Back
 AD  Vol.7 No.1 , January 2019
A Study of Dog Coprolite from Late Neolithic Pile-Dwelling Site in Slovenia
Abstract: More than 5000 years old dog’s coprolite was found during rescue excavation at Črnelnik pile-dwelling site in Slovenia. Although human and dog diets may overlap considerably, the content of the consumed and digested food, consisting of plant and/or animal remains biologically diverse. While the investigated fossil excrement contained many fish head bones, scales and teeth of Cyprinidae family, we believe that we are dealing with an individual that had only eaten fish heads, that is why it was suggested to be of dog. Beside the origin and the daily diet of the individual together with the nutritional habits of the dog in the Late Neolithic, the analyses of coprolite provide more important information, for example: the time of year of the deposit, the environmental conditions there, the size and the health of the animal as well as care (or the status) of domesticated animal for humans. The discovery confirms again that animal dung should be an important part of archaeological investigations, specially at waterlogged sites.
Cite this paper: Tolar, T. and Galik, A. (2019) A Study of Dog Coprolite from Late Neolithic Pile-Dwelling Site in Slovenia. Archaeological Discovery, 7, 20-29. doi: 10.4236/ad.2019.71002.
References

[1]   Akeret, Ö., & Jacomet, S. (1997) Analysis of Plant Macrofossils in Goat/Sheep Faeces from the Neolithic Lake Shore Settlement of Horgen Scheller—An Indication of Prehistoric Transhumance? Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 6, 235-239.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01370444

[2]   Akeret, Ö., & Rentzel, P. (2001) Micromorphology and Plant Macrofossil Analysis of Cattle Dung from the Neolithic Lake Shore Settlement of Arbon Bleiche 3. Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, 16, 687-700.
https://doi.org/10.1002/gea.1016

[3]   Akeret, Ö., Hass, J. N., Leuzinger, U., & Jacomet, S. (1999) Plant Macrofossil and Pollen in Goat/Sheep Faeces from the Neolithic Lake-Shore Settlement Arbon Bleice 3, Schwitzerland. The Holocene, 9, 175-182.
https://doi.org/10.1191/095968399666631581

[4]   Bartosiewicz, L. (1999) Recent Developments in Archaeozoological Research in Slovenia. Arheoloski Vestnik, 50, 311-322.

[5]   Bartosiewicz, L. (2002) Dogs from the Ig Pile Dwellings in the National Museum of Slovenia. Arheoloski Vestnik, 53, 77-89.

[6]   Bouchet, F., Harter, S., & Le Bailly, M. (2003) The State of the Art of Paleoparasitological Research in the Old World. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 98, 95-101.
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762003000900015

[7]   Brönnimann, D., Pümpin, C., Ismail-Meyer, K., Rentzel, P., & Egüez, N. (2017) Excrements of Omnivores and Carnivores. In: Nicosia, C. and Stoops, G., Eds., Archaeological Soil and Sediment Micromorphology (pp. 67-82). Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118941065.ch7

[8]   Byrne, D. (1973) Prehistoric Coprolites: A Study of Human and Dog Coprolites from Prehistoric Archaeological Sites in the North Island of New Zealand. M.A. Thesis, University of Auckland.

[9]   Cappers, R., Bekker, R. M., & Jans, J. E. A. (2006) Digitale Zadenatlas van Nederland (Digital Seed Atlas of the Netherlands). Groningen: Barkhuis Publishing & Groningen University Library.

[10]   Cufar, K., Kromer, B., Tolar, T., & Veluscek, A. (2010) Dating of 4th Millenium BC Pile-Dwellings on Ljubljansko Barje, Slovenia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37, 2031-2039.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2010.03.008

[11]   Ewersen, J., & Schmölcke, U. (2013) Untersuchungen zur Haltung und Nutzung von Haushunden auf meso-und neolithischen Fundplätzen im nördlichen Deutschland. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie. B. Ramminger, 240, 267-299.

[12]   Galik, A. (2009) Die Bedeutung des Fischfangs in der Horgener Seeufersiedlung Wallhausen-Ziegelhütte am überlinger See, Hemmenhofener Skripte, 8, 138-144.

