A pit filled with pigs: an investigation of butchery and consumption of pork from a Middle/Late Neolithic pit from the site of Widziszewo 17, Poland
"In 2011, a large scale rescue excavation on the open site of Widziszewo 17, Greater Poland province, Poland, uncovered a large number of archaeological features dated to a variety of periods. Most of the features, due to severe post-depositional taphonomic effects on the bones, yielded none or a very scarce number of osteoarchaeological remains. How ever, in one of the medium sized pits, feature 284, dated to the Middle/Late Neolithic Globular Amphora Culture, the excavation uncovered an extraordinary deposit of a few hundred identifiable bone fragments, including numerous complete long bones. The specimens were deposited randomly, in a tight cluster at the bottom of the pit. Cooperation between field archaeologists and an animal bone specialist resulted in the careful excavation and the accurate recording of the specimens using orthophotographic plans, which supported the subsequent zooarchaeological analysis. The excavated deposit consisted mainly of pig (Sus domesticus) remains, with only a small number of specimens from other species. Pigs were represented mostly by large fragments of bone or complete anatomical elements, and the analysis showed that whole limbs and large chunks of the carcass of at least six individuals were disarticulated and deposited in the pit. Investigations of the anatomical com position and taphonomic history of the assemblage, supported by bone refitting, allowed the recognition of distinctive patterns of butchery activity, cooking, and marrow extraction of certain parts of the pig carcass. Investigations of the dispersal of the remains provided an insight into their depositional history. Results lead to the suggestion that pig bones from feature 284 are remnants of the deliberate and regulated consumption of certain parts of pig carcass, which can be connected to a standardised feasting activity” (read more/open access).
***For the non-Palaeo zooarchaeologists. Happy Friday.
(Open access source: Assemblage PZAF:42-58, 2014 via Academia.edu)