19th-century archaeozoological materials from the excavations of Ekaterinburg

Rassadnikov A.Yu.  (Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation)


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The present article analyses the bones of slaughtered animals obtained from a 19th-century residential area of Ekaterinburg in order to reconstruct the meat diet, livestock housing conditions, as well as a number of aspects associated with the daily life of citizens at that time. Most of the archaeozoological complex dates back to different periods of the 19th century. Part of the material characterises the diet of city residents at the end of the 18th century. The excavations conducted at peripheral estates and their farm buildings uncovered approximately 1.5 thousand bones of cattle and caprids, which constituted the kitchen waste generated by the citizens. When processing the osteological material, the author employed both standard archaeological methods, as well as a relatively new method for Russian archaeology the analysis of livestock bone pathologies. The bones of cattle and caprids were measured using standard methods as well. Special attention was paid to the analysis of draught-related pathologies and the bone modification changes. The article contains links to additional materials including all the obtained data: primary data; bone measurements of cattle and caprids; images of pathologies and phenotypic plasticity of bones. The study ascertained the dominant role of beef in the meat diet of Ekaterinburg residents in the 19th century. The analysis of pathologies did not reveal unsatisfactory housing conditions and hard treatment of animals. According to the analysis, osteochondrotic bone changes predominate in the domestic ungulates. Age-related deformations of leg joints in cattle constitute another large group of recorded changes. Articular surface deformities and exostoses detected in the cattle bones provides no basis for the unambiguous reconstruction of animals being used for work. The biometric analysis of cattle bones suggests the presence of oxen among livestock slaughtered for meat.

Key words: Ekaterinburg, 19th century, archaeozoology, paleopathology, articular depressions, lipping, Laesio circumscripta tali.


DOI: 10.20874/2071-0437-2019-46-3-075-085


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Submitted: 08.04.2019

Accepted: 10.06.2019

Article is published: 26.09.2019


Rassadnikov A.Yu.

Institute of History and Archeology of Ural Branch RAS, Kovalevskoy st., 16, Ekaterinburg, 620990, Russian Federation