[13]   Gill, F. L., Crump, M. P., Schouten, R., & Bull, I. D. (2009) Lipid Analysis of a Ground Sloth Coprolite. Quaternary Research, 72, 284-288.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yqres.2009.06.006

[14]   Govedic, M. (2004) Fishes from the Archeological Site at Hocevarica. In: Veluscek, A., Ed., Hocevarica—An Eneolithic Pile Dwelling in Ljubljansko Barje, Opera Instituti Archaeologici Sloveniae, 8, 133-151.

[15]   Granadeiro, J. P., & Silva, M. A. (2000) The Use of Otoliths and Vertebrae in the Identification and Size-Estimation of Fish in Predator-Prey Studies. Cybium, 24, 383-393.

[16]   Harrison, T. (2011). Coprolites: Taphonomic and Paleoecological Implications. In: Harrison, T., Eds., Paleontology and Geology of Laetoli: Human Evolution in Context (pp. 279-292). Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series, Dordrecht: Springer.
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-9956-3_14

[17]   Horrocks, M., & Irwin, G. J. (2003). Pollen, Phytoliths and Diatoms in Prehistoric Coprolites from Kohika, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. Journal of Archaeological Science, 30, 13-20.
https://doi.org/10.1006/jasc.2001.0714

[18]   http://www.scirpus.ca/dung/mammal.php

[19]   http://www.volkovi.si/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/zimsko-sledenje_navodila-koncna.pdf

[20]   Hüster-Plogmann, H. (2004). Fischfang und Kleintierbeute. Ergebnisse der Untersuchung von Tierresten aus den Schlämmproben. In S. Jacomet, U. Leuzinger, & J. Schibler (Eds.), Die jungsteinzeitliche Seeufersiedlung Arbon/Bleiche 3, Umwelt und Wirtschaft. Archäologie im Thurgau 12 (pp. 253-276). Kanton: Huber & Co AG.

[21]   Iñiguez, A. M., Araújo, A., Ferreira, L. F., & Vicente, A. C. P. (2003). Analysis of Ancient DNA from Coprolites: A Perspective with Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction Approach. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz, 98/1.

[22]   Ismail-Meyer, K., & Rentzel, P. (2004). Mikromorphologishe Untersuchung der Schichtabfolge. In S. Jacomet, U. Leuzinger, & J. Schibler (Eds.), Die jungsteinzeitliche Seeufersiedlung von Arbon Bleiche 3, Umwelt und Wirtschaft. Archäologie im Thurgau 12 (pp. 66-80). Frauenfeld.

[23]   Jacomet, S., Leuzinger, U., & Schibler, J. (2004). Die jungsteinzeitliche Seeufersiedlung Arbon/Bleiche 3. Umwelt und Wirtschaft. Archäologie im Thurgau 12 (pp. 1-458). Kanton: Huber & Co AG.

[24]   Janssens, L., Giemsch, L., Schmitz, R., Street, M., & Van Dongen, S. (2018). A New Look at an Old Dog: Bonn-Oberkassel Reconsidered. Journal of Archaeological Science, 92, 126-138.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2018.01.004

[25]   Jones, A. K. G. (1986). Fish Bone Survival in the Digestive Systems of the Pig, Dog and Man: Some Experiments. In D. C. Brinkhuizen, & A. T. Clason (Eds.), Fish and Archaeology, Studies in Osteometry, Taphonomy, Seasonality and Fishing Methods (pp. 53-61). BAR International Series 294.

[26]   Jones, A. K. G. (1990). Coprolites and Faecal Concretions. In M. Bell (Ed.), Brean down Excavations (1983-1987) (pp. 242-245). Archaeological Report No. 15, London: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England.

[27]   Jörg, S. (2006). The Economy and Environment of the 4th and 3rd Millennia BC in the Northern Alpine Foreland Based on Studies of Animal Bones. Environmental Archaeology, 11, 49-64.

