Animals in ritual and domestic context: A comparative study between the faunal assemblages from residential areas and two sanctuaries at the vicus of Kempraten (Rapperswil-Jona, CH)

Simone Häberle, Sabine Deschler-Erb, Heide Hüster-Plogmann, Barbara Stopp, Sarah Lo Russo, Pirmin Koch, Regula Ackermann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

In this study, archaeozoological remains (hand-retrieved and retrieved from soil samples) from residential areas and from two different sanctuaries from the vicus Kempraten have been analysed and compared. The archaeozoological assemblage consists of 15 886 animal remains identified to animal group and/or species and were recovered from a number of different features which partially overlap chronologically. We discuss commonalities and discrepancies as well as possible reasons behind the selection of certain animal species for domestic and/or ritual purposes. We found remarkable differences amongst the naturally occurring small animal remains, the fowl and the fish. A large variety of natural intruders (wild small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, gastropods) in the gallo-roman sanctuary let us assume that phases of intensive human activity alternated with phases during which the site lay idle. The cultic act in both sanctuaries mainly involved offerings of poultry. The selection of the sacrificial fowl appears to be rather cultically and not economically motivated. The same can be said for the fish finds, especially for young pike from the gallo-roman sanctuary, because in residential areas of the vicus fowl and pike were far less abundant than in the sanctuaries. Comparing the proportions of the large domestic and large wild animal bones from the galloroman sanctuary with those from the domestic areas of the vicus, we can find a large similarity. Therefore, we assume that animals like cattle or pig played an important role in the everyday diet as well as in the cultic rituals of the inhabitants of Kempraten.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoman Animals in Ritual and Funerary Contexts
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd Meeting of the Zooarchaeology of the Roman Period Working Group, Basel 1st–4th February, 2018
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
PublisherOtto Harrassowitz GmbH & Co
Pages79-98
ISBN (Print)978-3-447-11641-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameKOLLOQUIEN ZUR VOR- UND FRÜHGESCHICHTE
PublisherDEUTSCHES ARCHÄOLOGISCHES INSTITUT
Volume26

Keywords

  • archaeozoology
  • roman sanctuaries
  • Rituals
  • Magna Mater
  • Mithraeum
  • vicus
  • economy

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