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Dung Management in Medieval and Post-Medieval Brussels (Belgium)

Author(s): Luc Vrydaghs ; Cristiano Nicosia ; Yannick Devos ; Alvise Vianello ; Christine Pümpin

Year: 2017

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During archaeological excavations in the center of Brussels (Belgium), often stratigraphic units containing dung – either omnivore-carnivore, including human, or herbivore – have been encountered. A multidisciplinary approach, comprising soil micromorphology, phytolith analysis and parasitology on soil thin sections, chemical analyses, including GC-MS and phosphorus measurements, was adopted to identify and characterize dung remains. In some cases dung was observed as part of the manure added to pre-urban and urban agricultural and horticultural soils. Under other circumstances, we were instead able to identify the very stable where dung was purposely accumulated for later use ("podstal" or "sunken byre"). In one site we observed the accumulation of dung in an area where waste from latrines and houses accumulated. Such contexts provide important insights on dung management practices and on the value of dung in Brussels between the 10th and 16th century AD.

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Dung Management in Medieval and Post-Medieval Brussels (Belgium). Luc Vrydaghs, Cristiano Nicosia, Yannick Devos, Alvise Vianello, Christine Pümpin. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430003)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15752

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