Anatomical study of animal remains from Phoenician-Punic amphorae found in the Santa Giusta Pond, Sardinia (Italy)

  • Laura Portas Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.
  • Vittorio Farina | vfarina@uniss.it Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.
  • Carla Del Vais Department of History, Cultural Heritage and Territory, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy.
  • Marcella Carcupino Department of Natural and Territory Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.
  • Ferdinando Gazza Department of Medico-Veterinary Sciences, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.
  • Ignazio Sanna Cultural Heritage Authority for Cagliari and Oristano Provinces, Cagliari, Italy.
  • Marco Zedda Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.

Abstract

During the underwater excavations carried out in the Santa Giusta Pond, near Oristano, Sardinia, a significant amount of Phoenician- Punic materials was brought to light including amphorae (dating back to 7th-2nd century BC) and vegetal and animal remains. All of these archaeological finds may come from Othoca, an important Phoenician- Punic city on the eastern shore of the pond, geographically corresponding with the modern-day town of Santa Giusta. Animal materials consist of more than 3000 very well-preserved remains, belonging to sheep (Ovis aries), goat (Capra hircus) and cattle (Bos taurus). Bone analyses allowed reconstructing the slaughtering methods, as well as manipulation procedures carried out to preserve meat in order to be exported overseas. Although pig (Sus scrofa) played an important economical role in other Sardinian Phoenician-Punic settlements, in this archaeological context this species is absent, suggesting that the meat contained in the amphorae was probably destined to other areas of the Mediterranean basin, where people did not eat pork.

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Published
2015-12-28
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Original Articles
Keywords:
Phoenician-Punic amphorae, Sheep, Goat, Cattle, Zooarchaeology
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How to Cite
Portas, L., Farina, V., Del Vais, C., Carcupino, M., Gazza, F., Sanna, I., & Zedda, M. (2015). Anatomical study of animal remains from Phoenician-Punic amphorae found in the Santa Giusta Pond, Sardinia (Italy). Journal of Biological Research - Bollettino Della Società Italiana Di Biologia Sperimentale, 88(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/jbr.2015.5073