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The Zooarchaeology of the Late Neolithic Strymon (Struma) river valley: the case of the Greek sector of Promachon-Topolnica

Kazantzis, George (2015) The Zooarchaeology of the Late Neolithic Strymon (Struma) river valley: the case of the Greek sector of Promachon-Topolnica. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Thesis Kazantzis.pdf
Restricted until 1 March 2023.


Excavations on the border between Greece (sector Promachon) and Bulgaria (sector Topolnica) in the basin of the river Strymonas, Central Macedonia, have revealed a ‘flat-extended’ settlement dating to the Late Neolithic. In addition to the rich array of material culture evidence, the excavation yielded a substantial quantity of animal bones, thus offering an unparalleled opportunity to study the human-animal relationships. The current thesis focuses on the study of the faunal assemblage from the Greek sector of Promachon, and examines the role and the contribution of domestic and wild animals to the economy of the site. Within Promachon, the study of the animal remains indicates an economy particularly tuned to the production of meat; however, a small-scale exploitation of milk could also be inferred. This information is valuable, considering the scarcity of faunal data from contemporary settlements across the basin of Strymonas. Of particular interest is the presence of a large ‘public’ structure, rich in material culture evidence and animal bones, which creates an interesting contrast to the rest of the household deposits. In addition, the faunal evidence is consistent with the suggestion of the excavators of the site that significant changes occurred during the third phase of occupation at Promachon. On the other hand, the substantially better representation of cattle in Promachon than any other settlement in Greek Macedonia, along with the evidence from pottery decoration and structural features, suggests that - to some extent - Promachon was linked to Balkan Late and Final Neolithic communities. Biometric analysis also provided interesting insights into the diverse husbandry practices among Late Neolithic sites in Macedonia and Thessaly. This information is particularly important, in view of the fact that the comparison of the size of domestic ruminants and pigs between Late Neolithic Macedonian and Thessalian sites has not been attempted prior to this study. In this respect, the collection of a larger body of metrical data from Late Neolithic Macedonian and Thessalian settlements should represent a priority for future research, in order to provide clarification to some of the issues discussed in this thesis. The current research presents new information on subsistence strategies in an underrepresented area of northern Greece during a time-period (fifth and fourth millennium BC), that is considered one of the most dynamic eras of the prehistory of southeastern Europe. It also clarifies both temporal and regional trends in animal management, placing Promachon in the broader spectrum of contemporary agro-pastoral communities and creating an integrated picture of human-animal relationships that encompasses both the basin of Strymonas and northern Greece.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Archaeology (Sheffield)

The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.655285
Depositing User: Dr George Kazantzis
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2015 08:16
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2018 14:16
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9138

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