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Sophisticated cattle dairy husbandry at Borduşani-Popina (Romania, fifth millennium BC) : the evidence from complementary analysis of mortality profiles and stable isotopes

par Christine LEFEVRE - publié le , mis à jour le

Borduşani-Popină is a Gumelniţa tell site in south-eastern Romania. The cattle mortality profile suggests a husbandry oriented towards prime meat exploitation and dairy production highlighted by the keeping of cattle to advanced age. Besides, the culling strategy also targeted young calves. A stable isotope ratio study was undertaken on dental rows. Bone and dentine collagen δ15N values show that the calves within the slaughtering peak were well-advanced in the weaning process, suggesting that the slaughter was delayed until the end of the cows’ lactation. A consequence would be the sharing of milk production between herders and calves. High inter- and intra-individual variability in bone collagen and enamel bioapatite δ13C values indicated variations in the seasonal ratio of C4 and C3 plants in fodder and between age groups. Overall, the complementary study of mortality profiles and stable isotopes provide evidence of sophisticated husbandry during the fifth millennium cal. BC.

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