We present an evaluation of research on zooarchaeological material from the skeletal burial ground of the Vinařická group of the Late Migration Period in Prague-Zličín. Attention is drawn to feature no. 1524, in which was found the burial of a dog whose radiocarbon date is consistent with the dating of the burial ground. The skeleton is of an older individual, probably female, in which was found a fracture of the right lower canine. The rest of the article considers the animal bones from the grave infllings, the dating of which is problematic. The bones are probably a residue and intrusion, having nothing to do with the burial rite, and it remains unclear how much they are related to zooarchaological evaluations of the Migration Period, the Roman Period, or the Early Middle Ages. Hence these results cannot be reliably used to reconstruct the subsistence strategies of populations in the Migration Period. Taphonomic phenomena associated with the activity of rodents are also discussed.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 71–86Hana Nohálová, Jiří Vávra, Milan Kuchařík: Dog Burial and Animal Bone Remains from the Human Graves in Prague-Zličín 72 Table 1. Distribution of bones and malacofauna in the graves (quantifcation after NISP). Grave no.NumberSpeciesPart of skeletonTotal19 2 Sus domesticus dens2 24 6 Ruminantdens 6 41 11 Sus domesticus mandibula5115Medium mammalfragment of bone25 Sus domesticus dens 55 11 Bos taurus dens554 Bos taurus mandibula3Undetermined mammalfragment of bone 6Large mammal fragment of bone20Medium mammalfragment of bone2 Bos taurus humerus1 Bos taurus phalanx I 8Small mammal-Medium mammalfragment of bone 56 4 Bos taurus humerus5310 Large mammal costa39Small mammalfragment of bone 60 1 Ovis aries/Capra hircus pelvis 1 63 1 Sus domesticus tibia 6816 Medium mammalfragment of bone51Small mammal-Medium mammalfragment of bone 65 3 Rodentia dens1714Small mammalfragment of bone 95 1 Canis familiaris metapodium 1 107 1Malacofaunashell348 Rodentia dens1 Rodentia tibia1 Rodentia ulna1 Rodentia mandibula22 Rodentia fragment of bone 121 1 Sus domesticus maxilla481Medium mammal fat bone 1Medium mammalcosta1 Sus domesticus dens3 Rodentia dens41Small mammal-Medium mammalfragment of bone 126 2 Very small mammal fragment of bone2 127 2 Rodentia dens2 133 1 Bos taurus mandibula7510 Large mammal fragment of bone1 Bos taurus metacarpus 15 Large mammal mandibula23 Large mammalfat bone 25 Large mammal fragment of bone 134 4 Large mammal long bone51 Bos taurus humerus 136 1 Bos taurus talus 1466 Bos taurus mandibula9 Large mammalfat bone 2 Bos taurus scapula 1 Large mammal vertebra19 Large mammal long bone1 Medium mammal-Large mammalfat bone 44 Large mammal fragment of bone
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 71–86Hana Nohálová, Jiří Vávra, Milan Kuchařík: Dog Burial and Animal Bone Remains from the Human Graves in Prague-Zličín 73 Grave no.NumberSpeciesPart of skeletonTotal136 ( Continuation ) 13Ruminantdens 146 ( Continuation ) 1 Bos taurus os centrotarsale1 Bos taurus phalanx I 1 Bos taurus patella 3 Bos taurus mandibula2 Large mammalpelvis 12 Large mammalfat bone 20 Medium mammal-Large mammal fragment of bone1 Bos taurus femur1Medium mammal pelvis 1 Sus domesticus vertebra7Medium mammalfragment of bone 138 3Undetermined mammalfragment of bone3 142 10 Sus domesticus dens74 63Medium mammal-Large mammal fragment of bone1 Large mammal long bone 143 1Medium mammalcosta1 146 9 Bos taurus mandibula901 Bos taurus axis11 Large mammal mandibula1 Bos taurus pelvis 1 Large mammal long bone 6Large mammal fragment of bone3 Bos taurus femur2 Bos taurus atlas4 Bos taurus dens33 Medium mammal-Large mammal fragment of bone4 Bos taurus scapula 15 Large mammalfat bone 147 2 Rodentia dens2 150 1 Bos taurus humerus1 153 11Undetermined mammalfragment of bone121 Very small mammal fragment of bone 154 1 Medium mammal-Large mammal mandibula391Medium mammalvertebra1 Rodentia pelvis 19 Rodentia fragment of bone17Undetermined mammalfragment of bone 155 2 Very small mammal fragment of bone2 156 2 Large mammal long bone 6 3 Medium mammal-Large mammal long bone1 Very small mammal fragment of bone 159 19Medium mammallong bone201Small mammal-Medium mammal fat bone 161 1Medium mammallong bone1 162 7 Rodentia fragment of bone7 163 1 Cepaea shell402Undetermined mammalfragment of bone1 Lepus europaeus dens35 Rodentia fragment of bone1 Rodentia mandibula 164 3 Rodentia dens721 Rodentia tibia Table 1. Distribution of bones and malacofauna in the graves (quantifcation after NISP). ( Continuation )
