Les animaux de la nécropole gallo-romaine de Vertault (Côte d'Or, France)

Abstract : The skeletons, partial skeletons and isolated bones of 200 dogs, 42 horses, eight sheep and two cattle were recovered at the animal necropolis of Vertault, situated south of the fortifi ed rampart belonging to the Gaulish-Roman village on an incompletely examined stretch of land. Because archaeological fi nds were lacking, three 14C analyses were conducted on horse bone material to provide chronological identifi cation, which dated the faunal remains to the 1st century AD. All of the animals are males. Although the horses are fully mature and some of them very old, the dogs and sheep are all young animals. These animals, some of which show clear evidence on the skull of violent death, were buried following specifi c rules governing place and orientation of interment: Horses were laid on their right side with the head facing south, and barring several exceptions, dogs and sheep were placed on their left side with the head oriented towards the west. The majority of animals were buried alone or in groups of two or three and occasionally more individuals in a total of over 80 graves. Many of the grave pits were disturbed by later burials. The burial of dogs and horses as well as dogs and sheep together indicates the simultaneous sacrifi ce of different species. The primary goal of this contribution is to present an encapsulation of all information documented, including excavation plans, animal inventory, age, sex, and bone metric data, in order to close any gaps, ones that were unavoidable in earlier publications, regarding our understanding of this animal necropolis dating from its inception.
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Contributor : Patrice Meniel <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - 10:39:40 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 14, 2018 - 9:56:08 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00459075, version 1



Patrice Méniel. Les animaux de la nécropole gallo-romaine de Vertault (Côte d'Or, France). Archaeobiologiae Documenta, 2007, 5, pp.249-292. ⟨halshs-00459075⟩



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