S. Jimenez-Manchon, S. Valenzuela-Lamas, I. Càceres, H. Orengo, A. Gardeisen, D. Lopez, F. Rivals, "Reconstruction of Caprine Management and Landscape Use Through Dental Microwear Analysis : The Case of the Iron Age Site Of El Turo de la Font de la Canya (Barcelona, Spain)", Environmental Archaeology 23, 2018



Abstract :

This paper presents the results of a pilot study using dental microwear analysis on 23 sheep and goat teeth dated to the 6th century BC from the Iron Age site of El Turó Font de la Canya (Barcelona, Spain). This study aimed to reconstruct livestock management practices and landscape use. The dental microwear pattern indicates that sheep and goats could have been grazing in the same area where vegetation was composed of shrubs, bushes and non-graminaceous plants on an eroded landscape, although additional supplies of fodder cannot be excluded. This scenario is compatible with the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental data which suggest a possibly increased territoriality, land degradation and an increase of woodland clearance during Iron Age in the North-east of the Iberian Peninsula. Furthermore, we applied two recent microwear approaches which provide more information about mortality events and the possibility of distinguishing between an intensive and extensive management. This paper demonstrates how this method can be used to better understand animal husbandry practices and landscape use in Late Prehistory.