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Livestock trade during the Roman period: first clues from the trading post of Empúries (Catalonia)

Colominas, Lídia and Edwards, Ceiridwen J. (2016) Livestock trade during the Roman period: first clues from the trading post of Empúries (Catalonia). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. ISSN 1047482X

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Abstract

Written sources show that livestock were traded during the Roman period. However, there is scarce information available to characterise this trade due to its invisibility in the archaeological record. In our paper, we shed light on this issue by applying both osteometric and genetic analyses on cattle remains from the Roman trading post of Empúries (Catalonia) to determine how livestock contributed to Roman trade and, thus, to the economy of the Empire. Analysis of twenty-six cattle metacarpals from Empúries has allowed us to document the presence of different cattle morphotypes in this city during its Early Roman occupation. The morphological and genetic differences seen in Empúries cattle can be explained though trade of different cattle varieties, more appropriate for milk production and/or traction than the local stock. Once arrived at the port of Empúries, these imported cattle would have then been distributed to surrounding villas.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Schools: School of Applied Sciences
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Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 14:07
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2016 05:47
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/28416

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