At the renowned archaeological site of Mycenae, striking depictions of animals in ancient art and architecture, such as the 'Lion Gate', reflect the great power of elite residents in the Late Bronze Age. To better understand how social complexity relates to human-animal interactions at Mycenae, more research is needed on the animals who actually lived there. In a first for the archaeological site of Mycenae, we utilized a contextual taphonomic approach and statistical analysis to study a faunal assemblage, focusing on a massive deposit recovered from a well feature located in Room Π of Petsas House. Petsas House was an industrial-residential complex at Mycenae used at least in part by ceramic artisans at the time of its destruction in the Late Helladic IIIA2 period. Intra-contextual analysis of the animal remains detected sub-assemblages with variable histories of animal use and deposition. The results revealed multiple disposal events and possible dog interments. Most of the refuse in the well likely originated from rubbish piles in the surrounding rooms and periphery that were cleaned after a destructive earthquake. Together, the faunal evidence yielded a more nuanced, possibly seasonal picture of animal access than previously available at this important political center. The results provide new insights into the diverse and resilient resource provisioning strategies available to extra-palatial residents of Mycenae, especially those who participated in craft production and trade networks at the height of the palatial period.
|Publication Title||PLoS One|
|Author Address||Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America.SEARCH, Inc., New York, New York, United States of America.Department of Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States of America.|
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