DFG Projekt "Fishing at the Copper Age tell near Pietrele, Romania" bewilligt
The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved funding for the project,”Fishing at the Copper Age tell near Pietrele, Romania: investigating the role of specialization and intensification in developing social inequality during the 5th millennium BC” starting June 1st, 2013. The research will focus on traditional zooarchaeological analysis of fish remains to quantify how different species of fishes contributed to the site economy and attempt oxygen isotope analysis of fish otoliths to determine seasonality of fishing. Kenneth Ritchie (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison 2010) will be the principle investigator.
The European Copper Age, beginning in the 5th millennium BC, is important not just as a time when metallurgy came to Europe, but also marks the first clear indications of the advent of social hierarchy and a dramatic expansion of long distance trade or exchange. While attention is often drawn to the impressive ceramics, copper (and occasional gold) artifacts, and figurative art as especially significant aspects of this culture, subsistence and environmental changes are also equally interesting subjects for study. Although the domesticated plants and animals that were introduced in the preceding Neolithic period continue to play a role in subsistence regimes, many Copper Age site assemblages demonstrate a renewed emphasis on wild resources. Using information about which fishes and birds appear in individual contexts, when they were caught, and how they were processed – in conjunction with other classes of material evidence – the project will search for subsistence variability linked to economic specialization at different locations of the tell site Magura Gorgana and compare these results with other Copper Age sites in the region of the Lower Danube.