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 71–86Hana Nohálová, Jiří Vávra, Milan Kuchařík: Dog Burial and Animal Bone Remains from the Human Graves in Prague-Zličín 74 the replacement and eruption of teeth (Červený et al . 1999). The age of the dog was determined by the state of dentition (Procházka 1994). The methodology for measurements was taken from von den Driesch (1976). Based on the length parameters of relevant bones, the heights at the withers were calculated (Driesch, Boessneck 1974). The breed of dog was determined by Wagner (1930). All measurements were taken using a digital calliper 300 mm/0.01 mm. Measured values are stated in millimetres (mm). Taphonomic and anthropogenic interventions were also observed (Lyman 1994). The morphological description of the skeletal elements is based on Najbrt (1980). 3. Results3.1 Dog burial Feature no. 1524 with the dog skeleton was located at the north-eastern edge of the explored area, northeast of the burial ground of the Migration Period (Figure 1). The distance between the feature and the nearest grave no. 138 was 96 m. Due to the location of the feature at the edge of an unearthed area, we have only a partial idea about the surrounding terrain and its situation. The building is surrounded by two rows of stake or pillar pits, oriented approximately in a northwest-southeast direction, and are likely to represent the foor plan of a prehistoric above-ground structure, stratigraphically older than feature no. 1524, which is in superposition with one stakehole. This above-ground construction, according to the feld conditions, had already vanished by the time of the original making of feature no. 1524 and the burial of the dog, and therefore it is probably unrelated to the feature. The terrain of most of the vicinity of feature no. 1524 remains uncovered, and therefore we have no further information about it. The skeleton of the dog was placed in the western part of an approximately rectangular oblong pit, with dimensions of 2.2×1.2 m and a depth of about 0.2 m (after soil removal), and oriented by its longer axis in an east-west direction, just like the individual human graves (Figure 2). However, the shape of the pit does not correspond with the shapes of the other burial pits: frstly, it is much shallower than the other graves, which have an average depth of 1.2 m, and does not contain the typical peripheral ledges or steps at the bottom. The location of the skeleton at the edge of a relatively long pit, without any further archaeological fndings, is a distinctive feature, which prompts the question of whether there was anything else placed in the pit along with the dog, and possibly leaving some archaeological trace. There were no traces of any burial box next to the dog skeleton. Below the skeleton, in the bottom of the feature the rest of one posthole was found, which belongs to the previously mentioned two rows of postholes near the feature. The skeleton of the dog partially overlaps the posthole and is unimpaired, so the stakehole cannot be younger than feature no. 1524 and the burial of the dog. Next to the dog skeleton, a fragment of the frst cervical vertebra from a cow ( Bos taurus ) was found. Because of the absence of ceramic material in the inflling of the feature, dating was obtained by a 14 C-radiocarbon dating from the skeleton of the dog. For this purpose, a right calcaneus weighing 5 g was removed. The sample was analysed in the Radiocarbon Laboratory, Poznan (Poz-64641), giving us the date of 1550 ± 30 BP (Table 2). After data calibration the dating was shown to fall into a small radiocarbon plateau, hence its dating is not completely reliable. Due to the archaeological situation and radicarbon dating, it can be assumed that the dog skeleton belongs to the Migration Period. The nearly complete skeleton of the adult dog ( Canis familiaris ) was examined; it had been placed on its right side, with his head to the south and feet to the east. From the position of the skeleton, it is obvious that the animal had been carefully laid into the feature, not thrown (Figure 3). Due to the weather conditions, the skeletal remains were in very Grave no.NumberSpeciesPart of skeletonTotal 164 ( Continuation ) 4Undetermined mammalfragment of bone72 ( Continuation ) 1Ruminantdens 46 Rodentia fragment of bone5Small mammal-Medium mammalfragment of bone1 Rodentia pelvis 11 Rodentia long bone 165 1 Rodentia dens41 Rodentia mandibula2 Rodentia long bone 166 1Small mammalfragment of bone1 167 1 Very small mammal fragment of bone1 174 2 Very small mammal fragment of bone31 Very small mammal long bone 175 1 Very small mammal fragment of bone1 Table 1. Distribution of bones and malacofauna in the graves (quantifcation after NISP). ( Continuation )
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 71–86Hana Nohálová, Jiří Vávra, Milan Kuchařík: Dog Burial and Animal Bone Remains from the Human Graves in Prague-Zličín 75