Following the Herd: Isotopic access to faunal commodity chains in LBA Mycenae, Greece


This paper explores variation in the management and distribution of faunal resources recovered from disparate socio-economic spheres of consumption at the palatial settlement of Mycenae, Greece, during the Late Bronze Age (1600-1100 BC). It has long been acknowledged that early state economies comprise multiscalar, intertwining spheres of economic activity. Mechanisms driving these spheres of interaction are predicated on the modalities of exchange which connected nodes of production and consumption. Commodity chain analyses of exploited goods offers one effective method to model how socio-political systems of production and consumption and exchange networks were interconnected. Fauna are versatile and ubiquitous, operating at all levels of economic exchange and social hierarchical divisions. As fauna are purposefully managed with their consumption in mind, faunal commodity chains comprise their life history. Management practices, in turn, are recorded in the biological tissues of exploited fauna. Isotope ratios (Pb, Sr, O) allow us to "follow the materials" by tracing individual life histories of exploited fauna. We present new isotopic faunal and baseline data to demonstrate how isotope ratios can track commodity chains of faunal resources to assist in the identification of distinct faunal economies within a larger socio-political network using management and distribution practices as a proxy.

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Following the Herd: Isotopic access to faunal commodity chains in LBA Mycenae, Greece. Gypsy Price, Dr. Kim Shelton, Dr. George Kamenov, Dr. John Krigbaum. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398354)

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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;