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The cultural ecology of Croatia’s cattle: stable isotope and zooarchaeological analyses of an indigenous breed

Author(s): Emily Zavodny ; Sarah B. McClure

Year: 2017

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Summary

Here we present results from a preliminary stable isotope and zooarchaeology study of cattle from the Lika region of northern Croatia. During routine investigation of Bronze and Iron Age faunal assemblages, we identified bones belonging to a small unspecified cattle breed. These same specimens also have unexpected stable carbon and nitrogen isotope signatures, and are more similar to both domesticated and wild browsers than grazing cattle in other regions. We argue that these adaptations were exploited and encouraged by local populations, who adopted these cattle as part of a larger economic strategy tailored to the harsh and unpredictable environment of Lika. We conclude with a brief overview of the modern buša cattle, the most likely successor to our specimens and a heritage breed that is still raised in Lika today.


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The cultural ecology of Croatia’s cattle: stable isotope and zooarchaeological analyses of an indigenous breed. Emily Zavodny, Sarah B. McClure. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429942)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14416

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America