[28]   Jouy-Avantin, F. (2003). A Standardized Method for the Description and the Study of Coprolites. Journal of Archaeological Science, 30, 367-372.
https://doi.org/10.1006/jasc.2002.0848

[29]   Kottelat, M., & Freyhof, J. (2007). Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes. Berlin: Kottelat Cornol, Switzerland and Freyhof.

[30]   Kreuz, A., & Schäfer, E. (2011). Weed Finds as Indicators for the Cultivation Regime of the Early Neolithic Bandkeramik Culture? Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 20, 333-348.

[31]   Kühn, M., Maier, U., Herbig, C., Ismail-Meyer, K., Le Bailly, M., & Wick, L. (2013). Methods for the Examination of Cattle, Sheep and Goat Dung in Prehistoric Wetland Settlements with Examples of the Sites Alleshausen-Täschenwiesen and Alleshausen-Grundwiesen (around cal 2900 BC) at Lake Federsee, South-West Germany. Journal of Environmental Archaeology, 18, 43-57.
https://doi.org/10.1179/1461410313Z.00000000017

[32]   Le Bailly, M., Leuzinger, U., & Bouchet, F. (2003). Dioctophymidae Eggs from Coprolites from Neolithic Site of Arbon-Bleiche 3 (Switzerland). Journal of Parasitology, 89, 1073-1076.
https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-3202RN

[33]   Le Bailly, M., Leuzinger, U., Schlichtherle, H., & Bouchet, F. (2005). Diphyllobothrium: Neolithic Parasite? Journal of Parasitology, 91, 957-959.

[34]   Macphail, R. I. (2000). Soils and Microstratigraphy: A Soil Micromorphological and Micro-Chemical Approach. In A. J. Lawson (Ed.), Animal Husbandry in Later Prehistoric Wiltshire (pp. 47-71). Salisbury: Wessex Archaeology.

[35]   Maicher, C., Hoffmann, A., Côté, N. M. L., Palomo Pérez, A., Saña Segui, M., & Le Bailly, M. (2017). Paleoparasitological Investigations on the Neolithic Lakeside Settlement of La Draga (Lake Banyoles, Spain). Holocene, 27, 1659-1668.
https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683617702236

[36]   Martin, P. S., & Sharrock, F. W. (1964). Pollen Analysis of Prehistoric Human Feces: A New Approach to Ethnobotany. American Antiquity, 30, 168-180.
https://doi.org/10.2307/278848

[37]   Schmid, E. (1972). Atlas of Animal Bones for Prehistorians, Archaeologists and Quaternary Geologists. Amsterdam, London, New York: Elsevier Publishing Company.

[38]   Skrbinsek, T. (2010). Navodila za sodelovanje pri raziskavi volkov s pomocjo genetike. Ljubljana: Univerza v Ljubljani, Biotehniska fakulteta, Oddelek za biologijo.
http://www.volkovi.si/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/brosura-genetika-slowolf-web1.pdf

[39]   Tolar, T., Jacomet, S., Veluscek, A., & Cufar, K. (2011). Plant Economy at a Late Neolithic Lake Dwelling Site in Slovenia at the Time of the Alpine Iceman. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 20, 207-222.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00334-010-0280-0

[40]   Torke, W. (2000). Fischreste aus den neolithischen Moorsiedlungen Henauhof I Hartöschle am Feedersee und aus weiteren Fundplätzen Oberschwabens. Berichte zu Ufer-und Moorsiedlungen Südwestdeutschlands III. Materialh, Arch. Baden-Württemberg, 52, 345-357.

[41]   Veluscek, A. (2004). Past and Present Lake-Dwelling Studies in Slovenia. Ljubljansko Barje (the Ljubljana Marsh). In F. Menotti (Ed.), Living on the Lake in Prehistoric Europe, 150 Years of Lake-Dwelling Research (pp. 69-82). London and New York: Routledge.

[42]   Veluscek, A., Podpecan, B., Tolar, T., Toskan, B., Turk, J., Merela, M., & Cufar, K. (2018). Crnelnik and Devce, Newly Discovered Copper Age Sites at Ljubljansko Barje. Arheoloski Vestnik, 69, 9-68.

 
 
Top